I told my son that he was intellectually gifted when he was five because he mentioned thoughts of jumping in front of a car or truck.

He had just started at a very academically demanding school (for a trial) because he wasn’t able to fall asleep at night and his pediatrician suggested that he might need more intellectual stimulation. Our son, then just turned 5 told us that on the first day all of the kids liked him, by the second day they were much cooler and by the third day, they excluded him. He said “It’s like being in a burning building with no windows, doors or even a phone.” These thoughts were all independent to this little kid. He had never been exposed to the issue of suicide through the media or anywhere else.

I spoke to him about how giftedness is not just an academic issue, but also an emotional intensity issue. I explained his academic potential as well as, his emotional vulnerabilities. He has always been very empathetic a concerned for others so I knew he would not use it to brag. However, it did help him deal with the problem of connecting with his peers. He is actually very sociable and gets along well with children who are younger and older than he. His age mates are not extremely accepting of him and of course he forgets 100 compliments in exchange for 1 mean comment. –Now that he is almost 10, he is getting better at letting it go.

My point is, sometimes it helps to have some self-knowledge. He got over his thoughts of suicide soon after we began discussing the issue of IQ and all it’s implications, not just the part about who is smartest in the class.