The boy who knew too much: a child prodigy

This is the true story of scientific child prodigy, and former baby genius, Ainan Celeste Cawley, written by his father. It is the true story, too, of his gifted brothers and of all the Cawley family. I write also of child prodigy and genius in general: what it is, and how it is so often neglected in the modern world. As a society, we so often fail those we should most hope to see succeed: our gifted children and the gifted adults they become. Site Copyright: Valentine Cawley, 2006 +

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A young experimenter's decibel test

Today, I found Tiarnan, twenty-seven months, standing still upstairs, shouting, on his own. It was a strange kind of shout...a long drawn out shout that maintained the same volume and didn't seem to be saying anything in particular.

Understandably, this drew my attention. He stopped shouting, on seeing me, only to continue again almost at once. His face was very intent. He seemed to be concentrating on some inner sensation. Then I noticed something funny. He had yellow earplugs stuck in his ears.

Suddenly, it all made sense: Tiarnan was doing a little experiment on how well the earplugs blocked noise. He was testing them with a sound of a volume known to him: his own voice.

I took the earplugs from his ears - and he soon stopped shouting. Then I put them back in again for him, properly. His shouting resumed. Then he stopped. I spoke to him at normal volume and he smiled, knowing, for sure, then, that these earplugs worked. Satisfied with what he had learnt, he took out the earplugs.

He soon found other things to experiment with. It is interesting to watch him behave in this way, for it so calls to mind the early behaviour of his eldest brother, Ainan, who was always investigating things, for himself. Perhaps, Tiarnan, too, has a scientific bent, among his other gifts. We will see. For now, I will continue to enjoy his daily actions, surprising as they often are.

The next question, of course is: how did he get the earplugs in the first place, when they are kept on the top shelf above my desk?

Tiarnan kept mum on the issue. I am left to assume that some deft climbing was involved. Toddlers can be resourceful little creatures. I will have to find better hiding places for all the things I want to keep from him. (Not that earplugs are one of those things.) Yet, looking at the way he is, nothing short of a locked box will do the trick. Until he finds out how to open it, of course. Oh well...

(If you would like to learn more of Ainan Celeste Cawley, a scientific child prodigy, aged eight years and five months, or his gifted brothers, Fintan, four years and ten months, and Tiarnan, twenty-seven months, please go to: I also write of gifted education, IQ, intelligence, the Irish, the Malays, Singapore, College, University, Chemistry, Science, genetics, left-handedness, precocity, child prodigy, child genius, baby genius, adult genius, savant, wunderkind, wonderkind, genio, гений ребенок prodigy, genie, μεγαλοφυία θαύμα παιδιών, bambino, kind, niño, gênio criança, gifted adults and gifted children in general. Thanks.)

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 11:12 PM 


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