Like a lot of other 12-year-olds, Caleb Anderson of Marietta, Ga., loves outer space.
“I’m fascinated that there’s another world beyond ours. There’s another place. There’s a better place,” he tells NPR.
But unlike most kids his age, he’s a sophomore in college, where he’s studying calculus, U.S. history, humanities and macroeconomics.
He wants to be an aerospace engineer.
“You have the heroes that go on the rockets and fly up to space. But the aerospace engineers, they have their life in their hands. And I really think it’s interesting and amazing that they do that,” he says.
Caleb’s mother, Claire Anderson, says it didn’t take long to see that her son was ahead of the typical baby milestones. When he was just 3 weeks old, she says, he started copying her motions. She got certified in sign language so she could teach it to him.
“Because I thought though that he wanted to communicate, but he didn’t have a [means] or a way to do that. Then he started picking up sign language really fast,” she says. “When he was about 6 months old, he started reading. And by 9 months old he was already signing over 250 words.”
Anderson says Caleb was doing fractions when he was 2. He passed the first grade when he was 3. When time came for middle school, she says, he could have skipped it altogether. “But we still decided to put Caleb into the seventh grade to build social skills and just think about the well-rounded child.”
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