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, April 14, 2007

David Beckham, footballer and legend.

David Beckham. You didn't expect me to write those words, did you? Well, neither did I. It is just that I couldn't resist after hearing something about David Beckham, yesterday.

David Beckham is one of the most famous young men on Earth - but would you think of him as one of the brightest, too? Anyone who knew anything of him, from his interviews, is unlikely to think so. He comes across as a sweet but tongue-tied man, who finds it diffficult to express himself coherently in words. Yet, if there is one thing he is good at, it is PR. Either it is public relations, at work, or the global effect of Chinese Whispers has led to an interesting view of David Beckham, here in Singapore. Yesterday, a girl from Indonesia, who was twenty years old, told me this about David's life: "He went to Oxford University, but left without finishing his degree, because he wanted to focus on his football."

I greeted this with a long, almost reverent silence, that anyone could believe such a thing. Then I asked her: "Who told you that David Beckham went to Oxford?"

She couldn't remember where she got the information - but was sure of it. Now, either she had read it in a mistaken journalist's article - or had heard it from another, sometime - or she had imagined it. She was unable to source her knowledge. Yet, "know" it, she did.

Now, if you know anything about Oxford University, you would know how immensely difficult it is to get in. It is challenge as unlikely in its own way as becoming a leading professional footballer - but it is a very different kind of challenge. I cannot imagine, in anyway, that Beckham was ever a serious candidate for Oxford University - nor that he could have gained entrance. The internet confirms my view in that I couldn't find a confirmatory story. Indeed, he was a footballer by the age of 17 and, not being a child prodigy, did not have time to go to Oxford before then. So, clearly, this story about Beckham's aborted academic career is just that - a fiction, an urban legend of Indonesia. The question is, where did it come from? Was it a published source, perhaps the result of cheeky PR...or was it a mistaken journalist, perhaps conflating life stories, accidentally and coming up with this amazing tale - or was it a rumour started by an idolizing fan, for whom Beckham was a God? We shall never know, but it does point up one of the strange things that happens to the famous: people relate with confidence, information about them, which simply isn't true. Strangers adorn the life story of the famous one with embellishments and details, adoring additions that create something other than an image of the real person. Perhaps this only happens with a certain kind of celebrity. Perhaps it only happens with those who have popular mass appeal. I feel doubtful that it would happen to a serious individual famous for very sobre achievements - such as Richard Feynman. It may occur - but I somehow doubt it. However, whether or not it is a universal phenomenon of the famous - it is certain that it happens to some of them - and one of the victims of this is David Beckham, here in Asia.

I don't know how widespread this "information" about David Beckham is - but Indonesia is a very populous country (of almost a quarter of a billion people) and my informant came from a small town in Indonesia. It is a remarkable testament to the power of the media that she knew who Beckham was considering her isolated origins - but it is also an indication that perhaps this tale about Beckham's Oxford University days is widespread. If it is the product of a rumour, the rumour monger is, statistically, more likely to have come from a large city. Therefore, if this is so, the fact that the rumour had spread to a small town, in an isolated area, indicates that the rumour has spread far. This reasoning brings us to the hilarious conclusion that many Indonesians might believe that David Beckham, a man of no academic background or pretensions whatsoever, was an Oxford University drop-out.

I wonder what else is believed of Beckham around the world? What a strange thing fame can be.

(If you would like to read about Ainan Celeste Cawley, a scientific child prodigy, aged seven years and four months, or his gifted brothers, Fintan, three, and Tiarnan, fourteen months, please go to: I also write of gifted education, IQ, intelligence, child prodigy, child genius, baby genius, adult genius, savant, the creatively gifted, gifted adults and gifted children in general. Thanks.)

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 11:04 AM  2 comments

Leonardo's view of Humanity

Yesterday, someone from America made the funniest search I have ever seen. He or she searched with the words: "Why did Leonardo da Vinci think people existed?" This is a reversal of the question posed by one of my posts: Did Leonardo da Vinci exist? Clearly they knew of the post and were responding to it in the most hilarious of ways...yet, I thought about their words - and they have a point.

What would Leonardo da Vinci have thought of the common man, he encountered? What would he have made of the gulf in ability between himself and others? I don't think his views on the matter have been recorded but his case points up the problems the extremely gifted have of relating to others in the world. What could Leonardo da Vinci have found to interest him in the conversation of a typical person of his time? Nothing at all, I would suppose. However, he was fortunate to be famous and well-regarded for this would have given him access to other famous and well-regarded people. He knew, for instance, the King of France - no slouch himself, one would think - and many other brilliant people - so he would have found interesting minds to engage with, because of his social position. Yet, the problem of the common man would have remained. What would Leonardo have thought of their inability compared to him? The comical searcher was not only making a funny search, but making a funny point - if Leonardo was so special that others might doubt the truth of his existence, because he just seems so unlikely, we have to remember that he would have thought of himself as normal - and the others as somehow lacking (from his point of view). Perhaps, indeed, he had puzzled at this disparity - and wondered at the existence of such a difference.

All gifted children and adult must come to terms with this difference between themselves and others. Perhaps the best adjustment is just to accept others as they are - without bemoaning their lack of certain abilities the gifted one might possess. There are other reasons to find someone of interest apart from the quality of their mind. They might be sweet-natured or pleasant to be with. They might be considerate or kind, good or loyal. They might have any number of qualities to be admired that do not depend on raw intelligence. Perhaps it is in these ways that Leonardo adjusted to the world. It is in these ways that any gifted child - or adult - however gifted, can also make an adjustment to the world and its people and come to accept them for what they are.

Yet, I can't help but feel that it must have been difficult, in some ways, to be Leonardo da Vinci.

(If you would like to read about Ainan Celeste Cawley, a scientific child prodigy, aged seven years and four months, or his gifted brothers, Fintan, three and Tiarnan, fourteen months, please go to: I also write of gifted education, IQ, intelligence, child prodigy, child genius, baby genius, adult genius, savant, the creatively gifted, gifted adults and gifted children. Thanks.)

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 7:49 AM  2 comments

Friday, April 13, 2007

Reactions to Ainan in Indonesia

My wife spotted something funny on an Indonesian news site today. They had picked up on the story on Ainan and written a piece in Bahasa Indonesia on him. That, in itself was not surprising. What was, however, was the news category that they had filed him under. Can you guess?

Well, they had filed him as "Strange but true"!

It is curious the way different cultures react to Ainan's precociousness. In Indonesia the reaction is one of marvel. The piece was very sincere, which was warming to read. Thanks to the journalist who wrote it.

(If you would like to read more of Ainan Celeste Cawley, a scientific child prodigy, aged seven years and four months, or his gifted brothers, please go to: I also write of child prodigy, IQ, giftedness, intelligence, child genius, baby genius, adult genius, savant, the creatively gifted, gifted adults and gifted children in general. Thanks.)

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 8:25 PM  0 comments

Those who will never understand

An imaginative child or adult has a very special gift. It is one that allows the gifted one to alter the world, inside, to see things anew and to envisage what has not been, but might yet be. It is the foundation of all artistic and much scientific creativity: the imagination itself.

Imagination is not equally distributed among the gifted. There are gifted children who don't possess much of it: they are bright but not given to imaginative thought. Then there are imaginative children who rarely stop imagining. In a welcoming world there is room for all types. Yet, there is a problem. The unimaginative can never understand the imaginative. Why do I say this: well, it is obvious that someone who is unimaginative cannot conceive of what an imaginative person is like to be. Why is this? Well, simply because, you guessed it, they lack the imagination to do so!

Why should this be a problem? Well, it can be a big social issue for a child if they are imaginative but living in an unimaginative social context - and this happens more often than you might suppose. For it is clear that the unimaginative children - or adults - around them, might suppose the child somehow to be "ill" because of their propensity to disregard bald reality in preference for something more interesting. Clearly, on a social level this can lead to much misunderstanding and unhappiness, but there is a greater danger. What if such a child encounters an unimaginative "professional" - working in the psychological arena? All sorts of terrible outcomes could result, simply because the "professional" lacks the imagination to truly understand what kind of child - or adult - is before them. There may very well be a tendency to mislabel them - when all that is happening is that the imaginative child - or adult - is being creative with the world, playing with it, seeing it in new ways.

So, if your child is imaginative, be on guard to protect them from the unimaginative responses they might receive: the unimaginative can be directly harmful to the imaginative, especially in terms of social response - and never, ever take them anywhere near a dull, prosaic, unimaginative professional.

This post is an extension and development of a response to Kathy, who posted something under my post about a child's imagination, recently.


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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 8:53 AM  0 comments

Thursday, April 12, 2007

On "All-rounders" and specialists

Some gifted children are good at everything. They shine at whatever they attempt. Others seem handcrafted by some divine power, for one task and one task alone - a gift so narrow it has but a single name. Why is this so?

Well, one need only begin to think about what it means to be gifted. Each gift must be supported by a neural network. It would seem a fair proposal that those who have a greater gift must have a greater number of or complexity of neurons supporting that greater gift. There lies the problem. Each gift we possess competes with every other gift for space in our brains. Each operation of our very complex bodies is co-ordinated in some manner or degree by a part of our brain. Some of these brain functions are non-negotiable basic life support functions. They cannot be given up for another purpose. Therefore, after all the brain space is allotted, one could conclude that the space available for the cultivation of gifts may be more limited than one might suppose. Each gift is reflected in allotted brain space. A range of gifts would require a range of allotments. At some point, these gifts would begin to compete with each other for space - unless they have overlapping functions that might allow dual use of space in some way.

So how is it that some people have many gifts - and others have but one? (Not forgetting that many people appear to have no distinctive gift at all.) It could all be down to brain size and the distribution of brain space among gifts. Some people have larger brains than others. My own family, for instance, contains many people with fairly large heads - and so, presumably larger than usual brains. There is, in fact, a known positive correlation between brain size and IQ (which I could rediscover and post another time). Yet, that is not the whole story. Perhaps a great gift - a truly great gift - may require too much of the available brain space to support and so might compromise other areas of intellectual function to accommodate it - unless, of course, the brain were unusually large and able to make accommodation for all demands. However, it is clear, in the case in which a great gift exists in a brain that does not have enough space to accommodate any or many other gifts, that there would have to be compromises in other areas. Thus, there would arise people who are outstanding in some respects - truly great - but somewhat more limited in others, simply because of inadequate mental resources to cope with all demands.

The reasoning, so far, has been my own. The question is: can we observe such people in the world? Are there people of great gift who are limited in other ways? Without having to name anyone in particular, we all have the sense that this is so - from having met people who partially or wholly represent this phenomenon. We all know of a mathematically gifted person who was hopeless with anything literary - or the literary type who was hopeless mathematically. Indeed, this type of one sided person seems to be more common in my childhood memories of school than the "all-rounder". I was an all-rounder - and remain so - but there were few of us in my school, very few.

Why do I post on this? Well, a searcher arrived on my site today with the search: "Training children to be all-rounders". I have stated my reasoning above so that I might observe, now, that training a child to be an all-rounder - who isn't naturally one, by dint of the possession of a plenitude of neural resources - may involve compromises. It is possible that, in becoming an all-rounder, they might end up less good at the one thing they would have been really good at, if they had been left alone. The brain's resources are logically limited, after all. Perhaps it is better to let the inclinations of the child guide his or her education. Deep down, every child knows if they are a naturally endowed "all-rounder" or whether it is better for them to dig a single deep furrow, at which they might shine above all others.

Just as I don't believe that any gifted child can be a genius at any one thing, I don't believe that any gifted child can be an all-rounder, either. The capacities that lead to these results are, I believe, from what I have observed in the world around me, essentially innate. The "training" that this searcher sought should always, therefore, be directed to nurture whatever is natural in that child. Careful observation of the child should be enough to determine whether they naturally lean to specialization or generalization. The issue should definitely not be forced. From my argument above, it may even cause a variety of harm to do so: for the brain might be forced to make compromises in the distribution of resources which are not, ultimately, beneficial.

Best wishes, all, on raising your children as they are meant to be raised: according to their individual needs.

(If you would like to read of Ainan Celeste Cawley, a scientific child prodigy, aged seven years and four months, or his gifted brothers, please go to: I also write of gifted education, IQ, intelligence, child prodigy, child genius, baby genius, adult genius, savant, the creatively gifted, gifted children and gifted adults in general. Thanks.)

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 8:22 PM  0 comments

Raffles Institution offer to help

Very good news: Raffles Institution, after debating among themselves, have offered to help Ainan. We couldn't be more pleased.

They have indicated that two decisions have been made: one is to find Ainan a mentor; the other is to see how they can accommodate Ainan in a lab. They have even demonstrated a willingness to make whatever "adjustments to his workspace" that would be necessary to allow him to work in safety, in the lab environment.

There are just some final details to sort out, relating mainly to timings - but it seems that, at very long last, Ainan will be able to begin to learn the practical aspects of his chosen science: Chemistry.

Our thanks to Raffles Institution for their open-ness and generosity in making their facilities available to Ainan.

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 8:52 AM  2 comments

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Fintan chooses his colours

Today Fintan, three, dressed as a Power Ranger to go shopping with us. It is a normal occurrence in life with Fintan, to be accompanied by some variety of Super Hero. He prefers the attire of such people to his everyday clothing and will change out of his school clothes in the afternoon, after school, and slip into one of his Alter Egos or true identities. We, of course, accept this without question.

Anyway, today he was a blue, yellow and white Power Ranger. That was not what I thought was unusual. What I did notice was two straws that he had selected, somewhat earlier. He had been given the choice of many colours - and what did he select?

He chose yellow and blue - in shades that perfectly matched his outfit. He then joined them end to end to make a kind of sword in blue and yellow, that co-ordinated perfectly with his Power Ranger costume.

It was a small touch - but one that captures Fintan's outlook very well. He is not only fashion conscious - but he carries his personal aesthetic over into everything he does. Even the choice of a straw is made against the backdrop of how it would look with what he was wearing at the time.

One day, his wife is going to be very happy to have a man who can advise her on what she is wearing!

I am becoming more and more convinced, as the months pass, that Fintan will be some kind of artist. He already is in his way of looking at things - and it peeps through in much of his behaviour. He makes choices and does things that could only arise from conscious aesthetic decision-making. They are choices that would only be made if his thinking were along aesthetic lines, following some internal sense of taste. It is very interesting to watch this growing in him.

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 10:22 PM  4 comments

The power of the unconscious

It was four months ago, now, when Tiarnan was but ten months old, and I haven't found a moment to tell the tale, until now.

We had become accustomed by that time, to see Tiarnan go comfortably down the stairs on his own. After all, he had first tackled the stairs successfully at five months and so we had come to see little reason to fear his meanderings up and down stairs: he had clearly mastered the skill.

That morning however, as I was talking to my wife, Tiarnan approached the stairs, a few metres away, in the background. Some uncanny feeling alerted me that all was not as it should be. There was something about his gait, about his angle and speed of approach that concerned me. Just as he stepped out into the air, it became clear that he had misjudged it - he was falling down the stairs, headfirst.

I don't know what happened in that moment. Some old part of me awoke. A more youthful part. A very much faster part of me that I had thought lost long ago, in my teens, aroused itself. I leapt forward with a speed I did not know I still possessed, crossed those few metres and reached out with my left hand and closed my fist tight about his shirt, as he fell down the stairs. To my astonishment, that of my wife - and no doubt that of Tiarnan himself - I found myself clutching my ten month old baby with his face suspended above the steps, inches from contact. He had not struck the stairs at all. All that movement of body and arm and snaring of baby had happened in a time too short to consciously observe - and yet there he was, floating in space above the steps, held by my reflexively tight fist.

It has been many years since I had moved like that - many years since I thought I still could. Grateful to whatever within me had saved him, I set Tiarnan down on the ground above the steps. He was completely unharmed.

Had he fallen down the steps headfirst, he might be another Tiarnan today - one very much lessened by the incident.

I am thankful that it did not happen.

(If you would like to read more about Tiarnan, or his gifted brothers, including Ainan Celeste Cawley, a scientific child prodigy, aged seven years and four months, and Fintan, three, please go to: I also write of child prodigy, gifted education, IQ, intelligence, child genius, baby genius, adult genius, savant, the creatively gifted, gifted adults and gifted children in general. Thanks.)

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 8:52 AM  2 comments

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Not everyone helps a prodigy

Anyone who has ever parented a prodigious child - or one that is highly gifted or above, will know how difficult it is to meet the child's requirements, without also meeting incomprehension from others. This particularly arises in regards to their education.

We have been searching for a lab to secure practical experience for Ainan in Chemistry, now, for ten months. It hasn't been easy finding one simply because many people are not open to anything new or different - or for that matter anyone new or different. Most of our search was before the Gifted Education Programme got involved so we hope, now, that matters will quickly come to a successful conclusion and Ainan will be able to begin learning the practical skills that are an essential part of any Chemistry education - for ultimately, Chemistry is a very practical science.

We have encountered some really not very bright reactions to Ainan's gift. One of them came from the "Singapore Institute of Science" - a small private school that claims to be a leader in teaching children science. Well, they aren't taking the lead in the case of Ainan. They showed themselves to be unwilling to make adjustments for him and actually declined to help - after much initial promise - with the words: "He won't blend in with the others."

I found those words most chilling to hear. For what do they say: that all children must be the same; that any difference is to be discouraged; that those who stand out should stand back in, again. Those are the words that lead to a world in which nothing new ever happens, in which no-one of gift ever prospers. They are the creed of Conformity.

This private science school was declining to help educate Ainan because he is seven years old - and the other students will be about seventeen or eighteen. I find that closed-mindedness incredible. How can he predict the reaction of the other students before they have even met Ainan? Would they not be curious? Might they not be friendly? Ainan is an amicable sort and I doubt that he would have nearly as much trouble fitting in as Thomas Jacobs, of the Singapore Institute of Science imagined. After an initial surprise and period of adjustment, I think it likely that any reasonably balanced eighteen year old would accept Ainan's presence.

There was another reason he gave which is equally unthinking. "He is too short...our benches are tall..would he be able to reach?"

Well, long ago, somebody invented the chair. Get him a taller one. Or give him a box to stand on. This takes little thought and little effort to compensate for...but no willingness to accommodate exists in that particular institution.

I give this story as an eye-opener to the sort of manufactured problems that a young child faces if they are "radically accelerated". I say manufactured problems because they are only problems if the person mentioning them is unwilling to make an adjustment for them. Basically, the problem is not the problem, the attitude of the person raising the "problem" is.

It was disappointing that they did not allow him to attend the course...but in a way I am not surprised. You see when Ainan met their Chemistry teacher, the teacher was totally unable to speak to Ainan: he couldn't engage him in conversation at all, since he had no idea how to relate to a child of Ainan's age (or, even, I would suggest, a child of any age). That is another problem with teaching the gifted young, which I shall, perhaps, address in another post.

Singapore is bigger than one Institute - and there are a variety of attitudes towards giftedness. We remain hopeful that we will find a Institution, College or School willing to open its doors to Ainan and allow him to further his gift for science.

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 10:34 AM  4 comments

Fintan's reaction to the blog

Yesterday Fintan, three, looked over his mummy's shoulder and saw the blog, on the screen. He stared more intently at what he saw - and then he exclaimed: "Fintan!?", his face alive with warmth as he realized that his name was mentioned on the screen.

Some people have wondered about how my children react to the blog. Well, yesterday Fintan showed, most clearly, how he felt. He was touched that his Daddy was writing about him. I think he understood it in terms of one caring enough to make the consistent effort to record his actions and thoughts - and that warmed him.

I need no more encouragement than that.

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 8:53 AM  0 comments

Monday, April 09, 2007

A dinosaur in Singapore

Two days ago, Fintan, three, was at the pool with us. He had been in the water for some time, and had come out to talk to us - and ready himself for departure.

Suddenly he looked down at the floor and saw some smudged watermarks. He peered closely then looked up, sure of his find: "Dinosaur footprints!" he declaimed, of the marks on the ground, no doubt imagining the critter having just run around the corner. He looked again, and noting their small size said: "Baby dinosaurs!"

Fintan's world is an imaginative one - and one that I like, thereby. He doesn't just live in Singapore - he lives near the "jungle" - where anything can happen, and many a thing does live. His world is more alive than the real world, more filled with possibility - and it is wonderful to see it. I hope that it is ever that way and that he doesn't become like most adults who exclude the possibility of the fantastic from their minds with dull automaticity. I would like to see him continue on this imaginative path and become a creative adult one day, like many of his relatives. It would, I think, suit him.

I didn't cast doubt, therefore, on his assessment that a baby dinosaur had left those watery footprints, for his view was a better, more interesting one than the truth. His view was one that entertained a possibility that others might not. His view was one that allowed him to imagine a world that was not, but which would be more interesting than the one in which we live.

Of course, there was another reason why he might think of those somewhat rounded half dried footprints as dinosaurian - for long ago, as I have explained in a previous post, he saw a "baby dinosaur" one day - actually a large lizard. This peopled his world with the possibility that dinosaurs might be just around the corner. He is not at fault for this view - for I introduced the lizard to him as a "baby dinosaur" - for it made perfect a "dinosaur hunt" one day.

Many children believe in fairies and ghosts and the like. I have a son who believes in dinosaurs. Well, at least there are lizards, today - which look awfully like them - and at least they did actually live - one day.

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 7:04 AM  0 comments

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Happy Easter All!

Easter is celebrated in Singapore, just as they celebrate the festivals of the other major religions. Here, Good Friday was a national holiday and today, the nation is snug in their homes (and churches) eating Easter eggs.

I tried to buy some Easter eggs yesterday and so went to the local supermarket. It seemed that a few hundred people had had the same idea before me: the shelves were empty of Easter eggs - which speaks of either under-stocking (quite possible) or a higher than expected demand. All that were left were mini-eggs and those eggs that have a "surprise" in them. We duly bought those.

Last night we hid them about the house, so that the children could have an egg hunt on Easter morning. Fintan found one almost immediately, with barely an effort (Mr. Eagle Eye, again!), but it was not so easy for Ainan, with a few minutes passing before he found his first. It was a fun way to spend the morning...and their efforts were rewarded by the sweet taste of chocolate.

Anyway, have a Happy Easter everyone...wherever you are.

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 1:04 PM  0 comments

Fintan's cartoon watching

Fintan likes to watch cartoons. Since he is only three there is nothing unusual in that. However, there is something unusual in what he chooses to do in relation to cartoons.

On watching him do so, we note that he interacts well with the cartoon: he laughs when he should, is surprised when he should be, leans forward when the action gets intense - and so on. Clearly he understands well, what is going on in the cartoon. There is nothing unusual about that you might think.

The only thing is the cartoons are in Chinese. This is what we found surprising. Fintan seems to understand Chinese cartoons - yet neither of his parents speaks Chinese to him. I rather think that he has a gift for languages - and the little Chinese he does hear, in school, is enough for him to begin to piece together an understanding of this difficult (for a Westerner) language.

Carry on cartoon watching Fintan - in whatever language you please!

(If you would like to read more of Fintan, three, or his gifted brothers, Ainan Celeste Cawley, a scientific child prodigy, aged seven years and four months, or Tiarnan, fourteen months, please go to: I also write of gifted education, IQ, intelligence, child prodigy, child genius, baby genius, adult genius, savant, the creatively gifted, gifted children and gifted adults in general. Thanks.)

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 10:13 AM  0 comments

Why: "Perhaps too many gifts."?

It has been pointed out to me that my own self-description in the left hand bar, might be read as giftist. Why is this?

Well, I say of my own childhood that I had "perhaps too many gifts". This is not meant to attack the idea of having many gifts, it is meant to highlight the problems that arise when one does. Below I post a copy of my comment in regards to the poster who raised this issue:

"I describe myself as having "perhaps too many gifts" because the more gifts you have the more tendency there is to dilute effort across them all, which can, in fact, hamper the gifted child. I was not rueing my gifts: each one was and is precious to me and in some way helps define who I was and am - but I am also aware that fewer gifts may have led to quicker results through greater focus. That was my point."

So, I hope you can see that is not being giftist - this is just being realistic about the effects on one's allocation of time and energy that having many gifts has. Those of fewer gifts have a natural advantage when it comes to making effective use of them because more time can be focussed on each one. That is all.

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 10:07 AM  0 comments

Why: "The Boy Who Knew Too Much"?

It seems from some of the comments I have received, over the months, that the meaning behind my blog title is not as universally understood as I would like. To clarify a little I am going to post a copy of a comment in response to one puzzled commenter:

"The title of my blog is meant to capture the sense one gets on talking to Ainan that no-one could possibly know so much. It is not meant to propose the idea that he should know less. Naming a blog can be tricky since words may be misinterpreted, or read in ways other than intended. Ainan "knows too much" only in the sense that he creates in a listener the sense that what he does is somehow bordering the impossible...for how can one so young know so much? That is what I wanted to relate.

My title is not giftist - it is a title written from wonder - though I see how it could be misread."

So, my blog title is meant to evoke the wonder that comes from speaking to Ainan, when he chooses to speak his mind. It was never intended to suggest that he be diminished in any way. Thus, it cannot be said to be "Giftist" (a word of my invention, recently).

I hope that answers anyone who has taken exception to the title.

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 9:59 AM  2 comments

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