UWindsor offers affordable cognitive testing for kids at new clinic

The University of Windsor has opened a new clinic to give access of neuropsychological testing to low-income families.

Costs will be adjusted based on a client's household income

University of Windsor student Amanda O'Brien said the new clinic will help parents understand why their children are struggling in school. (Jason Viau/CBC)

The University of Windsor opened a new clinic Friday, offering neuropsychological testing services for children.

Neuropsychology studies the brain and its activities with human behaviour. The clinic will assess people for anything from Alzheimer's disease and dementia, to learning disabilities and visual-spatial memory.

Amanda O'Brien, a graduate student in the clinical neuropsychology program, said the facility will utilize a "sliding-scale" fee structure to open its doors to low-income families based on their household income.

"[Assessments] can cost upwards of thousands of dollars and can take up to eight or nine hours of working with the client," said O'Brien. 

"So parents can come here for more affordable assessments and also be able to learn more about their children and help them do better at school or figure out where their strengths and weaknesses are for future planning," she explained.

Professor Carlin Miller said the "sliding-scale" fee can range from $200 to $1,100. (Jason Viau/CBC)

Services are provided by graduate students under the supervision of faculty member neuropsychologists who are registered psychologists and members of the College of Psychologists of Ontario. In some cases, services may be provided directly by faculty members.

The clinic will mainly treat children, but is also open to older clients.

"We'll assess a child who has been born premature [or] an older adult who's had a number of small strokes trying to get a sense of what their overall functioning looks like," said University of Windsor professor Carlin Miller.

The Psychological Services and Research Centre will offer cognitive assessments to low-income families. (Jason Viau/CBC)

After the assessment, the clinic can help direct patients to further treatment or care.

The new clinic is located at the House on Riverside — 2629 Riverside Drive West.

with files from the CBC's Jason Viau