For gifted children, being intelligent can have dark implications

Something that bit me in the ass a fair bit as a kid. School very nearly killed me a few times, because the bullying got so bad and I was so different and couldn’t understand how to be ‘normal’ or if I even wanted to be.

Calgary Herald

Reed Ball started playing Monopoly with his family at age three—and beat them. In the early 1980s, he was one of the first kids to have a “portable” computer, a 10-kilogram Amstrad PPC512. Reed brought it to class until one of the school’s bullies knocked it out of his hands and down a stairwell.

Reed was a math whiz, and used to correct his teachers’ science errors. When they warned him he would get lead poisoning if he kept stabbing at his own arm with a pencil, Reed replied, “actually, it is graphite.” Just before he graduated from high school in 1991, Reed developed software for a major oil company that converted old blueprints into working documents. He began his studies for a degree in mathematics that September, but flunked out a year later. Then, when he was 21 years old, Reed Ball swallowed a bottle of sleeping pills. He…

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