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Uncommon Beauty - Crisis Parenting from Day One Paperback – August 1, 2012

4.9 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


''I planned to read a chapter at bedtime but simply could not stop until I had finished Uncommon Beauty. All readers will learn how to lead more joyful, meaningful lives through Meder's wise and insightful words. Her courageous and caring book is a treasure.''--Joan Laffey, author of Saving Grace

''As a mother of a child with special needs, I know the feeling of being alone and lost. Uncommon Beauty offers readers a helping hand while navigating through times of uncertainty.''--Alysia Hanson, RN

''Margaret Meder provides guidance and information to help parents cope and move forward, making the best decisions possible to care for their medically fragile children, their families, and themselves. . . . Uncommon Beauty touches the soul and nourishes the spirit.''--Deborah Segersten, MSN, RN clinical nurse manager, Trauma and Trauma/Surgical IMC, UWHC Madison WI

''While advocating for her child and maneuvering through complex healthcare systems, Margaret Meder learned many lessons. She shares them here and provides concrete suggestions to help other parents cope with the emotional, psychosocial, and financial challenges of caring for a child with special healthcare needs, providing insights that only a parent who has walked that path could offer.''--Barbara J. Byrne, DNP, RN, PNP-BC, director of Pediatric Nursing and Clinical Services, American Family Children's Hospital

''This wise and beautifully written book provides a practical roadmap for parents navigating the first few years of 'crisis parenting' with a medically fragile child. I recommend Uncommon Beauty to parents, caregivers, healthcare professionals, and anyone interested in a story of courage, strength, and amazing resilience.'' -- --Erica Serlin, PhD, Family Therapy Center of Madison, Adjunct Clinical Faculty-Department of Psychiatry and Psychology, University of Wisconsin Madison

About the Author

Margaret Meder grew up in Madison, Wisconsin. She attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison, earning a bachelor of music degree in 1990. She spent the next sixteen years teaching general and vocal music in the public schools and private lessons. During this time she worked with young children, teenagers, and individuals with special needs. Expanding on these experiences as an educator and musician, Margaret served three years as development director for a nonprofit fine arts organization.

Discovering a void in practical resources on how to survive as a parent of a medically fragile child, Margaret combined her education skills, her love of writing, and her own experiences to create this resource. Her mission is to create accessible resources that provide information, understanding, and inspiration for all parents who find themselves in similar situations. While raising her two children, Margaret pursues the joys in her life: writing, gardening, singing, playing the piano, and--most of all--spending time with her family and friends.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 190 pages
  • Publisher: Beaver's Pond Press; 1 edition (August 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592984878
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592984879
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,384,103 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
When Sarah was born a little over three years ago with Apert Syndrome, I panicked. Life as we knew it halted and did a 180 in the direction of...who knew where? What I wanted was any and every book that could shed light on this new and strange existence, something that would enlighten and encourage so that I didn't feel so alone and lost anymore.

Uncommon Beauty: Crisis Parenting From Day One was a book I wish I had during the weeks following Sarah's birth, which were the most raw and uncomfortable for me. Margaret Meder combines a memoir with self-help to create a refreshing resource for parents who have medically fragile kids. She and her husband had a child, Evan, who was born with Apert Syndrome just like Sarah was. That alone gave me a sense of comfort and consolation.

But the truth is, Uncommon Beauty isn't just about Apert Syndrome. It's for parent of any medically fragile child. Meder succinctly and comprehensively organizes her experiences into non-judgmental advice to form chapters such as, "Surviving the First Days," "Caring for Yourself," "Caring for your Marriage," and "Understanding Insurance."

A brilliant special needs parenting resource such as this would have been the solution to those complicated and inexplicable feelings of grief when I felt as if no one understood what was happening to our family, least of all myself. Meder knows well that parents who have kids in and out of hospitals and specialists' offices do not have exorbitant amounts of time to spend reading a clinical explanation of their child's syndrome. Instead, she offers short but informative and very thought-provoking chapters that can be read in five or ten minute settings.

Consider an excerpt in her chapter, "What Do I Say?
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Format: Paperback
Uncommon Beauty Crisis Parenting from Day One is a must read for any parent. The advice in this book not only speaks to parents with a medically fragile child but it could also speak to anyone in a crisis situation. Maybe you are a parent whose child has been involved in a serious accident or someone in your family becomes suddenly ill with a serious medical issue. This book is for you too.

Margaret speaks of how to navigate through the medical and insurance system, how to care for your loved one and the rest of your family; all while still not forgetting to take care of yourself.

The book is easy to read and is truly a story of courage and strength that anyone can learn from.
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Format: Paperback
Margaret Meder's journey caring for her special needs child is one that should be read by ALL parents, not just those who have faced medical challenges with their children. Her excellent and straightforward writing is approachable for all, and reading about her unique situation will certainly inspire all parents to take a closer look at how they handle their family's individual challenges.

Not only have I met Margaret and her son, I am also the parent of a special needs child, so I can relate to the patience she exhibits and the compassion she has for ALL children, not those who have special needs.

Margaret's story of love beyond all and compassion in the midst of tough times is inspirational and joyous.

Whether your child has issues with bedwetting, ADHD, temper tantrums or just bedtime issues--YOUR challenges are YOURS alone. And Margaret's story of "crisis parenting" can certainly have an impact on how you address your parenting skills and your approaches to your children.

There's a lesson here for all parents--or even those hoping to become parents someday. You live, you love, you deal with what you are dealt. And having compassion and strength can get you through more than you ever thought.

Meet a charming author and her delightful little boy, Evan, through this exceptional work on non-fiction. Especially nice production value, as well, from a small independent publisher.
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Format: Paperback
Brilliantly and beautifully written, Margaret Meder's poignant book on the challenges she has faced in negotiating getting high quality health care for her child, Evan, is a must read book for parents, families, health care providers, and all who wish to support the most beneficial outcome for all children. Not only for the physical challenges but in her promoting optimal emotional well-being for children and their families. I highly recommend Uncommon Beauty, Crisis Parenting from Day One, and have finally found a gold mine of information and support for parents that until now has been sorely lacking.

Peter C. Jackson, PsyD
Clinical Psychologist
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Format: Paperback
I wish that I had had copies of this book to hand out to the parents of all our patients decades ago when I was working in a NICU. Although it was written for those living the crisis-prone life of parenting a medically fragile child, everyone can learn something they can use in times of crisis in their own lives from reading this story of courage, strength and resilience. After reading this book, my husband (who had had a difficult time in the hospital after surgery a few years ago) remarked, "This will really help me to do a much better job of communicating with my doctors and nurses when I am in the hospital!"
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