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Our weekly e-newsletter addresses a range of Autism Spectrum Disorder topics.








Photographs by Christopher M. Gauthier, Evidence and Artifacts
Elaine Hall and Gil Tippy, PsyD

"When you follow a child's lead, you join him or her in the inner world. This willingness to join children where they are becomes a shared experience based on mutual trust and opens the door for the child to join your world. Entering the world of the child with autism requires an open mind. You need to leave behind any expectations about how it should go. This sounds easy but in practice most of us are intent on directing and managing our encounters in all of our relationships. Usually we harbor a preconceived idea, an inner script that dictates how a given exchange should unfold. This is part of our social conditioning and the reason why it may not feel natural at first to truly be led by a child. Being led requires that you resist the impulse to guide or control the child. To work this key effectively, it helps to be genuinely curious about the child's experience. Above all, you will need to allow the child's way of thinking and being no matter what and be open to wherever it may lead. For example, if the child makes flapping motions, don't try to stop him. Go ahead and flap, too. See where this takes you. Odds are you'll be delighted and surprised. "
Elaine Hall, (excerpt from"Seven Keys to Unlock Autism")

Elaine Hall is founder and president of The Miracle Project. The principles of The Miracle Project are based on Elaine Hall, fondly known as “Coach E” and her 25 years of teachings. They combine the methods her own professional coaching; and her learning’s from Dr. Stanley Greenspan and other well renowned autism experts. More importantly her insight and focus comes from what Elaine has learned from her own son, Neal, adopted as a toddler from a Russian Orphanage and diagnosed with autism at age three.

The New York Times references Elaine Hall, as the “Child Whisperer,” based on this extraordinary and compelling theater arts program that she innovated for children of all abilities. She is the subject of the two time Emmy Award winning HBO documentary Autism: The Musical and has appeared on CNN, CBS News, Oprah Radio and featured in The LA Times, New York Times and Wall Street Journal. Elaine is a cast member in the role of Ms. Quinlan of the movie, Fly Away, produced and directed by Janet Grillo. She is the author of Now I See the Moon: A Mother, a Son, a Miracle (released in 2010) and co-author of Seven Keys to Unlock Autism: Making Miracles in the Classroom. Elaine lives in Santa Monica, California, with the two loves of her life, her teenage son, Neal and her husband Jeff, a Play Therapist. Elaine serves on the US Autism & Asperger Association Advisory Board.

Elaine presented at the USAAA USAAA 2011 and 2013 annual conferences. You can download the video or audio presentation from the The 7 Keys to Unlock Autism presentation and panel discusssions from the 2011 and 2013 conferences at USAAA TV.

Gil Tippy, PsyD is the Clinical Director of the Rebecca School in Manhattan. As one of the founders of the school, he has been responsible for evaluating over 300 children, and has been central in creating both the academic and clinical programs. He creates the training for the entire staff, and consults on their interventions with the children in the school. He was directly supervised by Dr. Stanley Greenspan, creator of the Developmental, Individual difference, Relationship-based (DIR®) model from the beginning of the school until Dr. Greenspan's untimely passing in 2010. He brings 33 years experience as a teacher and a Psychologist to this trans-disciplinary clinical practice, where he supervises, does the evaluations, and works directly with the kids.

Dr. Tippy received his doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Long Island University, C.W. Post. He co-authored a book with Dr. Greenspan, Respecting Autism: The Rebecca School DIR Casebook for Parents and Professionals.He also co-authored a journal article, "Attachment and Autism: Parental Attachment Representations and Relational Behaviors in the Parent-Child Dyad" (Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 2010) as well as contributed a chapter on DIR®/Floortime™ in the book, Cutting Edge Therapies for Autism 2010-2011 (Siri & Lyons, 2010). He has represented Rebecca School in three presentations at ICDL annual conferences. He currently heads the Rebecca School research team, which is actively involved with generating research to empirically demonstrate the effectiveness of the DIR® model.

Dr. Tippy presented at the 2013 and 2014 USAAA annual conferences. Video or audio downloads are available at USAAA TV.

Since 1995, USAAA began improving the quality of life of individuals affected by ASD. In the summer of 2005, Special Abilities evolved into US Autism & Asperger Association, Inc. with a mission to provide the opportunity for everyone living with autism spectrum disorders to achieve their fullest potential, by enriching the autism community with education, training, accessible resources, and partnerships with local and national projects.

Support from donors and members provide resources to make our programs possible. 100% of all donations to USAAA go directly to providing support for our programs and initiatives. No administrative costs are funded by donations.

Your support enhances the quality of life of individuals and their families and caregivers touched by autism spectrum disorders. US Autism & Asperger Association provides educational and family support through conferences and published and electronic media. USAAA distributes information with regard to medical, behavioral, and developmental interventions and research to parents, grandparents, practitioners, students, administrators, teachers, individuals on the autism spectrum and everyone connected with the autism and Asperger's communities.

It is often necessary to accommodate the specific requirements of your students with autism. They may need sensory breaks to move and re-regulate their bodies; they may need special chairs to help them sit more comfortably; they may need curriculum modifications or a longer time to complete a given test. Sometimes other students will complain that that it's not "fair" that some kids get "special treatment." "Fair" doesn't mean "the same."

All students need developmental support. Each student is an individual learner, and by discovering a student's unique profile, you can empower her to achieve academically following her own learning pathway. Sometimes it may require environmental adjustments with assisted communication technologies, such as keyboards, talking machines, and iPads; additional personnel, such as dedicated teacher's aides or one-on-ones; or adaptive protocols, such as testing accommodations, sensory breaks, and ways to follow a child's lead and inclusion tools.
Elaine Hall, (excerpt from"Seven Keys to Unlock Autism")

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