March is Brain Injury Awareness Month!

March is brain injury awareness month. Concussions are sometimes described as a mild brain injury because they are not usually life-threatening, but the effects of concussions can be incredibly serious. PAR offers two apps that can be used by individuals who are concerned with treating and diagnosing concussions.

The Concussion Recognition & Response™ (CRR) app helps coaches and parents recognize whether an individual is exhibiting and/or reporting the signs of a concussion. In fewer than 5 minutes, a parent or coach can complete a checklist of signs and symptoms to help determine whether to seek medical attention. The app allows users to record pertinent information regarding the child with a suspected concussion, allowing them to easily share that information with health-care providers. Post-injury, it guides parents through follow-up treatment.

The Concussion Assessment & Response™: Sport Version (CARE) app is a tool for athletic trainers, team physicians, and other qualified health care professionals to assess the likelihood of a concussion and respond quickly and appropriately.

The CRR app is available free of charge. The CARE app costs just $4.99. Both apps are available for download through the Apple® App StoreSM and Google Play for use on your iPhone®, iPad®, iPod® Touch,  Android™ device, or tablet!

 

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Could You Be Our Next Data Collector?

PAR is currently collecting normative, reliability, and validity data for a number of new products in development. Data collectors are responsible for obtaining test subjects based on the specific project needs as outlined by the Data Collection Coordinator and are compensated on a “per case” basis that varies with each project. Typically, we offer examiners/data collectors an option for either cash payments or credit toward PAR products. We also have provisions for compensating examinees. PAR pays for all shipping and handling fees arising from data collection. If you are interested in collaborating with PAR as a data collector, complete the Examiner Information Form.

For more information on the data collection process, visit this page.

 

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New release: Multidimensional Everyday Memory Ratings for Youth™ (MEMRY™)

MEMRY_cover_fullThe MEMRY is the first nationally standardized rating scale specifically designed to measure memory in children, adolescents, and young adults. It measures everyday memory, learning, and executive aspects of memory, including working memory.

It provides rapid screening for memory problems in youth, an ecologically relevant assessment of memory in everyday life, and multiple perspectives about memory capacity from different raters. The MEMRY can be used to determine whether a more comprehensive evaluation is required or as a core component of a comprehensive assessment for youth suspected of memory problems.

The MEMRY:

  • Features both informant (ages 5-19 years) and self-report (ages 9-21 years) forms.
  • Includes an overall score, the Everyday Memory Index (EMI), as well as scales that tap learning, daily memory, and executive/working memory and three validity scales.
  • Allows clinicians to differentiate between problems caused by memory failures versus failures due to problems with working memory and attention, a common referral question.
  • Appropriate for use with typically developing youth, as well as individuals with suspected memory or learning problems.
  • Provides intervention recommendations based on MEMRY scores.

The MEMRY was conormed with the Child and Adolescent Memory Profile™ (ChAMP™) and the Memory Validity Profile™ (MVP), providing a full suite of memory products!

Learn more about the MEMRY today!

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Now available!
The BRIEF2 Interpretive Guide!

Since 2000, school psychologists have turned to the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF) to examine executive function in the everyday, real-world environments of children ages 5 to 18 years. A revision to that groundbreaking test, the BRIEF2, was published in 2015. Featuring more concise scales, increased sensitivity to executive function problems in key clinical groups like autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and new screening forms for parents, teachers, and students, the BRIEF2 is the gold-standard for executive function testing.

A new companion piece, developed and written by the BRIEF2 authors, is now available.

The BRIEF2 Interpretive Guide helps school psychologists and educators gain a deeper understanding of BRIEF2 scores, write reports, plan intervention strategies, and monitor progress of students with executive function concerns.

Using case examples of students with ASD and ADHD and written in a straightforward, reader-friendly style, the authors weave a narrative that will be familiar to most education professionals. This helpful guide offers optional interpretive steps and demonstrates uses for screening, basic, and advanced interpretation.

Included are step-by-step guides to interpreting BRIEF2 scores and parallel sentence-by-sentence guides to help professionals write findings in reports using language that is concise, accurate, and clear to parents and teachers.

“It is so enjoyable to witness how outstanding clinicians learn what they know, teach what they know, and practice what they know,” writes Elaine Fletcher-Janzen, EdD, ABPdN, professor of school psychology, in the book’s foreword. “This book is a glimpse into how clinical practice and the assessment and treatment of EF should be done, or how the experts do it. The reader is left with a comforting thought that if the practices and recommendations in the book are followed, then the best has been done for the child and the family. I feel very comfortable handing this book over to my students and saying, Do what they do!”

The BRIEF2 Interpretive Guide is available in both hardcover and electronic formats. Order or learn more.

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PAR heads to NASP 2017!

Are you attending the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) Annual Convention? Make sure to stop by the PAR booth while you are in San Antonio! You can use your conference discount to order your favorite assessment products or learn about our newest releases while visiting with PAR staff and authors.

Stop by the PAR booth to meet the following authors and experts:

Cecil Reynolds, PhD, Wednesday, February 22, 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.

Scott Poland, DEd, Wednesday, February 22, 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Steven Feifer, DEd, Thursday, February 23, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Peter Isquith, PhD, Thursday, February 23, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.

 

And don’t miss these presentations:

Reynolds Intellectual Assessment Scales, Second Edition (RIAS-2): Development, Psychometrics, Applications, and Interpretation

Cecil Reynolds, PhD

Wednesday, February 22, 2:30 to 4 p.m.

 

Increasing the School Psychologist’s Role and Improving Defensible Threat Assessment

Scott Poland, DEd, and Julie Alexander Gettman, PhD

Wednesday, February 22, 2:30 to 4 p.m.

 

The Neuropsychology of Mathematics: Diagnosis and Intervention

Steven Feifer, DEd

Thursday, February 23, 8:00 to 9:50 a.m.

 

A Neuropsychological Approach for Identifying and Remediating Specific Reading Disorders

Steven Feifer, DEd

Friday, February 24, 8:00 to 9:20 a.m.

 

A Neuropsychological Approach for Identifying and Remediating Specific Math Disorders

Steven Feifer, DEd

Friday, February 24, 10:00 to 11:20 a.m.

 

Memory Assessment Matters: Recent Developments in Memory Science, Assessment, and Intervention

Julie Alexander Gettman, PhD, and Kathleen Woodward, EdS

Friday, February 24, 12:00 to 1:50 p.m.

 

Looking forward to seeing you in Texas!

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Five Things You Didn’t Know About the PAR Training Portal

The PAR Training Portal is designed with your valuable time in mind, giving you a quick way to become acquainted with select PAR assessments. Whether you become more knowledgeable about a test you know and use or you preview an instrument you are considering purchasing, the PAR Training Portal is a free, on-demand resource available 24/7.

Here are five things you should know about the PAR Training Portal:

  1. You can watch the whole course or skip to the parts you are most interested in! Each interactive course offers a course topics menu on the left-hand side of the screen that allows you to navigate to any page within the course. You don’t need to watch every screen and can select the parts that are most important for your needs. Arrows allow you to move to the next page or previous page in the course.
  2. There are many types of offerings! In addition to interactive courses, there are also recorded Webinars, supplemental materials, author videos, and notifications of upcoming live events and sessions!
  3. We are always adding new material! If you haven’t visited in a while, there is so much to see! In fact, a recorded Webinar on the PDD Behavior Inventory was just added recently! Check it out!
  4. All courses are free… and you can watch them as many times as you want! Sometimes you just need a refresher on the finer points of an assessment. Stop by the portal for a quick reminder of what you need to know.
  5. The PAR Training Portal is a great way to train an individual or a whole staff! Many schools have used the portal to train all the individuals in their group. It’s an efficient and cost-effective solution for training.

Visit www.parinc.com/training today for FREE training!

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It’s National School Counseling Week!

The week of Feb. 6-10, 2017, is National School Counseling Week, sponsored by the American School Counselor Association. This year’s theme is “School Counseling: Helping Students Realize Their Potential.” The celebration places a spotlight on how school counselors can help students achieve school success and plan for a career.

PAR is proud to salute those who are dedicated to the task of working with children in schools across the country who devote their time and energy to this vital and important endeavor.

In the spirit of celebrating, we’d like to tell you about some new assessment products that will soon be available to help you help your students.

The Multidimensional Everyday Memory Ratings for Youth (MEMRY) is the first and only nationally standardized rating scale designed to measure everyday memory, in children, adolescents, and young adults ages 5-21 years. It measures everyday memory, learning, and executive aspects of memory in youth, including working memory.

The Reynolds Interference Task (RIT) is a Stroop-style test of complex processing speed that measures neuropsychological integrity, complex processing speed deficits, and attention across a wide age range (6-94 years). It adds a layer of cognitive processing difficulty to simple tasks, making them more complex and thus more indicative of cognitive flexibility and selective attention.

The MEMRY and RIT will be released in March.

PAR would like to thank all school counselors for the crucial work you perform every single day. Your efforts are the personification of our tagline: Creating Connections. Changing Lives.

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Five Celebrities Who Authored Psychological Studies

Did you know that some of Hollywood’s popular celebrities majored in psychology? From athletes to actors to musicians, many have backgrounds in the study of the mind. Some of these include producer Jerry Bruckheimer, horror writer Wes Craven, singer Gloria Estefan, and comedian Jon Stewart. Others have even more lofty accomplishments to add to their resume—they have authored psychological studies.

  1. Lisa Kudrow – Lisa is known for her quirky roles as Phoebe Buffay on Friends and as Ursula on Mad About You. Lisa is the daughter of neurologist Lee N. Kudrow, who specialized in the treatment of migraine headaches, which both he and Lisa have suffered from. Lisa wrote an article with her dad, along with two others, regarding the relationship between handedness and headaches. They studied two groups of those suffering headaches and found that they did not differ significantly from each other or from the expected 10% frequency of left-handedness in males and females. Ironically, Lisa went on to star in a TV series called Web Therapy, where she plays an unorthodox psychologist.
  2. Colin Firth – Colin is an actor known for The King’s Speech and Love Actually. Because of his appearance on a BBC radio show, he authored a study that appeared in Current Biology about the neurological roots of political affiliations. Neuroscientists scanned the brains of politicians from the UK’s Conservative and Labour parties, Alan Duncan and Stephen Pound because Firth wanted to determine whether they had differences in their political leanings. Scientist Geraint Rees continued this research and found that liberal and conservative attitudes were associated with thicker parts of the brain. Researchers concluded that political leanings could be predicted with 72% accuracy by evaluating brain structure.
  3. Natalie Portman – Natalie is an actress known for V for Vendetta and Star Wars: Return of the Sith. Natalie majored in psychology while she was at Harvard, under the name Natalie Hershlag. She studied the neuroscience of child development and conducted a study with several prominent psychologists, investigating the link between frontal lobe development and visual knowledge in infants. They used various fMRI scans to determine which brain areas correspond to object permanence. The researchers discovered that frontal lobes kicked in when children develop the knowledge that hidden objects still exist. The study also demonstrated that near-infrared spectroscopy could be used to successfully study the brain development of very young children.
  4. Tim Duncan – Tim is a retired professional basketball player who played with the San Antonio Spurs for almost 20 years. He is a five-time NBA champion and a 15-time NBA All-Star. When he was an undergraduate at Wake Forest University, he and his professor, psychologist Mark Leary, coauthored a chapter in a book called Aversive Interpersonal Behaviors. It evaluated reactions to narcissistic behaviors. Duncan and Leary concluded that one or more of the following produces and maintains egotism: a sincere, but usually mistaken, belief that one is better than others; an attempt to create a positive impression on others; and a concerted effort to defend against deep-seated feelings of inferiority.
  5. John T. Teller – John is one half of the popular comedic magician duo Penn & Teller. They have appeared on numerous television shows, conducted many world tours, and written three New York Times best sellers. In 2008, John authored an article that appeared in Nature Reviews Neuroscience called “Attention and Awareness in Stage Magic: Turning Tricks Into Research Regarding How Magicians Can Contribute to the Study of Human Attention and Awareness.” The study indicated that “by studying magicians and their techniques, neuroscientists can learn powerful methods to manipulate attention and awareness in the laboratory. Such methods could be exploited to directly study the behavioural and neural basis of consciousness itself, for instance, through the use of brain imaging and other neural recording techniques.”
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Observe, pinpoint, intervene:
An interview with DBR Connect authors

The concept of direct behavior rating (DBR) began in the late 1960s with school psychologist Calvin Edlund. He posited a program whereby teachers first explained to students what acceptable behavior was and then rated them at the end of each lesson. Unlike rating scale assessments, which ask teachers and parents to recall a child’s behavior during a 30-day period or so, direct behavior rating relies on real-time observation.

 DBR combines the strength of a rating scale and the benefit of direct observation. Using this system, teachers can not only identify specific behaviors in real time, but they can also rate those behaviors. 

 From this idea, DBR Connect was created. PAR recently spoke with DBR Connect coauthors Sandra M. Chafouleaus, PhD, and T. Chris Riley-Tillman, PhD, to learn more about how this product can help students and teachers to succeed.

Q: Direct behavior rating has been around for quite some time. Historically, what changes have taken place to get us to where we are today?

Drs. Chafouleas and Riley-Tillman: Yes, direct behavior ratings were developed from daily behavior report cards, home–school notes, and other tools that educators and parents have used for decades as a way to communicate information about child behavior. We took that rich history of use and worked to standardize the instrumentation and procedures. This allowed for comprehensive evaluation of the psychometric evidence for use in screening and progress monitoring purposes. DBR Connect is the result of all of that research and development, overall supporting that DBR Connect can provide data that are reliable, valid, and sensitive to change. 

Q: How does DBR tie into positive behavioral support and/or multitiered models of delivery of services?

Multitiered models of service delivery and positive behavioral support are founded in prevention—that is, early identification and remediation of difficulties. These frameworks require use of ongoing data to inform decisions about continuing, modifying, or terminating supports, and DBR Connect functions as an ideal prevention-oriented method for progress monitoring assessment.

 Q: You have described DBR Connect as a hybrid tool. What do you mean by that?

DBR Connect offers strengths of both traditional rating scales and systematic direct observation. That is, like systematic direct observation, a predefined observation period is selected with repeated assessment to allow for comparison of data across assessment periods, required in progress monitoring. The instrumentation and procedures are highly efficient like rating scales because only a brief rating of the defined targets is needed to record data. 

Q: You mention in your book that one of the roles of DBR is communication. Can you talk a bit about that?

Yes, DBR has a rich history in use for communication purposes, whether teacher–teacher, teacher–parent, teacher–student, or parent–student. It is easy to understand at all levels and provides a simple format for discussing behavior expectations. 

 Q: What guided your decision to focus on the three core behavioral competencies that you chose for DBR Connect?

Our research started with a broad review of the literature on school-based behavior expectations in schools—including consideration of indicators of student success and those areas most concerning to educators. We narrowed the literature to items that could be defined both in broad and narrow terms, and then conducted a series of research studies to identify those target behaviors that resulted in the strongest evidence for use. In the end, the core school-based behavioral competencies—that is, those behaviors that every student should display in order to fully access instruction and participate in the school environment—are academically engaged, disruptive, and respectful. That said, we also acknowledge that some situations may call for additional targets; thus, we maintain the flexibility by supporting use for any behavior of relevance to a particular context. 

 Q: Who is the target audience for DBR Connect?

Teachers are the primary users of DBR Connect, meaning they serve as the primary raters and producers of data summaries for decision making. However, all educators (e.g., administrators, school psychologists) can benefit from data reports to inform decision making, and there may be some situations in which other users may serve as appropriate raters (e.g., monitoring of behavior progress during counseling sessions). Remember, an important strength of a DBR data stream is the capacity to share with students and parents to communicate information about behavior.

 

 For more information on DBR Connect or to take a tour, visit http://www.mydbrconnect.com/.

 

 

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PAR’s Concussion Apps are for Parents, Coaches, Trainers, and More!

CONC_APPYouth concussions are a hot topic in the news, especially in light of recent developments in a class-action lawsuit against the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

To help athletes, parents, coaches, trainers, and more, PAR offers two concussion apps. The Concussion Recognition & Response™ (CRR) app helps coaches and parents recognize whether an individual is exhibiting and/or reporting signs of a concussion. In fewer than 5 minutes, a parent or coach can complete a checklist of signs and symptoms to help determine whether to seek medical attention. The app allows users to record pertinent information regarding the child with a suspected concussion, allowing them to easily share that information with health-care providers. Post-injury, it guides parents through follow-up treatment.

The CRR app was developed by concussion experts Gerard A. Gioia and Jason Mihalik and has received accolades from former NFL quarterback Steve Young.

“As a former NFL player, national spokesperson for the Positive Coaching Alliance, and someone who has personally experienced the significant effects of a concussion, I believe every parent of a young athlete and coaches should be fully aware of the signs and symptoms of a concussion in a young athlete,” Young said. “This app should be a necessary part of every comprehensive youth concussion management and awareness program.”

The Concussion Assessment & Response™: Sport Version (CARE) app is a tool for athletic trainers, team physicians, and other qualified health care professionals to assess the likelihood of a concussion and respond quickly and appropriately.

The CRR app is available free of charge. The CARE app costs just $4.99. Both apps are available for download through the Apple® App StoreSM and Google Play for use on your iPhone®, iPad®, iPod® Touch, Android™ device, or tablet!

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Creating Connections. Changing Lives.