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 +

Saturday, June 14, 2008

The language of a natural diplomat.

A couple of months ago, Tiarnan, then twenty-six months, showed his understanding of other people.

His mother, Syahidah, had given him a series of instructions, in English, to convey to his grandfather. He listened to her carefully and when she had finished, ran off to find his granddad.

When he got to his grandfather, he began to tell him, idea for idea, what she had asked him to convey - but he did so in MALAY, NOT ENGLISH. He translated it all, perfectly.

Syahidah was surprised that he had done this. Tiarnan's grandfather speaks both English and Malay - but he is most comfortable in Malay. Clearly, Tiarnan had noticed this - and so selected Malay as his granddad's preferred language.

Tiarnan's grandfather, Osman, laughed at this: "He doesn't think my English is good!"

I thought it telling that Tiarnan actually took the trouble to evaluate Osman's perspective, and to realize that Malay would be a better choice for him. The simplest thing, for him, would have been to just relay it all, as he had heard it, in English - but he did not do so: he translated it into Malay (for quite a lot of information) and relayed that instead.

It is funny to see how much Tiarnan understands of other people's needs. Perhaps the art of diplomacy (and social skills) start young.

(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)

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 5:04 PM 


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