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 +

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Perceptiveness in a young child.

Tiarnan, three, is a perceptive child. In fact, I cannot really make it clear what I mean by this, unless you are acquainted with him. He sees what others do not see...indeed, he notes every little thing about what is going on around him. In particular, he sees the subtlest nuances of people.

The other day, he said to his mother, who had just sat down: "Why do you sit like that?"

"What do you mean?", she asked, surprised to be accused of sitting in any way, in particular.

"Why do you put your hand down first?" He then showed her what she had done, sitting just like his mummy. For a moment, he was his mummy. He captured her in motion and gesture, as he sat.

In seeing him, doing so, she finally saw herself and became aware that, yes, she does have her own unique way of approaching a chair.

What Syahidah found uncanny about the moment is that Tiarnan had actually perceived the subtleties of her motion, even though she, herself, was unconscious of them. He had seen what others would never see. He had not just seen: "My mother is sitting.", as most would, but had seen just HOW she was sitting.

Tiarnan is funny like that. He observes the essence of people and is then able to express what he has seen, with his own body. It reminds me of the time he captured me, in thought, with a notebook - giving an impression of his father conceiving an idea and writing it down, with the haste of inspiration. His impression of me was a shocking echo...for he had suddenly seemed old, wise and thoughtful, adopting, for a few brief seconds, my posture, mannerisms and facial expressions.

Given his propensity to portray his understanding of others in this way, I rather think that Tiarnan has the makings of an actor. The question is, of course, whether he would like to be one. Right now, he is just a little boy with a penchant for expressing his understanding of others, in a physical way.

We will see how it turns out.

(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 @ 7:46 PM 


Anonymous Anonymous said...

im sorry but i doubt he would make a good actor if he is ugly. because thats all we look for these days, beauty, i mean i have seen so many talentless ppl act just becuase they look amazing

9:33 PM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

Why would you think he would be ugly? He is a very handsome little boy!

You are right, however, in thinking that beauty is more influential than it should be. Many very good actors never get the chance to show what they can do, because "beautiful" but quite talentless people get cast instead. It is ridiculous and means that we all suffer for it, in having to endure poor performances.

Thanks for your comment.

9:55 PM  
Blogger Joanna said...

Have just stumbled upon this blog approximately 4 hours ago, and could not tear myself away from it.
Your sons are beyond brilliant. An understatement, but such are the failings mere words.
Can understand your frustrations with regards to Ainan and his capabilities, and the lack out support for him to further grow intellectually. I believe, though, that (chemistry laboratory aside) books and the internet and a reference library are the best places to learn on one's own. Schools are just so... limiting.

All the best. You are very blessed to have such wonderful children.

2:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

paris hilton is your prime example. lol she is probably the stupidet person on the world

5:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's ok to be ugly. Besides, actors and celebs are ugly these days. Just look at 'British Got Talent'.

5:09 PM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

Exceptions to the "must be perfect" rule are made these days...but that doesn't change the fact that many people are only "successful" in public life, because of their beauty.

Are you referring to Susan Boyle? She is not a looker, yes...but she can sing. On the radio, on a cd...what will it matter? It is good that the British public, at least, is becoming more open about this matter.

Thanks for your comment.

6:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi, sy ader sorang niece bout 3 yrs old.

bru2 ni dia tnya sy, macam maner orang "tutup" bola? i took a long time to think, aper la yg dia maksudkan ni... rupa2nya, macam mana bola tu boleh bercantum, ye la, bola 2 ialah bola plastik yg kecil. bercantum di sini ialah apabila dia ternampak bola itu ada potongan diameter. dgn susah payah jugak la sy nk terang dalam bahasa yg dia paham.

hari yang sama juga, sy tunjuk gambar kapal laut (ship) kat dia. saya tanya dia, 'apa ni?' dia balas, 'kapal...kapal...,, erm... kapal AIR!' sy rasa macam nk tergelak pun ader gk, dgn penyambungan perkataan yg dia buat. tp, penggunaan bahasa dia tak salah langsung. sebab kapal tu memang terapung atas air! cuma dalam bahasa melayu, ader banyak variety penggunaan perkataan 'kapal', contohnya, kapal terbang(aeroplane),kapal laut(ship),kapal angkasa dan lain2.

dan sampai sekarang sy x tau, dia menulis guna tangan mana,sekejap tulis tangan kanan,sekejap tangan kiri, tapi yang pasti, dia gunakan kaki kiri untuk sepak bola.

saja je sy hantar komen ni, nk berkongsi cerita.

mr cawley, sy tau awk x paham bahasa melayu, i suggest you to ask your wife to explain to you later after she read this. thanx..:)

11:45 AM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

Thanks for your post...and you are right, I don't understand it. I will have to ask my wife.


11:52 AM  

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