|

Expert Iconexpert advice MORE

Gifted and Suicidal

Gifted and Talented Expert Advice from Noreen H. Joslyn, LISW, ACSW

Q: I have an 11-year-old nephew who is extremely gifted. His mother makes sure he is being challenged in many areas; however, he is very socially frustrated with almost all children and many adults. In the last few weeks, his parents discovered that he is suicidal. How can they help him without pulling him away from school and other children?

A: You are right to be so concerned. Sometimes in our attention to educational issues for gifted children, we forget that they often have social issues that are just as challenging -- and trickier to fix! Your nephew definitely needs counseling by a therapist who understands gifted persons. Tell his parents to ask the counselor just how much experience she has had with gifted persons before they take their son to see her. Why is it so important to have a counselor who understands giftedness? Because there is often a sensitivity or intensity in reactions in the gifted that can be misunderstood by those who are not familiar with this. Counseling can be private and can be done on an out-patient basis, so it does not have to remove the boy from school or other children.

Keep in mind that just because a person is extremely gifted, it doesn't mean that he's more prone to depression. There is a depth and sensitivity present that your nephew, as a boy entering puberty, needs special help in adjusting to. Encourage his parents not to delay in getting him help. If they are unable to find anyone, contact their state or county's psychological association.

More on: Expert Advice

Noreen Joslyn is a licensed independent social worker in the state of Ohio and is a member of the Academy of Certified Social Workers. She has a master's degree in Social Work, specializing in family and children, from the University of Pittsburgh. She is a psychiatric social worker in private practice with Ken DeLuca, Ph.D. & Associates, where she counsels parents and children.


Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of FamilyEducation.com should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

highlights

3 Fun Thanksgiving Games for Kids
Looking for some great Thanksgiving games to play with your kids? Print our free Pin the Feathers on the Turkey game, Pin the Hat on the Pilgrim game, and Thanksgiving Parade Bingo game for loads of laughs this Turkey Day!

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

Top Family Movies in Theaters for the Holidays
Taking the kids to the movies is a special family treat for the holidays! Don't miss 2014's best family films in theaters from Thanksgiving through Christmas.

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!