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“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
“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 The Child with Special Needs and Engaging Autism
When her son Neal was diagnosed with autism, 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. She was also the subject of an 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; it is a story only a mother could tell.
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About the Author
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.
Table of Contents
phase 1 my child 1
phase 2 neal has autism 45
phase 3 connecting 99
phase 4 never give up 127
phase 5 a teenager again 149
phase 6 the miracle project 183
phase 7 autism: the musical 209
phase 8 celebrations 233
What People are Saying About This
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.’”
“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.”