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, January 17, 2009

How do you spell that?

Fintan, five, is asking strange questions these days. I say "strange" because the questions lead one to wonder what lead him to ask them in the first place.

A few days ago, for instance, Fintan asked his mother, Syahidah: "How do you spell "conspiracy"?"

She was somewhat taken aback at a five year old seeking the spelling of such a word. Where had he heard it? What use would he have for it?

He didn't stop there. Next he asked her: "How do you spell: "confiscate"?"

Again, she found herself surprised. However, at least the word "confiscate" might have more immediate use in the world of a five year old.

Fintan has an interest in language. The puzzle of it, though, is where he encounters these words. I note that he wasn't asking: "What does X mean?" But "How do you spell X?" That seems to imply that the meaning of the words is not the problem, just their spelling.

It is interesting to note the differences and similarities between our three sons. Each is one of a kind, it seems, each with his own outlook, likes, dislikes, preferences and abilities. It is going to be very interesting to watch them grow to adulthood.

I think that fatherhood is the ultimate antidote to boredom: as a father it is impossible to be other than engaged with the present and the future to come, for ones children lead one there, day by day.

(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 @ 4:23 PM 


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This post is very touching. I really wonder how many leaders and people today can rise to its reception.

I am afraid none but all are blinded nowadays. Singapore is perhaps, amongst the very blinded. She needs to be saved badly from the hands of evil!!

7:29 PM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

I am glad you are touched by my words.

I am unsure if many nations have true leaders anymore: the substance of modern "leaders" seems sorely lacking when set against the heroic minds of the past.

As for "blindness", I agree: people really understand and see and know very little of what truly transpires in the world.

Best wishes.

7:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Conspiracy and confiscate... that's sweet. Indeed, confiscate might be more relevant to the life of a 5 year old. Unless he felt that there might be a conspiracy to confiscate his toys. ;) Have you found out where he picked up those words?


6:43 AM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

I haven't...but I should.

There is no sign that he is worried about confiscation of his toys (we don't discipline by such measures).

He is an interesting boy. There is no telling what he comes out with. He is a bit "off the wall". By which I mean, he thinks differently from other kids.

Thanks for your comment.

I'll have to find out...

10:18 AM  

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