Elson was born in New York City on March 6, 1969. She grew up in New York City with her parents and an older sister named Samantha (born circa 1966). While Elson was still a child, the family moved to San Diego, California for a period of four years before returning to Westchester County, New York.
Elson began her professional career as a child actress and model, appearing in a number of commercials and print advertorials. She also appeared in several community theatre productions as a child while living in San Diego.
In 1983, Elson made her television debut at the age of 14 with a co-starring role on the CBS mystery-adventure series, Whiz Kids. On the series, Elson portrayed Alice Tyler, co-starring alongside Matthew Laborteaux, Todd Porter and Jeremy Jacquet as a group of teenage detectives who solve crimes and bring perpetrators to justice with the help of a talking computer.
Although Whiz Kids lasted only one season, Elson's role as Alice established the 14-year-old and her teenage co-stars as prominent fixtures in the various teen magazines of the era, including 16 magazine, Bop and Teen Beat, among others. The role also led to Elson and the rest of the teenage Whiz Kids cast to make a crossover appearance on the 1983 episode of Simon & Simon entitled "Fly the Alibi Skies".
In 1986, Elson landed a co-starring role on the NBC science-fiction situation comedy ALF. On the series, Elson portrayed Lynn Tanner, the teenage daughter in a typical middle-class suburban family who adopt a friendly extraterrestrial, performed by puppeteer Paul Fusco. The series lasted four seasons and Elson's portrayal earned the teenage actress two Youth in Film Award nominations, before the series' cancellation in 1990.
After the cancellation of ALF, Elson continued to appear in a variety of television roles, guest starring on numerous popular television series of the time, including Who's the Boss?, Parker Lewis Can't Lose, ABC Afterschool Special, Married... with Children, Mad About You, Step by Step and The Young and the Restless, as well as appearing in the television films Class Cruise and Frankenstein: The College Years.
As of 2016, Elson was working as a yoga instructor.
During her years as a teenage actress, the teen magazines reported that Elson had attended high school in Westchester County, New York. Her extra-curricular interests at the time included horseback riding, softball, soccer and swimming, as well as playing piano, which she reportedly began studying at the age of seven.Whiz Kids (1983–84)
Simon & Simon (1984)
Silver Spoons (1985)
Class Cruise (1989)
Parker Lewis Can't Lose (1990)
Who's the Boss? (1990)
They Came from Outer Space (1990)
ABC Afterschool Special (1991)
Frankenstein: The College Years (1991)
Married People (1991)
Married... with Children (1993)
Mad About You (1994)
Surgical Strike (1994) (Video Game)
Step by Step (1996)
Men Behaving Badly (1997)
The Young and the Restless (1998)