I do have one of these children. What helped me most to understand him is this. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISTJ see also: Keirsey Temperament Sorter (especially for ISTJ types)
My son (who I believe to be an ISTJ type) and I lock heads more often than the other children, but that has to do with the fact that we are slightly different but both very strong types. He clearly likes to lead. I am more intuitive, which means I read peoples' needs. He is not that way oriented, and when I express out loud that I sense a need coming from someone, he laughs that I think too much of myself, and that I claim to be a mind reader. Well, luckily I am not there yet with my claims, but I do have some abilities that I wish he had, and some days I would not mind having the abilities he possesses. So there is mutual respect.
Your child may be different and aware but it may not necessarily be in the ways you are thinking. My 16 year old who resembles your child for example clearly brought forth some anxieties from a past life, which I did not become aware of until less than a year ago. He is not aware of his past lives. When I pointed out that his fear of cars is really a fear of the road side (not the cars), he just brushed it off, because my explanation for my theory was not factual enough for him. It was my inner knowing as a result of an enlightenment process, that if he were aware of past lives, he would have an easier time accepting. I find my son not to be aware of his past lives. Yet in most respects that you describe he sound like your child.
The more you learn about how he operates best, the less you will lock heads. We still do. In fact it happened just yesterday. ISTJs are very self-directed and good luck trying to tell them at an early age that just because they are highly intelligent they may be disregarding information from a mature adult that could benefit them. They are highly focused and if something is not related to their area of concentration, they can rudely reject it. I keep telling my kid that it is the "rudely" part that I object to, not that he is discriminating as to what information to accept or reject.
You sound intuitive though, and that ability will be a tremendous help to you. If this child was sent here to work out some past life issues, you are more likely to be able to assist him with that than another personality type. If you don't look up the information I referred to, you will likely come to that later in life on your own. (intuitives tend to find the information they need one way or another). I just thought I save you the time and hassle as well as some unnecessary frustrations.
Parents like you who are interested in where their kids are coming from and how and what they are thinking will have less problems when the teen years come around. Now is the time to do your homework. By the time they are sixteen good luck trying to reach them.
My toughest task with this youngster is to teach him humility as well as compassion. Time will tell if I will succeed.