I think it was a classic case of a boy who was just as smart as his elders, well in terms of science and engineering at least, but wasn't very smart at the normal societal things of life. He was odd and didn't know how to mix with others.
They did the same thing with Barclay, though an older version- and much funnier version!
I think Wesley spent a lot of time in the holodeck, just like Barclay. It's the only place people wouldn't tell him to SHUT UP!