I am the proud founder of The Miracle Project, the Los Angeles-based theater arts program designed for children with autism and their typically developing siblings, as seen in the HBO's documentary, Autism: The Musical.
My heart is so full today, after having been invited to the Creative Arts Emmy awards with those who told the story of five of my student's families who live each day with autism.
Autism: The Musical chronicles the process of the children writing, producing and performing an original musical production, seemingly against all odds.
Autism the Musical won two Emmy awards!
Even more important, because of those who told the tale of the children's journey from first meeting with others who live with autism to their standing ovation on show night, the media and personal responses I have received tell me that everyone who not only made the film, but saw it, was a winner, as they, like me, have learned how to be Miracle-Minded.
While the name of our program is The Miracle Project (www.themiracleproject.org), I sit in reflection, so full of gratitude, realizing that the true Miracle was this life affirming project finding its way to the light in these days, when too often, there seems to be an abundance of space online and in newspapers, chronicling stories of disappointment and dire circumstance, versus creating a balance with those of kindness, compassion, and commitment to lifting someone else's state of being. Such positive little stories can have such great, deep, and resonant impact. They can motivate others to come forward and lend a hand in whatever ways they are able, based on their own passion and expertise.
We are all teachers and Students, we learn this is in being of service.
Today, I received an email from a 14-year-old boy in Virginia who said that after seeing The Miracle Project in Autism:The Musical, he is now proud to say he has autism. I have received over 3,000 emails from others whose lives have been changed after watching this film.
Those who chose to devote their time to this film and newsprint to covering our "little" miracle are those who have made a difference, not only in my life and those of my students living with autism, but to our global tribe who has seen and experienced the boundless beauty of mothers, fathers, neighbors, volunteers, educators, community members and children of like mind and heart, joining an effort to build bridges and hope.
Such new and strong connections break down the walls of fear, which too often, disconnect us from our neighbors.
When we bring the raw and real stories of others who may seem different than us to light, we open minds and heart....and of course, there is where love and lives thrives, and Miracles are made.
Thank you, HBO, for making your brave choice to illuminate the ability within the perceived disability of autism. Thank you to Bunim Murray and our brilliant editor Kim Roberts for transforming 200 hours of footage into gold. Thank you to In Effects Films for discovering our Miracles and choosing to share our vision with the world. Thank you director Tricia Regan for your vision, to Sheila Nevins and Nancy Abraham at HBO, and the producers, Sasha Alpert, Janet Grillo, Kristen Stills, Perrin Chiles, David Glynn, Jon Murray, for believing in miracles.
Thank you to each and all of you in the media and at home who shared our miraculous journey with your community, friends and family.
We can each make a difference. Doing so is simply a choice.
From the heart, Elaine Hall, Coach E.