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Shopping for the holidays can be a headache, but choosing the right gifts for high-ability kids is extra-challenging. Between meal planning and decorating, Jen Merrill found time to pop in with holiday stories and gift ideas, and Emily divulges her darker history as a “peeker.” Shopping for the hard-to-buy-for kids in your life, on this special holiday edition of Mind Matters.

About our guest - Jen Torbeck Merrill is an Illinois-based writer and gifted family advocate. The mom of two teen sons, she homeschooled one and is happily watching her public schooler thrive. She is a music educator by trade, with degrees in Music Education and Flute Performance. Still, long before she picked up a flute as a child, Jen wanted to be a writer. She began that career in 2006, focusing on gifted families and advocacy. Her book, If This is a Gift, Can I Send It Back?: Surviving in the Land of the Gifted and Twice-Exceptional, struck a nerve with families who suspected Jen was living in their closet. Her second book, on the needs of gifted parents and self-care, is in progress.

Jen has branched out into greater advocacy in gifted issues, particularly the needs of parents, personalized learning for gifted and twice-exceptional kids, and giftedness as wiring throughout life.

You can support the podcast and receive subscriber-only benefits at The Mind Matters podcast is available on Facebook and Instagram at Mind Matters Podcast, and on Twitter @MindMattersPod. For more information go to

Thank you for caring about kids.

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