Exposure to individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders is crucial to better equip the Master of Clinical Psychology (MCP) students in providing evidence-based psychological assessment and intervention. As part of the clinical practicum training under the Master of Clinical Psychology programme at Taylors University, students had the opportunity to conduct their clinical practicum at The Ark Autism Centre, owned by Hospital Sungai Buloh.
At The Ark Autism Centre, the students mainly handle children with neurodevelopmental disorder(s), which predominantly have Autism Spectrum Disorder. Students visited the Ark Autism Centre on a regular basis, to plan and implement psychological interventions and approaches, such as play-based therapy. With the guidance from the Module Leader of Clinical Practicum and Seminar, Dr. Sam Jeng Mun, Senior Lecturer and Clinical Psychologist at Taylor’s University and the person-in-charge of The Ark Autism Centre, Dr. Zahilah Filzah binti Mohd Zulkifli, Pediatrician at Hospital Sungai Buloh, students had a great opportunity to learn through hands-on techniques.
Students reported that they appreciated this learning opportunity as it can be a rare opportunity for them to have high exposure on individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders. They have also enjoyed the inter-disciplinary learning and practices that took place when Dr. Zahilah Filzah shared about her experiences in dealing with children with neurodevelopmental disorders, as well as sharing the concept of play and rapport building. The Master of Clinical Psychology programme from Taylor’s University is grateful for this collaboration with The Ark Autism Centre, Hospital Sungai Buloh as it enriches the students’ real-world learning experiences.
Students benefited not only by practicing their skills and knowledge when having sessions with the children at The Ark Autism Centre, but also developed more understanding in working with caregivers and parents, as well as teachers and the Pediatrician. Great insights have been developed by working in a centre owned by the public hospital.