A parent’s guide to empowering children to embrace their visible and invisible differences
Meg Zucker was born with one finger on each hand, shortened forearms, and one toe on each misshapen foot, caused by a genetic condition called ectrodactyly. She would eventually pass this condition on to her two sons, and, along with her husband, raise them and their adopted daughter, who has her own invisible differences. Born of the family’s hard-won experiences, this book offers invaluable advice on raising confident, empathetic, and resilient children who succeed, not despite but because of their differences. Born Extraordinary helps parents of children with differences and disabilities to relinquish their instinctive anxieties, embrace their new normal, and ultimately find joy in watching their children thrive. Often the subjects of unwanted attention—ranging from pitying stares to bullying—Zucker and her sons have learned to ignore what others think and live fearlessly. Also incorporating the stories of other families with visible and invisible differences of all kinds, Born Extraordinary gives parents the tools to meet their children’s emotional needs while supporting the whole family unit. Parents learn how best to empower their children to confront others’ assumptions, grow in confidence, and encourage dialogue—rather than silence, fear, and shame—around difference.
About the Author
Meg Zucker is the founder and president of Don’t Hide It, Flaunt It, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit with the mission of advancing understanding and mutual respect for people’s differences. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin−Madison and New York University School of Law, she is also the U.S. Head of Anti-Money Laundering and Financial Crime at the Royal Bank of Canada.
“Meg Zucker has written a warm-hearted, practical guide to navigating a world that can all too often lack empathy and understanding. Her honesty and wisdom, drawn from a deep well of lived experience, will not only empower kids with disabilities but their parents and caregivers too.” —Emily Ladau, author of Demystifying Disability
"Meg Zucker brings her singular radiance, passion, and practicality to Born Extraordinary, which is packed with insights and advice for parents, teachers, and caregivers—anyone eager to empower children and help build a culture of empathy and kindness. As a person born with my own invisible difference, I can’t overstate the value and power of this book, and my admiration and appreciation for its extraordinary author." —Lauren Tarshis, New York Times bestselling author of the I Survived series
"Validating and empowering, Born Extraordinary is just the companionable guide every parent of a kid with differences and disabilities needs. Mixing real-life experiences with compassion, humor, and practical advice, Meg Zucker affirms that your child is absolutely right, just as they are—and supports you in helping them thrive. This book is an invaluable guide with authentic stories and actionable strategies. I wish I'd had a copy years ago!" —Heather Lanier, author of Raising a Rare Girl
"In Born Extraordinary, Meg Zucker delivers a profound set of lessons to guide families raising kids who are different or disabled. Drawing on personal experience, Meg guides parents to help their children and themselves adapt, find peace, and experience confidence and self-love. Meg shows us that differences are a blessing." —Mallika Chopra, author of Just Breathe
"Born Extraordinary should be required reading for all pediatricians and parents. Meg Zucker shows us that given the appropriate framework, children with either visible or invisible differences can and should thrive despite their challenges." —Brenda Anders Pring, MD, Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics