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Elaine Hall
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Blog Entries by Elaine Hall

Jewish Inclusion: Dare to Dream

(10) Comments | Posted February 20, 2013 | 5:00 PM

February is Jewish Disability Awareness Month (also known in Los Angeles as Jewish Inclusion Awareness or IAM). There are hundreds of activities throughout the country to help bring understanding and inclusion of those who are "differently abled." For several weeks, I have been actively planning events, in many cities, including...

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In Times of Darkness: Love More

(14) Comments | Posted December 17, 2012 | 6:03 PM

I grieve as everyone does now for the parents who lost their young children in the tragic shooting in Connecticut. My heart aches for the families of the heroic staff of Sandy Hook Elementary School who lost their lives protecting their students. I cannot even imagine the devastating pain that...

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Divorce And Autism: Avoidable Or Inevitable?

(95) Comments | Posted April 30, 2012 | 1:35 PM

My first marriage was in trouble long before we adopted our 23-month-old son, Neal, from a Russian orphanage. That Neal was diagnosed with autism shortly before his 3rd birthday, only put Miracle-Gro on an already fragile family system.

Sure, the stresses of autism were undeniable: Neal didn't sleep (which,...

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Living With Autism: You Are Not Alone

(9) Comments | Posted March 19, 2012 | 12:17 PM

I am haunted by the headline: Mother killed 22-year-old autistic son, then herself.

"He used a voice-output device that allowed him to communicate on a limited basis," reads the article written by Lisa Fernandez and Julie Prodis Sulek in the Mercury News. "He was delightful," a...

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7 Keys to Unlock This Holiday

(4) Comments | Posted December 21, 2011 | 12:31 PM

Co-written by Diane Isaacs

My business partner and co-author, Diane Isaacs and I were recently talking about the "busyness" of the holiday season. We wondered why when we casually tell friends and colleagues to have a "happy holiday," we can receive a look of suspicion or a roll of the...

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Autism: Is It An 'Obsession' Or Just A Preferred Interest?

(36) Comments | Posted September 20, 2011 | 9:36 AM

Joel knows a lot about dinosaurs. His parents are told that he must put a stop to this obsession so he can focus on other subjects. Marcy can sing every Joni Mitchell song but speaks only a few words. She is put in a class for lower-functioning children and taught...

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Airlines and Autism

(29) Comments | Posted August 22, 2011 | 6:56 PM

I received an message on my Facebook today from a most distraught mother whose family was kicked off an airplane when her autistic daughter wasn't able to fasten her seat belt because of her anxiety with flying.

The airline's response to the mother was:

When a passenger tries...
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'Barn's Burnt Down -- Now I Can See the Moon'

(2) Comments | Posted March 27, 2011 | 12:50 PM

"Barn's burnt down -- now I can see the moon."

This evocative Haiku written by Mizuta Masahide, a 17th century Japanese poet and samurai, has spoken to me deeply since I adopted my treasured son Neal, who has taught me the gifts of leading a purpose-driven life. I aspire each...

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Living with Autism: Two Programs, One Heart

(11) Comments | Posted February 9, 2011 | 5:15 PM

Two weeks ago, we had the pleasure of experiencing first hand each other's nonprofit organizations. As the L.A.-based The Miracle Project expanded to New York and the N.Y.-based Music for Autism expanded to L.A., we were immediately struck by the shared motivations and core values of our programs.

...
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7 Gifts to Take to a Family with Autism

(0) Comments | Posted December 24, 2010 | 7:52 PM

Only a few more hours until the Big Day, and still don't know what to give your neighbor/sister/colleague's child who has autism? You're not certain if they like Disney Princesses or Harry Potter legos. You've heard that the iPad is great for kids with autism, but it's a little out...

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Finding Gratitude Even When Things Don't Look So Good

(1) Comments | Posted November 24, 2010 | 9:43 AM

Dear friends and family,

It is this time of year that we take stock of what we have and overlook what we have not. There is so much to be grateful for. Jeff, Neal and I are so blessed to have so many wonderful friends, supportive family and so much...

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This is for All Mothers....

(2) Comments | Posted November 19, 2010 | 9:21 PM

"This is for All Mothers," gasps Eustacia Cutler, barely catching her breath, as she is gifted the EMMY Award that Julia Ormond won for portraying her in the HBO film, Temple Grandin

"For all mothers who work in silence... guiding their child with autism." Eustacia continues in tears.

...
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7 Easy Ways to Help a Family Diagnosed With Autism

(3) Comments | Posted August 17, 2010 | 12:20 PM

We've all heard the news: one in 91 children are now being diagnosed with autism in the United States alone. This is staggering. Today, almost everyone knows someone with autism. And yet, with all the talk about cures, causes and concerns, there is rarely any information on how we can...

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Living With Autism: Summer Vacation

(7) Comments | Posted August 9, 2010 | 8:00 AM

Ahhhh, Summer Vacation. A little R&R before the school year begins!

For many of us who have children on the autistic spectrum, long gone are the expectations of spending glorious temperate days lounging under a coconut palm in a tropical paradise while watching the kids effortlessly scoop sea critters into...

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Living With Autism: Miracles Have Wings

(6) Comments | Posted July 7, 2010 | 7:07 PM

How do you know if you are doing the right therapy for your child? With so many "remedies," "cures" and paths to take, how do you know if you are on the "right" one? How do we know if it's "working?"

Like most things in my life, my answers didn't...

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Living With Autism: When Our Kids Become Adults

(11) Comments | Posted June 1, 2010 | 1:37 PM

As Neal celebrates his 16th birthday, I am met with the realities of parenting a child with severe autism. Neal will always need me to care for him.

Yes, he has come so far in his development. At one time too frightened to even leave the house due to...

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Radiance and Chicken

(3) Comments | Posted May 19, 2010 | 6:51 PM

It's not just the chicken. Yes, the food is definitely quality at El Pollo Loco. But that's not why I go to the drive-in on Lincoln and California in Venice every Monday. It's not just because it's a drive-thru and convenient, although that is exactly why I went there the...

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Dr. Stanley Greenspan Inspired Hope

(4) Comments | Posted April 29, 2010 | 10:00 PM

My heart grieves the passing of Dr. Stanley Greenspan, whose pioneering work provided hope, inspiration and a proven methodology to support families of children with special needs. Prior to meeting Dr. Greenspan in June of 1997, my then three year-old son Neal, adopted from a Russian orphanage, spun...

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To Russia, with Love?

(7) Comments | Posted April 23, 2010 | 1:38 PM

As a mother of an adopted child and a child advocate, I've received numerous emails and phone calls this week asking me my thoughts about the eight year-old boy, Artyem Saviliev, who was sent back to Russia by his adoptive mother. Many of the inquiries erupt with the accusation, "How...

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Heartbroken and Outraged over Autism Related Police Shooting

(9) Comments | Posted March 31, 2010 | 5:12 PM

As a mother of a teenage son, I am heartbroken. As a friend and coach for teens and young adults with Autism, I am outraged and scared.

Last weekend, the LA Times reported that Police fatally shot an unarmed man, Steven Eugene Washington, 27 in Koreatown.

My...

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