For 18-year-old Mattie Seaman, the autism journey and its related disorders have been a long-associated topic with an autistic relative.
Mattie says, “We have an autistic family member, and we’ve always believed that investing our time to learn more about the symptoms pays off.”
She further adds I have been looking forward to exploring more options and opportunities to have a better understanding of autism which will let me help autistic individuals.
Mattie is successfully interning at two different organizations this summer. She has enrolled herself in the Lurie Center for Autism and New England Center for Children (NECC).
She says her work at these institutions has led her to experience autism both from clinical and educational perspectives.
Mattie adds, “Having done a lot of community service for autistic people and helping others with disabilities, I am looking for an active career in autism advocacy. I aim to reach people by offering special education or by exploring different avenues.”
At present, Mattie works as an educator at the research institute of NECC. NECC is a non-profit research center focusing on people with autism. Mattie is a resident teacher who teaches young girls aged 16 to 21 years old.
She makes use of Applied Behavior Analysis techniques to create a unique Individualized Education Plan for each and every student.
NECC has developed a unique teaching niche which involves using ABA to assist autistic students.
Mattie works by recording her pupil’s performance in varied programs. She grades them accordingly and helps them balance the difficulty levels.
Her work has paid off by reinforcing motivational attitudes among her students for their positive behaviors.
Nevertheless, Mattie is careful in her assessments and she regularly validates them to ensure she is addressing the needs of her students accurately. The lessons her students undergo include writing, math and reading, along with extra-curricular tasks such as regularly working out, taking swimming classes and going on shopping trips.
On the other hand, Mattie involves herself in research work at the Laurie Center. At present, she is working on research on the Phelan McDermid syndrome.
The Phelan syndrome is seen to arise due to genetic abnormalities in individuals. However, this has not been extensively researched yet.
Further, Mattie involves herself in working with doctors in order to analyse the data collected from the patients’ symptoms.
She has joined a team of researchers and is gradually progressing on a study that has a niche focus on the electroencephalogram. The team is analysing different forms of a clinical approach towards the treatment.
Mattie is successfully able to connect with her patients which help her to offer them support for the well-being of their physical and emotional health.