A synaesthetic family.
Yesterday, was a revelation, where Tiarnan, four, was concerned.
We all sat in the dining room, for lunch – well, most of us.
Tiarnan suddenly looked up from the table and said: “Fintan is back.”
“How do you know?”, asked his mother.
“I can see the sound of the bus.”, Tiarnan replied enigmatically.
I knew, then, what he meant, at once. Tiarnan was revealing that he, too, was a synaesthete, like his elder brother, Ainan. His choice of the word “see”, rather than “hear”, was not a youthful accident, but deliberate choice. Tiarnan was seeing the sound.
“You are confused.”, said, Syahidah, confusing him.
Tiarnan frowned. “I hear the bus.”, he said, seemingly unhappy with the choice of words.
“Don’t do that, Syahidah…you are confusing him. He sees the sound of the bus…he is a synaesthete.”
I was reminded, then, of the first time Tiarnan had hinted that he might be a synaesthete. He had been in my bathroom, at night, when I had turned on the radio in the bedroom beyond. Suddenly, I heard his excited voice: “I can see the music!”, he had exclaimed. He then ran into the room, repeating himself: “I see the music!”. That was, perhaps, six months ago, and he hadn’t mentioned his perceptions since.
Later on, yesterday, after dinner, I questioned Tiarnan a little to confirm what I now thought to be the case.
He was banging a spoon against a plate.
“What do you see?”, I asked.
My expectation that he would see something, not hear it, seemed to open him up to discussing it.
“I see a flying colour.”, he explained, seriously.
“That one!”, he said pointing at the tablecloth, which had many colours on it. It wasn’t clear which he was referring to.
Then, I took the spoon and hit it gently against the plate.
“What colour do you see?”
“Gold.”, he said, “gold.”
I needed no further confirmation. Tiarnan is a musical synaesthete, one experiencing sounds as colours. Does he have any other forms of synaesthesia? Perhaps so. His eldest brother, Ainan has several types. I will just have to observe Tiarnan closely in the coming months and years, to work out just what kind of perceptions he has.
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To learn more of Ainan Celeste Cawley, 10, or his gifted brothers, Fintan, 7 and Tiarnan, 4, this month, please go to: http://scientific-child-prodigy.blogspot.com/2006/10/scientific-child-prodigy-guide.html
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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