Coach E on Autism

Being Miracle Minded

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Now I See The Moon

Advance Praise for Now I See the Moon

Now I See The Moon
Publishers Weekly: Starred Review

In this especially timely, painstakingly positive work, a children’s film coach recounts her adoption of a troubled Russian toddler and her long, tortuous, ultimately enlightening journey to treat his nonverbal autism. A former actress, Hall worked as a successful “baby wrangler” for Hollywood feature films; 40-something, married nine years, active in her Jewish faith, and devastated by successive miscarriages, she along with her then husband traveled to an orphanage in Yekaterinburg, Russia, to adopt a quiet two-year-old. Neal, as she named him, couldn’t speak or make eye contact, and despite Hall’s belief in his innate intelligence, the boy was eventually diagnosed with “severe sensory dysfunction.” She beautifully chronicles Neal’s development to the age of his bar mitzvah vis-à-vis his responses – positive and negative – to the slew of experts and coaches Hall found to create therapies tailored to his very individual needs. Though Hall’s marriage dissolved under the pressure of Neal’s care, and there were moments Hall truly believed she and her son were “slouching toward normal,” she had to accept that Neal would never be “cured” of autism. She created her life’s work in the Miracle Project, a theater arts program for autistic kids (eventually made into the Emmy Award-winning documentary Autism: The Musical.)

“Now I See the Moon provides insightful ways to teach and work with individuals with autism and severe disabilities. It will give parents great hope.”
– Temple Grandin, author of Thinking in Pictures

“Now I See the Moon is a riveting and miraculous ride. Elaine Hall weaves her incredible story in a gutsy, inspirational, painful, hilarious, but always honest manner…overflowing with moments that realistically convey the agony of autism, as well as the gifts autism brings.”
– Barry M. Prizant, Director, Childhood Communication Services

“Elaine Hall’s Miracle Project is a “miracle”—a miracle of ingenuity, human intimacy, and creativity. This magnificent work vividly demonstrates the joy and hope of discovering the creative and emotional capacities which exist in all children, but especially in those children with autism and other special needs.”
— Dr. Stanley Greenspan, author of Engaging Autism

“In now i see the moon Elaine Hall leads us on a journey to blessings, uplift and hope.  In a voice filled with wisdom, she quickly becomes our coach–that unique person who teaches us the power of persistence, resiliency, faith and love.  This book is a revelation, a miracle.”
– Naomi Levy is author of To Begin Again and Talking to God

“Elaine Hall yanks the reader out of preconceived notions of what having a child with autism means. This book is for anyone wishing to learn about the potential autism has to bring out the best in people—and for developing a deeper appreciation of what true humanity is all about.”
– Stephen Shore, professor of special education and author of Beyond the Wall

“Now I See the Moon is a beautiful story about a Mother’s love, and the transformative power of hope. While many people are obsessed with labels on the autism “spectrum,” Elaine Hall’s approach focuses on each child’s humanity. I encourage every parent to read this wonderful book and see the world through her loving eyes.”
– Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson

“Now I See the Moon is a must read for anyone connected with a child who has special needs. It is also an inspiration to all women going through life transitions.”
— Dr. Margaret Paul, author of Do I Have to Give Up Me to Be Loved by You

“This serene and spiritual account of bringing up a shrewd, loveable and intelligent autistic boy also sparkles with the exuberant tale of how Elaine founded The Miracle Project, a terrific theatre group for autistic and “typical” kids alike. The book goes far beyond ‘brave,’ and well into ’spectacular.’
– Carolyn See, best selling author of Making a Literary Life

“Elaine Hall must have been granted a magical visa into the world of children. She understands their language, their wants, their fears, their dreams. Now I See the Moon is the story of a mother’s awesome love for her son. The mystery of autism. And how art and music can be coaxed from silence.”
– Doug Atchison, writer/director of Akeelah and the Bee

“A brilliant, spiritual journey filled with out-of-the-box creativity, love and passion. Elaine Hall’s voice lingers long after turning the last page, inspiring powerful living despite any and all challenges. Best read with milk and warm gluten-free cookies.”
– Keri Bowers, director of Normal People Scare Me

“Many books about autism are either instructive but clinical, inspiring but not informative. Now I See the Moon is that rare combination: it reads like an inspirational tale, yet it educates and advances important issues. Elaine is at once a guide, a counselor, an educator, and a truly inspiring mom.”
– Erik Linthorst, Director of the film Austistic-Like: Graham’s Story

“Elaine Hall has a written a book of shimmering honesty. The generosity of her telling made me grateful, inspired, proud, and at times, awe-struck. Anyone interested in the human journey should read this book. I look forward to offering it, like a torch, to my favorite people.”
– Ilana Trachtman, director of Praying with Lior

“Get out the tissues! Read on and you are inside Neal’s non verbal world, feeling his real life anguish and ultimate triumph. Elaine’s story enlightens and inspires you like no other. As a mother of a child with autism, I guarantee all the TLC you need, is right here.”
– Karen Simmons – CEO, AutismToday.com, Author, Autism Tomorrow, The Official Autism 101 Manual and Chicken Soup for the Soul, Children with Special Needs

“In this emotionally charged memoir, Hall tells the story of her first 15 years with her severely autistic son. The author was a successful acting coach for children in feature films and television. In her mid-30s, intensely spiritual with strong ties to her Jewish religion, she also felt the pull of motherhood. When that didn’t pan out, she and her husband adopted a two-year-old boy from a Russian orphanage. When Neal started to display autistic behavior, and Hall moved past her denial, she had the good fortune of hooking up with a doctor who counseled loving engagement with Neal-not to control, but to seek understanding-something that struck a familiar note from her professional work. Here she details the process of broaching Neal’s protective sequestration. She has gainful experience-even wisdom-to impart, as well as the engrossing tales of the intense realities of living with an autistic child, including the constant search for caretakers who appreciate “that the seemingly bizarre behaviors of autism have meaning and purpose.” Hall excels in capturing the piquancy of the Russian orphanage, the explosiveness of Neal’s caustic tantrums and, most impressively, getting readers into her son’s head to recognize the profound mental energy involved in organizing each little step of activity and the excruciating pain that attends sensory sensitivity. Answering a felt need for community, she started The Miracle Project, which brings autistics and their families together in a safe, dynamic environment to foster creativity through the theater arts. A moving, unvarnished look at living with autism and a helpful guide to action.”
– Kirkus Reviews

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