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psychology professor Antonio Pascual-LeoneGraduate students training to become clinical psychologists benefit from experience assessing children facing emotional, psychological or learning challenges, says psychology professor Antonio Pascual-Leone.

Support service picks up slack in child psycho-educational assessment

Children facing emotional, psychological or learning challenges are receiving some much-needed support from UWindsor’s Psychological Services and Research Centre—better known as the House on Sunset.

For the past two-and-a-half years, the centre has been taking referrals for child clinical assessments from schools, doctors, psychiatrists, and community agencies such as the Windsor Regional Children’s Centre and the Teen Health Centre, giving parents vital insight into what may be troubling their children.

Assessments can give families the documentation they need to access specialized care for their children both at school and in the community, while providing cutting-edge experience for graduate students in training to become clinical psychologists.

House on Sunset director Antonio Pascual-Leone says clients six to 18 years of age and their families receive services from a team of graduate psychology students under the direction of clinical supervisors who are psychologists with their own private practices in the community.

“It’s a real gem in terms of clinical service,” says Dr. Pascual-Leone. “The team approach that we use provides various perspectives on each situation so we can provide families with a multi-pronged solution.”

Each child assessment takes between five and eight hours and provides students with an intense, frontline client experience under the watchful eye of seasoned faculty members who provide detailed feedback. Pascual-Leone says this real-world training opportunity is available at only a few other institutions in Canada, and Windsor’s place as one of the country’s most culturally diverse cities gives students a unique opportunity to gain a broad treatment perspective.

Young clients and their families receive services they need at a geared-to-income cost and with a considerably shorter wait time than assessments done through schools and agencies.

“Due to financial constraints, a reduced number of school and community assessments are being completed,” Pascual-Leone says. “This often leaves parents without resources, or an extremely long waiting period. We offer a much needed and highly skilled service to the community at an affordable price.”

He says many members of the community are unaware of the services offered at the House on Sunset because its low-key signage is intended to protect the privacy of its clients. The building’s small rooms and cozy home-like atmosphere make it a perfect safe-feeling space for youngsters and their families dealing with difficult challenges.

“We have parents come from as far away as London to get assessments for their children and they are always grateful that they are getting insight into what their child needs.”

To learn more, read the brochure promoting the centre’s assessment service.