• Bright Child or Gifted?
    Here Are Some Ways to Tell the Difference

    Bright Child 
    Learns new vocabulary easily, and uses words that are age-appropriate.  They tend to take turns in conversation. Have extensive vocabularies, and often choose words that are age-advanced.  They understand nuances other children don't, and they tend to enjoy wordplay.  They often dominate conversation because of their excitement about their ideas.
    Absorb and understand classroom presentations and benefit from drills that help them cement skills and concepts.  Are somewhat patient with rote learning.  Follow directions readily.  Dislike rote learning and drills, because they master what they are supposed to learn very quickly.  Sometimes solve problems backward, gaining the solution by intuition and then working back through the steps required to get to the original question.  Sometimes don't follow directions because they see novel ways of solving problems.   
    Learn in a linear, convergent fashion. Think divergently and rapidly.
    Are energetic and curious and ask a lot of questions.  Sometimes ask the same question more than once. Are voraciously curious, often about many topics.  May want to learn even minuscule details about areas that interest them.  Have such large stores of energy they may think up and execute independent projects.
    Generally stay on-task and are able to complete projects on deadline. May become deeply involved in all aspects of a project and may not finish assignments and projects when they're supposed to.
    Like facts and data presented logically and in sequence Enjoy complexity and may be comfortable with considerable ambiguity.
    Show emotion, but are generally able to get past an upset and explain why they were angry, hurt, or perturbed. Are often emotional, passionate, and deeply empathetic.  Their emotions may get in the way of other areas of thought or work.  
    Have a relatively wide circle of friends and exhibit the social competence to argue with the friend while maintaining the relationship. May invest heavily in a few relationships and be excessively distraught in the face of a disagreement or a friends real or perceived disloyalty.
    Share interests with peers and fit in at school; generally believe that others like them. Usually have high self-esteem, but some may feel so different from their peers, they worry that they'll never fit in, and so may develop low self-esteem, even in the face of high achievement.
    Strive, achieve, and enjoy their accomplishments.  Are seldom worried about being perfect.   May be disappointed in performance because it isn't perfect or because there is so much more to do.  Can be intensely self-critical.
    Have firm opinions about fairness and understand reasoning about what is fair and what is not.  May show concern about fairness and equity far more intensely and on a global scale.  Can grasp subtleties of moral and ethical questions and defend their positions fervently and cogently. 
    Adapted from Helping Gifted Children Soar
    Strip/Hirsch, 2000
    Gifted Psychology Press