GIFTED children sometimes fear their own talents - believing their gifts would be resented by their classmates. In one instance, the brother of a gifted child did not want his IQ tested in case he proved extra bright and had to face the kind of problems his brother once did. ''I don't want to know my IQ because I'm afraid my classmates and friends would isolate me if I were tested a smart kid,'' said John Lam Ka-hei. John said he had ''very intelligent classmates who could answer all their teacher's questions'' but were alienated by their peers. John's brother Charlie Lam Ka-wai, identified by the Gifted Education Council as an exceptionally gifted child, faced similar problems when he was in primary school. ''Some of my classmates wouldn't play with me after they heard I had a high IQ,'' 14-year-old Charlie said. When he was in Primary 5, Charlie was sent by his school to the Gifted Children Council for an IQ test. The Hongkong Enrichment Programme for the Gifted in 1990 placed Charlie in the top five per cent of children of high intelligence. But being bright had its setbacks. Charlie's mother Mrs Lam said her son used to be depressed after being teased by classmates, and told her ''going to school was boring''. Fortunately, the situation improved when the boy entered secondary school where not many students knew about his ability. Mrs Lam said Charlie was always curious about things around him and would ask his teachers endless questions. She would feel sorry for her son because she felt that in primary school his gifts went largely unappreciated. She felt his talent and creativity had been ''stifled'' for lack of a suitable education for gifted children. For example, Charlie invented his own way of doing multiplication in primary school but claims he was discouraged from using the advanced method that helped him get answers faster than his classmates. Charlie was born into an average family. His father is a college graduate and his mother completed a Form 5 education. Mrs Lam said Charlie was in most ways like any other child. He can be ''naughty'', and enjoys playing video games. Reading is one of his favourite pastimes. He spends at least one hour every day reading outside his textbooks, and likes to browse around bookshops. He also likes playing chess, badminton and fencing with classmates. He won the marble chess contest in his class and was second runner-up in the badminton competition. He is also fond of music. He has been learning piano since Primary 5, and played percussion instruments in his primary school band. Mrs Lam says she never puts pressure on Charlie. ''Of course, every mother wants her sons to excel. Charlie is a smart kid. If he doesn't make good use of his talent, it will be a waste,'' she said. Mrs Lam says she has to remind Charlie to study, pointing out that he tended to do extremely well in subjects that required ''lots of brain power'', and less well in subjects like history which entail ''plenty of memorising''. Being the mother of a gifted child is not easy, and Mrs Lam often feels pressure herself. ''I feel so helpless sometimes. I want to give him the best, develop his talent as far as possible, but facilities for children like Charlie are not available in Hongkong,'' she said.