Highly Gifted quick facts: http://www.gifteddevelopment.com/Articles/Catalog%20Articles/Highly%20Gifted/AStudyOf241ExtraordGC.htm
This article (The View from Within http://www.nswagtc.org.au/info/definitions/asynchrony.htm) was particularly relevant to some of my past experiences. Specifically,
Giftedness is asynchronous development in which advanced cognitive abilities and heightened intensity combine to create inner experiences and awareness that are qualitatively different from the norm. This asynchrony increases with higher intellectual capacity. The uniqueness of the gifted renders them particularly vulnerable and requires modifications in parenting, teaching and counselling in order for them to develop optimally. (The Columbus Group, 1991)
If development is perceived as a life-long process, giftedness can then be understood as producing atypical development throughout the lifespan in terms of awareness, perceptions, emotional responses, and life experiences. This places the gifted individual developmentally out of sync both internally, in relation to the different aspects of development, and externally, in relation to cultural expectations.
This definition of giftedness allows penetration beyond behavioural achievement or non-achievement. Achievement remains an interesting and significant expression of giftedness, and it continues to be important to examine whether it occurs and why or why not. Nevertheless, it is neither the essence of giftedness nor the most important aspect of it. The Columbus Group definition calls for a shift of focus from the external products of giftedness to the true nature of the phenomenon itself. This shift to a view from within is an important move towards both understanding giftedness and understanding our gifted.
This is the first sensible thing I've seen talking about the qualitative experiential difference in how we perceive and live life. It's not really faster; it's incomparably different. This is also how we recognize each other, the bright eyes across the room.