Dear Dr. Sylvia: Complicated Student Needs Full Evaluation

Dear Dr. Sylvia:

I’m fairly new to the field of gifted education. I have a few underachieving students, but one who is an extreme underachiever. He’s a gifted seventh grader and will likely be diagnosed with Asperger’s. He’s also depressed and has attention and oppositional issues. He has begun to see a counselor recently, and it’s going well. But this student is failing nearly all his classes. 

Many accommodations have been made for him. He’s doing independent study in many classes to help enrich and accelerate him. Still, he frequently argues, becomes easily distracted, and falls asleep during class. I hate to push him in the direction of too many more independent activities because he lacks friends. Other children find him stra...


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About Sylvia Rimm

Dr. Sylvia Rimm is a child psychologist and clinical professor at Case University School of Medicine, author, newspaper and magazine columnist, and radio/TV personality. For a free newsletter entitled So Your Child is Gifted!, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope and a note with your request to P.O. Box 32, Watertown, WI, 53094. Read Dr. Rimm’s articles on this topic and submit family questions online at All questions are answered.