Elaine Hall—also known as "Coach E!" and called "the child whisperer" by The New York Times—was a top Hollywood children's acting coach whose life changed dramatically after her son Neal, adopted from a Russian orphanage, was diagnosed with autism. When traditional behavioral therapies did not work for him, she sought the esteemed Dr. Stanley Greenspan who encouraged her to rally creative people to join Neal’s world. Slowly, he emerged out of his isolation.
Hall then created The Miracle Project, a theater and film social skills program profiled in the Emmy Award-winning HBO documentary Autism: The Musical, which now has locations in Los Angeles and New York City. Hall also created and directed “The Intimidation Game: An Anti-bullying Musical and Curriculum” at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills. It is a moving, highly praised original play written by teens and young adults with and without autism.
A media personality, she blogs for The Huffington Post and has appeared on CNN, CBS, Oprah Radio, and Autism Radio and been featured in The LA Times, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal. She has received honors from Autism Speaks, the Autism Society of Los Angeles, the Mayor of Los Angeles, Senator Pavley, Areva Martin, Holly Robinson Peete, Etta Israel, and the Shalom Institute. Los Angeles Magazine named her one of “Los Angeles’s 50 most inspiring women.”
Her memoir, Now I See the Moon, was chosen for World Autism Awareness Day at the United Nations, where she has spoken several times. Now I See the Moon was recently selected for Jewish Disability Awareness Month in February 2013. Hall presented her latest book, Seven Keys to Unlock Autism: Creating Miracles in the Classroom, at an international conference in Jerusalem. She directs an arts enrichment and religious education program at Vista Del Mar.
As part of the National Autism Society of America Conference in New Orleans, Hall will be leading two workshops, where she will be presenting the results of a study on her work, funded by the NEA. Through the interactive workshop, Hall will be sharing techniques from The Miracle Project on using music, movement, and inclusive theater to enhance communication, increase self-esteem and ease anxiety for those with ASD. Hall is also co-leading a pre-conference workshop bringing inclusion to faith-based organizations as part of the National Autism Society of America Conference.
An international keynote speaker and workshop leader, Elaine Hall calls attention to the modern-day epidemic of autism while celebrating the value of the human spirit in overcoming any challenge. She brings a multi-media presentation which includes scenes from The Intimidation Game and discusses her anti-bullying curriculum.