DEAR ABBY: I have a 12-year-old son who is academically gifted. He understands, speaks and reads on a much higher level than the sixth-grade program he is in. Unfortunately, the schools in our area are limited in their ability to deal with gifted students.
One teacher told me that the gifted program my son is currently in is not challenging him, while another teacher has suggested he bring down his level of speech, reading, etc., to the level of the other students in his class so that he can fit in more easily.
My concern is that my son will become bored with school and quit, or get so depressed about not fitting in that he may get himself into trouble.
What can I do to foster his intelligence, Abby? Emotionally he is a 12-year-old, but his intellectual capacity is so far advanced, it's becoming difficult to strike the right balance.
All this boy wants is to communicate with kids his own age who have the same abilities and interests that he has. Any suggestions would be appreciated. -- SOUTH CAROLINA MOM
DEAR MOM: Consider hiring a college student to tutor your son -- and perhaps mentor him. He needs contact with people on his intellectual level. He should feel comfortable with who he is -- and he is an academic high achiever who grasps concepts above his grade level. At the same time, encourage him to go out for team sports or join special-interest groups with kids his own age.