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, January 06, 2011

A family "emergency".

As I walked through the TV room, on the evening of the 3rd of January, Fintan’s distressed, urgent voice assailed me:

“Daddy! Daddy!”, he said, quickly, strainedly.

Clearly, something was wrong: was he in pain?

“Ainan hit me…”, he continued.

I prepared to be riled at the “crime”.

“…last year.”, he finished, to his own evident amusement, for there was a little curl to his lips, as he said it.

What a joker. There is, in Fintan, seven, a wonderful whimsy, which comes out on occasion, often when least expected. He has his own way of thinking and seeing the world and, at times, is able to find humour in it. To my mind, this is a gift that is sometimes overlooked. Far more interesting to me, is the child who can make a joke like this, out of their own thinking and original impetus, than a child, for instance, who is intensely bookish and aces every exam. I rather think that the Fintan kind is more likely to lead an interesting life and make an interesting contribution, than the conventional, ideal child (from an Asian point of view, where bookishness is all). It is the power to be original, even whimsical, which sets people apart, in the end, when the sum total of their lives is done. For only those with some spark of it, in them, have the prerequisites to do something different with their lives. The Asian ideal student, is prepared only for a conventional life and outcome.

Thank you, Fintan, for this whimsical memory.

(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 @ 11:31 AM 


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