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 +

Thursday, December 30, 2010

The monstrous mosquitoes of Malaysia.

Who needs comedians, when you have young children? Children, as anyone who has any will tell you, are natural comedians – not because they try, but because it comes naturally.

About a week ago, Fintan, seven, was sitting in front of the TV watching Fringe Science. This is a show filled with strange possibilities and bizarre occurrences. It was, therefore, a suitable backdrop to what happened next.

Suddenly, Fintan slapped his forehead, a little too eagerly.

“Ow!”, he yelped, “A mosquito has sucked my brain!”, he said, in a manner both shocked and fearful.

I found myself laughing very loudly and forcefully.

Fintan looked up at me, not best pleased to see his father’s reaction to his personal tragedy.

“Fintan," I began in gentle explanation, "a mosquito cannot penetrate your skull…”

He didn’t look much mollified, however, wincing still, either under the wound of the mosquito or the wound of my laughter. If he had anything to say, he kept it to himself.

He settled back down to watch Fringe Science, after a final rub of his forehead. It had, for a moment, seemed as if the surreal world of Fringe Science, had intruded into our own, and made of the common mosquito, a fearful brain sucking monster. In the atmosphere of that room, in the midst of that programme, such an idea almost seemed believable. Perhaps, in fact, that was why Fintan had so readily entertained it. The programme had entrained his mind to consider such (im)possibilities.

That night, Fintan went to sleep with a red blotch on his forehead. However, he didn't mention the brain sucking mosquito again.

(If you would like to learn more of Ainan Celeste Cawley, 10, or his gifted brothers, Fintan, 7 and Tiarnan, 4, this month, please go to:

I also write of gifted education, child prodigy, child genius, adult genius, savant, megasavant, HELP University College, the Irish, the Malays, Singapore, Malaysia, IQ, intelligence and creativity.

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 1:35 PM 


OpenID safireau said...

Don't watch that show again.

1:02 AM  
Blogger christy said...

Have you thought of having your children take the Myers-Briggs personality typing test?

Although personality tests are often lacking in quantifiable merit, the MBTI theory is a valid theory, and enlightens the test-taker on many aspects of their persona that may have seemed puzzling to them growing up.

I for one took the test in my teens and found the profile description for my type fascinating. For example, I am an INTJ female.

I have no doubt that your eldest is a thinker/rational, and I highly recommend your sons to take the test as a simple experiment to see what they are typed. It would be best if they were older to take the test to avoid possibilities of being mistyped.

I believe this test was instrumental in understanding myself and I would be interested to know what your sons' types are in the future, if your kin were to ever take up this endeavor.

Thank you.

3:13 PM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

No, Christy, I hadn't considered getting my children to take the test. Is it possible online?

What age would you consider the minimum for an effective test, given that my two youngest sons are but 7 and 4?

I would agree that my eldest son is a thinker/rational type...extremely so, in actual fact. However, he does show a wide range of different types of thinking skill - both convergent and divergent.

Thanks for the suggestion...I will look into it. Should I do so, I could write a post about the results.

Happy New Year.

9:06 PM  
Blogger christy said...

The link to the test is here, and it is free:

I think the appropriate age depends on how self-actualized the individual is. I was an mistyped as an INTP when I was younger due to my limited knowledge of my own preferences.
Take a look at the test and you'll see what I mean. It's easy to place an incorrect answer based on what the individual would like to think of him or herself versus what is actually true.

I think that Ainan, being a gifted boy, must have developed coping mechanisms in dealing with the obvious differences between him and the rest of society. This would have helped him reaffirm his identity and subsequently maturer. He could take the test now, and take it again once he's in his teens (15 was when I obtained the accurate result)

It never hurts to take the test as there is nothing to be proven by it; no IQ testing, nothing to indicate intelligence but only personality.

The test also suggests potential career preferences, and other personality types he gets a long with.

Thanks :)

10:36 PM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

Thanks for the link, Christy, I will see what Ainan thinks of it.

It would, I think, be particularly interesting to see what it says about suitable careers: I wonder if there is a match between his personality and presently intended future? I hope so!

Have a Happy New Year.

10:52 PM  
Blogger Straight Grandmother said...

Well you know the moquito is the State Bird of Minnesota, right? LOL.
For mosquito bites, keep amonia in a small bottle. Immediatly after a mosquito bite, pour a little on a kleenex or a ball of cotton and press it onto the bite. Press it on there for about a minute. Within an hour that mosquite bite will go completely away, no itching.

11:34 AM  

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