Autism: A Mother’s Quest - NBC Southern California

Autism: A Mother’s Quest

After her adopted son was diagnosed with autism at age three, a Los Angeles mother decided to take action and spread awareness about the disability



    Autism: A Mother’s Quest

    The numbers say it all.  Three to six out of every 1,000 children have autism according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

    But it is just one of those children that inspired Elaine Hall.

    More than a decade ago, Hall adopted a baby boy from Russia.  Her new son had autism.

    "He had a lot of behaviors that today I would know are austism, but at the time I didn't know it was autism," said Hall while talking with NewsRaw's Mekahlo Medina.

    Autism: A Mother's Quest

    [LA] Autism: A Mother's Quest
    Author/Mother Elaine Halls talks about her work in the Autism world and her personal experience with Autism.
    (Published Tuesday, July 20, 2010)

    Hall started doing research, and learning from Dr. Greenspan, a professor at George Washington University. He advised her to “understand the world from [her] son’s perspective.”

    “I jumped into the autism world," said Hall.  "Seven hours a day, ten days a week.”

    She really did.

    Hall said she entered her son's world by doing what he did. If he flapped his hands, she would flap hers and they would “be birds together.”

    Her son Neal, now 16, is still non-verbal, yet he is able to type and use sign language to communicate. Hall noted that he is doing a power point presentation for an upcoming conference.

    Hall's connection with her son lead her to authored a book called "Now, I See the Moon."  It lead to a documentary on HBO and the creation of "The Miracle Project," a theatre arts program aimed at nurturing children of all disabilities; in an effort encourage love and acceptance.

    The project has garnered worldwide attention and it creates new ways to reach out to autistic children by seeking out creative people and allowing them to connect with the kids.

    “We do theatre with them,” said Hall. “Singing and dancing and acting…full live blown musicals with kids with autism.”

    Her work has gained praised by Los Angeles celebrities involved in the Autistic community.  Actress Holly Robinson Peete and NFL quarterback Rodney Peete are honoring Hall for her work. The Peete's have an autistic son.

    Hall said she is grateful for the recognition, and hopes it sheds even more light on solutions to the issue of autism.

    “I like to see autism as... a very beautiful and extraordinary way of looking at the world in spite of the challenges.”