Child Genius

LIVING – Tuesday 8 November, 8.30pm

At three years old, Mikhail can add in the thousands. At six, Adam is able to solve quadratic equations and is studying A-level chemistry. By five, Michael (now aged 11) was reading Shakespeare and learning Hebrew. Feats like this are staggering. But what makes such an exceptional child? Are they born this way or can parental upbringing have a significant impact on a child’s development? For some, having gifted offspring is a dream come true: a promise of wealth and status. For others it’s a living nightmare as they struggle to handle the repercussions of their prodigy’s superpowers. What will become of these special children?

LIVING – Saturdays from 15 October, 9.30pm

Following the lives of some of Britain’s most gifted children, Child Genius returns to catch up with the incredible young minds a year on. This second series charts the development of the young prodigies and shows some of the problems their ‘gift’ can create.

9:35pm Friday, February 4 on Prime

Documentary

At Thirteen

Tonight we catch up with teenage prodigies Michael, Dante and Aimee. Michael has been a published author since the age of 8 and is now writing his fourth novel. His parents have recently taken him out of school (a temporary measure) and they are now home-educating him so he can pursue his interests in particle physics and Ancient Greek. What’s more, he is taking Anglo-Saxon lessons with an Oxford Professor.

As he learns to be independent from his parents, even doing book readings on his own in front of an audience of grown-up fans, the change from child prodigy to man isn’t always smooth. Life hasn’t been easy in the Minghella household over the past few years. As Dante says, he went through adolescence from the ages of 8-12 and “doesn’t recognise the intellectual concept of parental authority.” His parents have visited a string of therapists, though Dante dismisses therapy as “the opiate of the middle-classes.” Dante is keen to be a neuroscientist so to find out what’s going on in his head, he has an MRI scan but the results aren’t quite what he expected. Aimee was the youngest member of the Royal College of Music at 6; she plays the piano and violin and is also very academic. But her teenage hormones are kicking in, and it means that her relationship with her parents, who have sacrificed everything for her, can sometimes be strained.

9:40pm Friday, January 28 on Prime

Documentary

Young & Gifted

At three years old, Mikhail can add in the thousands. At six, Adam is able to solve quadratic equations and is studying A-level chemistry. By five, Michael (now aged 11) was reading Shakespeare and learning Hebrew. Feats like this are staggering. But what makes such an exceptional child? Are they born this way or can parental upbringing have a significant impact on a child’s development? For some, having gifted offspring is a dream come true: a promise of wealth and status. For others it’s a living nightmare as they struggle to handle the repercussions of their prodigy’s superpowers. What will become of these special children?

Living Channel – Saturday 31 May, 8.30pm

This fascinating documentary takes us inside the lives of Britain’s most gifted children. In this first episode of the series, which intends to revisit the children every two years, we are introduced to the gifted children, such as Mikail Ali, a three year old who is Mensa’s youngest member, and Michael Dowling, an 11-year-old who is already a published children’s author. How will their relationships and happiness pan out as they grow up? And is being a child genius really a gift …or is it actually a curse?
http://www.channel4.com/health/microsites/C/child_genius/