Dreher sympathizes with child prodigies and their parents. He talks with "N," a friend with a "severely gifted" child:
Try, he said, to understand what it's like for kids who are so advanced that they can't relate to children their own age. But they don't know why they stand apart; all they know is that they do. They feel like freaks, he said, and in some sense they are freaks. The world tells them that they should just try to get along, and chastises them for being anti-social. N. said that parents often have to endure the well-meaning advice of family members and others who think that they're coddling these hothouse flower children, and the thing to do is to throw 'em in the pool, so to speak, and to make 'em swim.
"What do you do," he told me (and I'm reconstructing this conversation from memory), "with a kid who struggles to do basic math, but who discusses ideas integral to the basis for calculus?