VIDEO: St. Catharines student wins best video dealing with special needs children’s behaviour


Published March 8, 2022 at 10:10 am

Brock University graduate Caitlyn Gallant's one-minute video explaining complex special needs children's therapy won as the best entry for the university. (Photo: Brock University)

It may be the most relatable summation created to explain the tricky matter of why children with mental health needs often don’t respond to treatment – a car stuck in the snow.

In fact, it is such a common sense approach to a complex issue that it won a Brock University student in St. Catharines top marks in the Faculty of Graduate Studies’ inaugural GRADflix video research competition.

Caitlyn Gallant, who recently completed her PhD in Psychology, explained in a short video that much like a car stuck in a snowdrift, the mind of children afflicted with mental health problems at an early stage is akin to tires spinning relentlessly and pointlessly in the inclement weather.

To that end, Gallant’s impressive entry beat out more than 20 one-minute videos released as part of the competition from a variety of graduate students and recent graduates showcasing their research.

“It was a really nice surprise,” Gallant after discovering she had won. “There were so many creative and engaging video submissions, so placing in the competition is an honour and very exciting.”

Gallant’s research looked at the biological, psychological and social factors to show approaches that don’t often work with special needs children and how psychologists can identify markers that can help them identify unique cases early on.

The high quality of the entries and the graduate student research made selecting the winners a difficult task for the judging panel, which included three members of Brock’s Senior Administration team:

  • Robyn Bourgeois, Acting Vice-Provost, Indigenous Engagement
  • Tim Kenyon, Vice-President, Research
  • Ken Chan, Vice-President, Administration

Kenyon said he learned something memorable from every video he watched.

“I was delighted to see the creativity and clarity with which graduate scholars at Brock explain their amazing research,” he said. “The submissions were accessible and intellectually generous, depicting important avenues of inquiry.”

Gallant, currently a Post-doctoral Fellow in the Developmental Disabilities and Mental Health Lab at York University, is working with Jonathan Weiss and Children’s Mental Health Ontario to help build provider capacity and improve mental health services for children and youth with autism.

Here’s her video that beat out the impressive competition.

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