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, September 24, 2008

A toddler's memory for names and faces.

One of the great things about having children is that they, more than anyone else, have the ability to surprise. Tiarnan is most gifted in this department.

Have you ever wondered how much attention children pay to conversation around them? Have you pondered how much they absorb? Tiarnan showed a surprising grasp of the social situation last week. In a social environment in which there were many people - people that he had not seen very often at all, people who were adults and, therefore, remote to him, Tiarnan did something unusual: he used each person's name. He spoke of Auntie Kyna and Auntie Sasha and Auntie Bev, addressing each person correctly, among others. He got the name of each person right. Now, I don't know about you, but, for most adults, social events with many people present and many faces, can become a bit of a challenge on the names and faces front. Not, however, for Tiarnan, it seems. Though only two years old, he has already grasped how to remember the right name for the right face - and use it at the right time. It struck me as unusual, since most toddlers don't address adults much, apart from their own parents - and few would, I would think, pay enough attention to other adults, to know the names of many of them.

So, this goes to show that little children can absorb much more than you think they can. There might be a blizzard of names falling all around them, but a toddler can pick them up, nevertheless and remember them for use later.

(If you would like to learn more of Ainan Celeste Cawley, a scientific child prodigy, aged eight years and seven months, or his gifted brothers, Fintan, five years exactly, and Tiarnan, twenty-eight 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 @ 4:13 PM 


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