Dr. Meera has been selected (from 2019 November onward) as an early career global representative (India and neighboring countries) under the Global Representative Initiative Pilot (GRIP) - an initiative by the early career committee (https://www.autism-insar.org/page/ECC) of the International Society for Autism Research (INSAR; https://www.autism-insar.org/).
As a part of this initiative, Meera is convening a work group that brings together early career researchers, from India and neighboring countries, working in the area of autism research.
As a member of this work group, you can:
1. Learn more about INSAR
2. Build a network among ECC members and identify mentors
3. Be involved in active discussions on latest/ trending research in autism – the group meets virtually once in 2 months on a day and at a time convenient to most members. Currently the group meets on the second Wednesday of odd months (e.g. July, September, November) at 4 pm IST
4. Use this platform to present your work
5. Invite others to collaborate in research projects
6. Discuss about various funding mechanisms and upcoming conferences for EC researchers/ clinicians
7. Interact with senior autism researchers within India and around the world - senior researchers will be invited to deliver talks
Complete the following steps:
1. Register for an INSAR profile through the website
2. After creating an INSAR profile, fill in the GRIP interest form
3. Please write to firstname.lastname@example.org once you complete this process stating that you have completed your registration.
4. Once you have completed the above steps (1-3), you will be added to the work group listserv.
Tips for healthcare providers to enhance communication with their patients when wearing a mask
Communication, a bi-directional act, helps people exchange information, ideas, share feelings and thoughts. Communication may be verbal (e.g. speech), non-verbal (e.g. Text messages, facial expressions, gestures, signs, pictures, emojis) or often a combination of both.
In view of the current COVID- 19 pandemic, it is recommended that all healthcare providers and patients wear face masks. Using masks may interfere with communication in the following ways: (1) masks attenuate speech signals produced by the speaker thus making the speech sound soft (decreased loudness) and muffled (unclear production) (2) masks may render the voice of a person unnatural (3) masks will ‘mask’ a large part of our facial expressions which is an important mode of non-verbal communication. These issues are likely to lead to a communication breakdown, particularly in patients with neuropsychiatric disorders who may be cognitively impaired e.g. patients with schizophrenia.
Hence, healthcare providers can adopt simple strategies to enhance their communication and reduce communication breakdowns when interacting with patients. Here we present a few tips for healthcare providers to enhance their communication with their patients (adults) when wearing a mask.
We host a journal club every alternate month (even months - e.g. June, August, October) on the second Wednesday between 4-5 pm IST. We discuss recent articles on autism and related developmental disorders.
The group comprises of a multi disciplinary team of clinicians and researchers interested in autism research. If you wish to join this group write to us at email@example.com.
All meetings are hosted online.
Autism Spectrum Disorders and Epilepsy – An Exploration of the Relationship
Funding: Indian Council for Medical Research, Government of India
PI: Dr. Sathish Girimaji, Senior Professor, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Collaborating departments: Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Neurology, Neuro Interventional Radiology, Clinical Psychology and Bio-statistics, NIMHANS
A multi-dimensional follow up study of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) symptoms with onset in preschool years: understanding the behavioral, environmental and functional aspects
PI: Dr. Preeti Jacob, Associate Professor, Dept. of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Funding: NIMHANS (intramural research grant)
Collaborating departments: Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Clinical Psychology, NIMHANS
A multidimensional study of preschool children with ADHD: Developmental outcomes of executive functioning, adaptive behavior and pre-academic skills
PI: Dr. Thomas Kishore, Additional Professor, Dept. of Clinical Psychology
Funding: NIMHANS (intramural research grant)
Collaborating departments: Clinical Psychology, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and Bio-statistics, NIMHANS
Effects of bilingualism on language development in Down’s syndrome
PI: Dr. Meenakshi Bhat, Professor and Head, Dept. of Clinical Genetics, Indira Gandhi Institute of Child Health (IGICH), Bangalore.
In collaboration with Departments of Pediatrics, and Clinical Genetics, Indira Gandhi Institute of Child Health (IGICH), Bangalore.