Brilliant, but needs special attention

Gifted kids with some form of disability struggle to cope in class

Xavier Wong (seated), 10, with his parents Anthony Wong and Angela Lee, and older brother Zachary. Xavier can solve maths problems meant for children two years older than he is and is a member of high-IQ society Mensa. But he also has mild attention-
Xavier Wong (seated), 10, with his parents Anthony Wong and Angela Lee, and older brother Zachary. Xavier can solve maths problems meant for children two years older than he is and is a member of high-IQ society Mensa. But he also has mild attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and used to be disruptive in class. PHOTO: LIN ZHAOWEI FOR THE STRAITS TIMES
Xavier Wong, 10, has learnt techniques to control his impulses and runs at recess to burn off excess energy.
Xavier Wong, 10, has learnt techniques to control his impulses and runs at recess to burn off excess energy. PHOTO: LIN ZHAOWEI FOR THE STRAITS TIMES
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Hong Wen School pupil Xavier Wong is able to solve mathematics questions that are two years above his current Primary 4 level. And his IQ score easily places him in the top 2 per cent of the population.

But the 10-year-old, a member of high-IQ society Mensa Singapore, was also a handful for his teachers back in lower primary.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 10, 2018, with the headline Brilliant, but needs special attention: Gifted kids with disability struggle to cope in class. Subscribe