On Wednesday afternoon, Elaine Hall, founder of The Miracle Project, spoke to League School staff members and parents of students in two separate presentations. The story she told was both mesmerizing and informative.
She began by providing her backstory, developing The Miracle Project because she wanted to provide an opportunity for her autistic son, Neil, to develop, and simply stated, where she was located in Southern California offered no educational programs like the one provided by League School.
The Miracle Project is a creative socialization program that supports, nurtures and inspires children and teens with autism and other special needs through movement, music and theater. She detailed how she used creative expression and theater to achieve socialization goals for the children with whom she interacted. And she proudly noted how much their self-esteem increased as they became more invested in the program.
She demonstrated some of the techniques she uses with audience members happily participating in the engaging exercises. She also presented her “7 Keys to Being Miracle-Minded and Unlocking Autism.” They included:
- Set an intention – “how we show up” – different from a goal
- Love and accept
- Experience the senses – understand individual differences
- Follow the child’s lead (and need)
- Inclusion – start with reverse inclusion – have volunteers mimic behavior to ease inclusion (hide under a chair with them, run around with them)
- Rehearse for life (Practice makes progress)
- Celebrate abilities
Elaine was also highly complimentary of the League School’s program offerings and expressed her appreciation for and admiration off the SCERTS approach to teaching.
She concluded by reminding everyone that creative arts a great way to interact with students – allowing them each to have their own voice. These performances also provide parents with an opportunity to appreciate their child – to see what’s right and terrific about their kids – sometimes it’s the first time that parents hear something positive about their child. It helps parents to learn to value their kids.
Her last statement effectively summarized what The Miracle Project is all about – “Kids will show us their passion and their greatest interest – we just have to look for it, follow it and nurture it.” To learn more about Elaine’s fine work, check out www.themiracleproject.org.