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, June 04, 2008

Knowledge of national flags.

About six weeks ago, Tiarnan, then twenty-six months, saw a picture of 150 national flags, in an array. He looked at it, with interest. Seeing this, his mother, Syahidah, asked him: "Which is the Singapore flag, Tiarnan?"

His little hand reached out, with his index finger pointed straight ahead - and he placed it on the Singapore flag.

It was a spooky moment - spooky because we have never told him which is the Singaporean flag, nor have we shown him one - and neither do we own one. Somehow Tiarnan had observed from his environment, the Singapore flag and knew what it looked like. No doubt he had seen it somewhere and deduced that it must be the one we sought. This also makes clear, of course, that he knows he is in Singapore (which again we have never explicitly told him).

Babies, it seems, have ways of learning that may not always be apparent. If Tiarnan is an example, they can pick up information, on their own, from their own experience, without us realizing how or where they got it from.

Think on this. There are many teenagers - and adults - the world over, who wouldn't be able to pick out a Singaporean flag, from an array of 150 others. Indeed, some teenagers and adults wouldn't be able to pick out their own national flag - especially when faced with a sea of flags, many of which look quite similar.

I wonder what else Tiarnan has worked out for himself?

(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 @ 7:38 PM 


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