Friday, December 7, 2012

Now I See The Moon Review

by Patty Hooper

Now I See the Moon: AMother, a Son, and the Miracle of Autism is the account of Elaine Hall’s infertility and subsequent decision to adopt a son, Neal, from Russia. Though Hall had a few concerns about her son’s development before adopting him, she had no idea Neal actually had autism. In the meantime, Neal was not developing the same way other kids his age were.

Once Hall realizes that Neal has autism, she embarks on an amazing journey to find out how to best treat him. Despite many naysayers–including family and friends who advise Hall to return Neal to Russia or institutionalize him–Hall devotes all her time, energy and money to treating Neal’s autism. She spends countless hours playing with her son and recruiting volunteers to work with Neal and encourage him to interact.

Through it all, she deals with the death of her mother, her divorce and many difficulties in getting Neal the services he needs from school.

This is an amazing tale of a mother who bravely follows her gut instinct and helps her son interact more with the world, often in very unconventional ways. Any parent with a child with special needs will be able to relate to Hall’s exhaustion and her feeling of isolation. Though this book is realistic, it is not bitter, but rather hopeful.

Most of us can also relate to the desire for others to accept our children unconditionally and the disappointment that comes when that doesn’t happen, not to mention the abject embarrassment when our kids misbehave in public, typically around the people we most want to impress. Though Hall is a well-known children’s acting coach in Hollywood, she was immensely down-to-earth and easy to relate to.

This book also touches on The Miracle Project, which is a theater and film group for kids with autism. The group was created by Hall as a way to reach out to other families of children with autism. Hall works tirelessly to help these kids feel completely accepted so they can explore and express their talents in a safe environment.

I highly recommend picking up a copy of Now I See the Moon by Elaine Hall. You will be uplifted and inspired by the tremendous courage of one mother who does everything possible to help her son.

Family Matters has a copy of this book in our lending library.  You can borrow books for a month, even if you don't live near our office.  Just go to the lending library here and order the book.  We'll mail it to you along with a self-addressed, stamped envelope for you to return it in.  It's easy!  Check out all the great books and DVDs we have!

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