Tips for Parents of Autistic Children

Autistic Children pic
Autistic Children
Image: autismspeaks.org

Sean Southland, formerly of Performance Research Sciences, is the CEO and president of TrinityTEK Racing Development. Outside of work, Sean Southland has been involved in numerous autism awareness campaigns, such as the Race to Impact Autism One Child at a Time, held by TrinityTEK in 2013.

A child’s diagnosis of autism can often leave parents struggling to adjust to the challenges presented to them. Here are some basic tips.

1. Take time for you.
This personal time is crucial to the well-being of a parent of a child with autism, particularly those caring for children at the higher end of the spectrum. Take advantage of any chance you have to indulge in the activities you love, be it going to the gym or simply watching television.

2. Communicate.
You may find it difficult to gain your child’s attention when you need to communicate. Alert the child to your intentions by using his or her name to start the conversation. Do not ask a question or give instructions until your child is looking in your direction, else you may find your child unintentionally ignores you.

3. Realize that some things don’t work.
You will receive advice from many different sources and you shouldn’t fear experimentation. However, also accept that what may work for one parent may not work for you. Aim to see every failure as a learning experience.

The Ethical Obligations All ISNR Members Must Meet

International Society for Neurofeedback & Research  pic
International Society for Neurofeedback & Research
Image: isnr.org

Formerly the health and wellness coordinator of Performance Research Sciences, Sean Southland now oversees operations at TrinityTEK Racing Development as the school’s CEO. In addition, Sean Southland retains membership to the International Society for Neurofeedback & Research (ISNR), which promotes excellence in research, clinical practice, and education related to applied neuroscience. All ISNR members must meet ten ethical principles, which define how the professional acts in relation to the neuroscience field and the people it serves.

ISNR members must maintain high standards of professional competence as it relates to the member’s profession and its current guidelines and standards, in addition to offering full accuracy in all statements of professional credentials and knowledge, verifiable via published scientific papers and evidence.

In terms of service provision, the member must have an ever-present concern for the well-being of treatment recipients and a dedication to protecting others from harm while providing services to all, regardless of creed, age, race, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, or social and religious affiliations. Further, ISNR members must respect the rights of service recipients to participate in planning procedures and to refuse or cease treatment.

Further, ISNR members commit to creating professional and objective relationships with all service recipients and protecting confidential information gathered during professional interactions unless otherwise stipulated by law.

Finally, members must support discourse relating to theories and findings within the applied neuroscience field and provide assistance to treatment recipients to ensure they retain appropriate levels of self-regulation and autonomy, all while adhering to the ISNR’s Professional Code of Conduct and retaining their moral character.

The Correlation between Autism and High Intelligence

Autism and High Intelligence pic
Autism and High Intelligence
Image: spectrumnews.org

Sean Southland, a performance researcher and entrepreneur, has long had an interest in helping children and adults improve their physical and mental well-being. He co-founded the IDEA Foundation as a means of helping young people with autism and other neurological conditions to make positive changes in their lives. The IDEA team continues to base its work on investigative foundations that Sean Southland originally established.

Recent research has challenged the traditional view that children with autism are developmentally disabled and unable to function fully in society. While children with autism tend to score poorly on standard intelligence tests based on verbal fluency, they often do well or even excel on tests geared toward pattern recognition and visual reasoning. Thus, many researchers advance the theory that autism, at least for those at the higher end of the spectrum, is associated with a special type of intelligence.

Physicians and family members have noted that some young people with autism display a keen ability to detect numerical and spatial anomalies, giving them insights into projects that people without autism may lack.

And, say some neuroscientists, tests have demonstrated a high level of correlation between intelligence and the risk factors for autism. These researchers say that autism may confer a fine-grained intelligence in certain specific areas, rather than the all-around type of intelligence that is more common and easily identified.

The Types of Autism Spectrum Disorders

Autism Spectrum pic
Autism Spectrum
Image: webmd.com

With a doctorate in business administration, Sean Southland is an experienced entrepreneur who founded the neurobiological research company Performance Research Sciences. Also a committed philanthropist, Dr. Sean Southland has a strong interest in therapy and life skills development for children with Autism spectrum disorders and co-founded the IDEA Foundation, which aims to help such children.

A spectrum of serious neuro-developmental disorders, the autism spectrum consists of disorders that affect the ability to communicate and interact socially. The word spectrum is used along with autism to recognize the range of impairments and issues that can arise due to the disorder. The autism spectrum is now considered a single disorder by the American Psychiatric Association and includes three disorders within it.

Also known as high intelligence autism, Asperger’s syndrome is the mildest form of autism and causes the individual to be obsessed with a single subject while showing social impairment otherwise. The majority of autism cases fall into Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD), which is more severe than Asperger’s. PDD includes a range of conditions and impairments but usually has a later onset than the other types of autism.

Lastly, autistic disorder is the most severe, including serious social and communication issues and sometimes including intellectual disabilities and seizures. For additional information on the types of autism, visit www.webmd.com/brain/autism.