Do you sometimes look at your gifted kids and think just….whaaaaa’?

Or maybe wonder why you thought becoming a parent was a good idea?

Or are convinced that one of these days those kids are actually going to break your brain?

You’re in good company.

I’m Jen Merrill, and you have found Laughing at Chaos, where wildly different is perfectly normal. I ramble on giftedness and  twice-exceptionalities; on the joys and frustrations of homeschooling; on the eternal quest for life balance; on raising boys; on the uber-silliness that is life, the universe, and everything. I try to find the silver lining, to laugh to keep from screaming, to share the stories of my crazy life so that others know they’re not alone in their crazy lives.

In August 2012 I became a real-life published writer. If This is a Gift, Can I Send It Back?: Surviving in the Land of the Gifted and Twice-Exceptional has received strong and heartfelt reviews, and was proof that hard work + duct taping the children to the garage = a piece of writing of which to be proud. My second book, on self-care and the needs of parents as they raise these amazing children, will be released summer 2014 as soon as I finish writing it; the boys have figured out how to get out from under the duct tape.

You can contact me at laughingatchaos AT gmail DOT com. Or follow me on Twitter. Or join the fun at the Laughing at Chaos Facebook page. Or read and comment on every post here. Go ahead. You have nothing else to do, right?

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  1. Win Marsh

    I just happened across your site. THANK YOU!!!!

    My 15 yo daughter has run out of high school math and science classes. She is moving into college dorms next fall to start a dual enrollment program. She has mild Aspergers, mild Tourette’s tics and a whole lot of OCD. While the other girls are talking about hair and makeup, she is talking about photons and astrophysics. There is nothing wrong with either conversation … But they are very different conversations.

    Have we pushed her through school? No. We have tried to delay her as long as possible. We have tried to let her be a child for as long as we could. At this point, our choices are limited. The local high school has AP classes but it would be a horrible social fit. We could home-school her and increase her social isolation. We could send her to the local junior college which would be an equally awkward socal fit .. Or we can send her to the dual enrollment program. It gives her to the chance to socialize with other teens her age, to pursue classes that she is interested in, and to grow in ways that she cannot at home. It also means we as parents have to give her up sooner that we want.

    Raising a twice exceptional child had to be one of the most socially isolating experiences a family can go through. She is our last .. And our only child still home. To compare her raising to that of a neuro-typical “bright” student — there just isn’t a comparison. Our older daughter was a gifted and talented student. She has a degree in engineering … But she was nothing like her little sister. This is a different planet. Different rules. Different kind of thinking. This is extreme intellect/brilliance mixed with social delays and anxieties. This is TOUGH .. But worth it.

  1. The Birth of A Homeschooler! | freeplaylife.com

    […] opportunity to watch the birth of a new homeschooler. Naturally, it will be a home birth. And my good friend Jen, who is both doing the birthing AND being born, has invited us all in to watch the process happen! […]

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