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Client in Focus – Sean Tobin Posted on October 9, 2018
Sean is also a co-founder of Coast Autism Awareness, which is a community group, based on the NSW Central Coast. Coast Autism Awareness (CAA) aims at providing Awareness and Education in regards to the challenges families face with Autism.
Sean shares with us his professional journey and how it transcends the objectives of CAA.
Sean has an extensive career history in the consumer electronics industry, specialising in emerging technologies. Starting in 1994 Sean worked for global Japanese giant NEC, moving forward to establish the Australian start-up for the OEM Taiwanese brand “BenQ”.
Sean talks about his career so far, “After BenQ, I was recruited to join American company “InFocus”, based in Portland Oregon.USA, with the mandate to develop and oversee a global strategy to combat the cannibalisation of aftermarket copy replacement parts. It was a true global business adventure with client and resource management stretching through USA / EMEA and manufacturing in China”
Returning home to Sydney to join Samsung as a senior manager responsible for display products, Sean experienced a timeline that oversaw the introduction of 3D and internet TV and smartphones into the Australian market, representing close to $2 billion turn over locally.
More recently, Sean was head hunted to big-game player, Microsoft, as Lead product management for the Microsoft Xbox 360 platform which has been going from strength the strength.
As a senior Microsoft executive, Sean stresses the importance of work- life balance and like many Central Coast residents, enjoys spending time with his wife Alison and family.
He has been married to his wife, Alison, since 2005 and is a proud father of two beautiful children, Oliver (4 years) and Tayla (2 years).
Both children were diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) which presented Sean and his wife with new challenges which they rise to on a daily basis.
This new journey has led Sean and Alison on a path of self discovery, but also, an understanding that more needs to be done to raise community awareness of ASD.
Started in 2012, Coast Autism Awareness sets out to create support within the community and more importantly, provide Awareness and Education on available therapies, along with highlighting the challenges families face with Autism.
There are key learning’s that can be brought across from the corporate world and applied to home challenges that any family with children can benefit from such as;
(i) Seeking professional advice outside your expertise – and getting the best advice
(ii) Researching all things associated with the task – Form your own opinion from reading & hearing a wide
base of ideas
(iii) Form planning “Accept > Focus > Action” – when faced with direct challenges
Sean shares how his professional experiences and skills link to day-to-day care for Ollie and Tayla, “Running two separate ABA (applied behaviour analysis) programs for our children incorporates the very best of the skill sets both Alison and I have gained over or professional careers.”
“The daily / weekly / monthly management of 9 casual staff; from initial staffing search and canvassing to interviews and profile matching, to semester timetable planning with the required flexible amendments. Short (monthly) Mid (4-6 monthly) and long term (yearly) goal setting for both the children’s programs, with managing and monitoring data as well as recording results the key to tracking those goals.”
Research shows that 1 in 110 children have an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and that it is more prevalent in boys than girls. ASD’s are lifelong developmental disabilities characterised by marked difficulties in social interaction, impaired communication, restricted and repetitive interests and behaviours.
Currently, there is no single known cause for ASD, however recent research has identified strong genetic links. ASD is not caused by an individual’s upbringing or their social circumstances.
There is presently no known cure for ASD.
However, early intervention, specialised education and structured support can help develop an individual’s skills. Every individual with ASD will make progress, although each individual’s progress will be different. Progress depends on a number of factors including the unique makeup of the individual and the type and intensity of intervention. With the support of family, friends and service providers, individuals with ASD can achieve a good quality of life.
Sean outline’s where the Government/Public sector is lacking impact on families with ASD. “The Commonwealth Government’s Best Practice Guidelines state that ‘A program needs to be of at least 20 hours per week over an extended period of at least two years’. This equates to 1000 hours per year for 2 years. Currently the Government Helping Children with Autism package falls short of providing children with best practice early intervention. Recognised ABA Program providers fees along with the min weekly hour requirements, stated by the Government own best practice guidelines , equates to approx. $35,000 a year.”
The future for children with autism can be significantly improved if they can access quality early intervention that meets best practice guidelines. Studies also demonstrate autism is expensive. But if governments invest in Best Practice early intervention, making full-time programs universally accessible to all children with autism there could be a lifetime cost saving of up to $2 million for every person with autism.
As a local small business, join us at the 1st Grade Rugby Match between Avoca and Gosford on the 18th August at Gosford Showground for the inaugural autism awareness match between these 2 arch rivals.