Oct 08


Beth Luxenberg was an only child. Everyone knew it: her grown children, her friends, even people she’d only recently met. So when her secret emerged, her son Steve Luxenberg was bewildered. He was certain that his mother had no siblings, just as he knew that her name was Beth, and that she had raised her children, above all, to tell the truth. By then, Beth was nearly eighty, and in fragile health. While seeing a new doctor, she had casually mentioned a disabled sister, sent away at age two.

Read more about Annie’s Ghosts: A Journey Into a Family Secret.

Jul 06

In this especially timely, painstakingly positive work, a children’s film coach recounts her adoption of a troubled Russian toddler and her long, tortuous, ultimately enlightening journey to treat his nonverbal autism. A former actress, Hall worked as a successful “baby wrangler” for Hollywood feature films; 40-something, married nine years, active in her Jewish faith, and devastated by successive miscarriages, she along with her then husband traveled to an orphanage in Yekaterinburg, Russia, to adopt a quiet two-year-old. Neal, as she named him, couldn’t speak or make eye contact, and despite Hall’s belief in his innate intelligence, the boy was eventually diagnosed with “severe sensory dysfunction.” She beautifully chronicles Neal’s development to the age of his bar mitzvah vis-a-vis his responses–positive and negative–to the slew of experts and coaches Hall found to create therapies tailored to his very individual needs. Though Hall’s marriage dissolved under the pressure of Neal’s care, and there were moments Hall truly believed she and her son were “slouching toward normal,” she had to accept that Neal would never be “cured” of autism. She created her life’s work in the Miracle Project, a theater arts program for autistic kids (eventually made into the Emmy Award–winning documentary Autism: The Musical). More >>

Now I See the Moon: A Mother, a Son, a Miracle

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