Now I See the Moon: A Mother, a Son, a Miracle

Overview

When her son, Neal, was diagnosed withautism, former Hollywood acting coach Elaine Hall, aka Coach E, took matters into her own hands and used her resources to guide him toward an increasingly independent life. In the process, she founded The Miracle Project, a groundbreaking organization that uses the performing arts to connect with children with autism. Both controversial and unorthodox, Hall’s innovative approach has been praised by leaders in the field of autism, including Temple Grandin, Barry Prizant, and ...

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Overview

When her son, Neal, was diagnosed withautism, former Hollywood acting coach Elaine Hall, aka Coach E, took matters into her own hands and used her resources to guide him toward an increasingly independent life. In the process, she founded The Miracle Project, a groundbreaking organization that uses the performing arts to connect with children with autism. Both controversial and unorthodox, Hall’s innovative approach has been praised by leaders in the field of autism, including Temple Grandin, Barry Prizant, and Dr. Stanley Greenspan. She was also the subject of the Emmy Award–winning documentary Autism: The Musical. Hall now speaks around the country sharing her wisdom. Now I See the Moon is a story of hope, faith, and miracles; itis a story only a mother could tell.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
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-a`-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). (July)
Publishers Weekly
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). (July)
BookPage
“An amazing story written by an indomitable woman and an important book for anyone wanting to nurture and appreciate the special gifts of autistic children.”
Temple Grandin
“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.”
Dr. Stanley Greenspan
“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.”
Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson
“Now I See the Moon is a beautiful story about a Mother’s love, a boy’s depth, and the transformative power of hope. Her son Neal is an inspiration and a miracle. I encourage every parent to read this wonderful book; It will change the way you think about autism.”
Dr. Margaret Paul
“Now I See the Moon is must reading for anyone connected with a child who has special needs. A beautiful example of love and determination. It is also an inspiration to all women going through life transitions and learning to connect with and trust their inner guidance.”
Barry M. Prizant
“Now I See the Moon isa 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.”
Janet Grillo
“In her courageously candid memoir, Elaine describes the challenges and rewards of parenting a child with autism. She usefully explains how she’s expanded her son’s world through theatre and play. Most of all, Elaine describes the human heart. And how rising to meet the challenges of love will grow it.”
David O. Russell
“Elaine Hall is a miracle worker with kids who face special challenges. She has an intuitive, creative connection with them, which together they put into theater and film with profound results for the kids and their families. Our family experienced this first hand. Her story is powerful and inspiring.”
Keri Bowers
“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.”
Carolyn See
“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.’”
Erik Linthorst
“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.”
Ilana Trachtman
“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.”
Stephen Shore
“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.”
Doug Atchison
“Elaine Hall must have been granted a magical visa into the world of children. She understands their wants, their fears, their dreams. Now I See the Moon is the story of a mother’s awesome love for her son. And how art and music can be coaxed from silence.”
Linda Walder Fiddle
“Above all else, Elaine has written a book about the power of faith—faith in God, in the universe, in Neal and ultimately herself. It is because of her faith that Elaine stays positive, but it is because of Neal that she realizes that the miracle is in the journey.”
Naomi Levy
“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.”
Alice Dewey Goldstone
“Underlying all her work and life is Elaine’s deep spirituality, her love for kids, and her respect for all. That is Elaine’s great lesson and her gift to all who read her: accept children where ever they are. Meet them there. Then, take a journey of growth and community together.”
Suzanne Wright
“Inspirational and realistic, Now I See the Moon shows how real progress can be made in the life of a child. So many of Elaine’s experiences reminded me of my own family’s struggle, as we search to find answers that will bring us closer to solving the mysteries of autism.”
Portia Iverson
“How many nonverbal children with autism can understand every word we are saying? Elaine Hall tells us one such story in her heart-rending and beautifully written book, Now I See the Moon. Anyone who reads her book will find their own life illuminated by the experience.”
BookPage
“An amazing story written by an indomitable woman and an important book for anyone wanting to nurture and appreciate the special gifts of autistic children.”
Kirkus Reviews
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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061743801
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 6/29/2010
  • Pages: 283
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Elaine Hall

Elaine Hall, aka Coach E, is an educator, writer, and children’s acting coach for film and TV. Her groundbreaking organization, The Miracle Project, a theater and film program for children of all abilities, was profiled in the Emmy Award–winning HBO documentary Autism: The Musical. Elaine is a keynote speaker and autism advocate throughout the United States and Canada and focuses on being “Miracle-Minded” and bringing out the best in all children. She has received hon-ors from Autism Speaks and the Autism Society of America and spoke at the United Nations for International Autism Awareness Day. Elaine lives in Santa Monica, California, with the two loves of her life: her son, Neal, and husband, Jeff Frymer.

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 4, 2012

    Highly Recommended-for all who work with or know children with disabilities!

    After watching the video, The Miracle Project, with my college class on Disability in Education, I found and purchased this book by Elaine Hall. The format allows me to read certain sections that apply to the course content to my class, and then love it! Elaine and Neal are amazing individuals, and we are fascinated by what Elaine has discovered about Neal's "world" of autism.

    As a class, we recommend this book to everyone, but most especially to anyone who knows or works with an individual with a disability.

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  • Posted November 20, 2010

    A FANTASTIC READ! A BEAUTIFUL, INFORMATIVE, HEART WARMING STORY!

    Elaine Hall really knows children and she really really knows how to write about them! I found this book to be really informative, full of love and insight, and an absolutely fantastic read!

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  • Posted July 6, 2010

    ENLIGHTENING MIRACLE OF A BOOK

    WOW!!!! Started reading this book and could not put it down. It was really well written and I can easily imagine a movie made from it. The book made me feel Elaine's hopes, despair, pains, overwhelming joy for each of Neal's successes and disappointments when things did not go as planned. Also the relevation that Neal did understand everthing that was going on around him and if he could have been able to communicate his feelings how much easier it could have been for him. That really is an important lesson for all of us.

    I knew that Autism was always very hard to deal with but I never realized to what extent. Elaine's tanacity and belief in knowing to listen to her inner voices, believing in herself and conviction of doing what was best for her son was a "Miracle" in itself. This book not only tells the story of her son, but bring awareness to other families with Autistic children and the community at large.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2010

    Inspiring and Beautiful

    Elaine Hall shares her moving personal account of raising her son with autism. This is a must read not only for those touched by autism, but for anyone needing to be reminded of how to "see the moon" when "the barn burns down." Ms. Hall shares with the reader her special knack for finding strength and inspiration when all seems hopeless - As she does with the children of the Miracle Project she founded, she sees the gifts amidst the chaos and uses that to create miracles in her life.

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  • Posted June 1, 2010

    A must read

    One of the most compelling books I have ever read is written with humor and heart by Elaine Hall called, "Now I See the Moon". In this true story, the author compellingly opens up about her life with her autistic son in a manner never before shared. Elaine, previously an "A List" baby wrangler, explains her life as a single mother raising an autistic child, who she adopted from Russia. She teaches techniques that work and that didn't, along with sharing her path of suffering as she reached the peak of educating herself about autism, which she now shares in her "Miracle Project", a musical theater program for autistic children in LA. I encourage those with special needs children and those without to read this true account of a mother's struggles and triumphs. It will open their lives if they have autistic family members, and open up their hearts and minds if they don't.

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  • Posted May 18, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Amazing, Heartwarming, Beautiful Tale of a mothers journey through life's challenges

    Elaine Hall's book, Now I See The Moon is a worthwhile read. It is so touching and has many life lessons in every page! It is a page turner and I couldn't put the book down! The memoir hit me in all my emotions. Elaine's life story is motivational and i took a lot away from this book once i was done....i did not want to be done, though because it was so inspiring and i recommend it to all readers!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2010

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