Video – Newtown boy shows impressive cartography skill

Young Oscar Canning has become an internet sensation after a video of him naming a series of countries in a blank map of Europe has amassed almost 2,000 views through social media.

A VIDEO featuring an eight-year-old boy from Newtownstewart has gone viral, after it showed him displaying some extraordinary cartography skills.

Oscar Canning, who has ASD (autism spectrum disorder) and who attends St Patrick’s Primary School in the town, was recorded by his mum Ashlene as he worked his way through a map, naming a series of countries in Europe. But what makes his feat all the more impressive was that the map was blank – without notation or country name.


So far, the clip has garnered almost 2,000 views through social media.

“He just picked up the map and started naming countries,” Ashlene explained.

“We were on our way back from Disneyland Paris with Strabane Autism Network-National Autistic Society (SAN-NAS) and the map was one he found on the flight. It really was one of those wow moments.

“Then I took the map home so he could show his dad and we videoed him doing it in his room.”

Apparently, Oscar’s ability for country recognition comes from his interest in history.

Ashlene continued, “He’s well versed in the first and second world wars, so we think that’s where it comes from.

“He tends to give us these goosebump moments every so often. Like when he shocked a South African pediatrician recently when he started talking about the Boer War. And he was able to tell her the year Nelson Mandela was born – 1918.”


Ashlene experienced another one of Oscar’s wow moments with his response to her on the morning she told him that his video was about to hit 1,500 views on-line. He said, “Autism really is quite special mum, well, apart from when it goes to Asda.”



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