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There’s so much in store at NASP 2016!

Are you headed to New Orleans for NASP? Be sure to stop by booth #306. PAR will be there to demonstrate PARiConnect, show you how to access our free online Training Portal, and give you a hands-on look at our latest products.  The following PAR authors will be at the booth to answer your questions:

The following PAR authors will be presenting at the conference. Make sure to check out these can’t-miss sessions:

  • Reynolds Intellectual Assessment Scales™ (RIAS™-2): Development, Psychometrics, Applications, and Interpretation (MS061), Cecil R. Reynolds, PhD, Wednesday, February 10, 12:30 p.m. to 2:20 p.m.
  • The Neuropsychology of Mathematics: Diagnosis and Intervention (MS057), Steven G. Feifer, DEd, Thursday, February 11, 8 a.m. to 9:50 a.m.
  • Unstuck and on Target: An Elementary School Executive Function Curriculum (MS155), Lauren Kenworthy, PhD, Friday, February 12, 8 a.m. to 9:50 a.m
  • DBR Connect™: Using Technology to Facilitate Assessment and Intervention (MS140), Lindsey M. O’Brennan, PhD, and T. Chris Riley-Tillman, PhD, Friday, February 12, 4 p.m. to 5:50 p.m.
  • Concussion Management Skill Development for School-Based Professionals (DS006), Gerard A. Gioia, PhD, Friday, February 12, 1 p.m. to 2:20 p.m.
  • Introducing the BRIEF®2: Enhancing Evidence-Based Executive Function Assessment (WS038), Peter K. Isquith, PhD, and Gerard A. Gioia, PhD, Saturday, February 13, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Plus, all orders placed at the PAR booth during NASP will receive 15% off as well as free shipping and handling!

Follow PAR on Facebook and Twitter for updates throughout the conference!

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PAR is on the way to Boston for INS!

bostonWill we see you at the INS Annual Meeting? If you are attending INS, make sure to stop by the PAR booth to see our newest products, get a demo of PARiConnect, or check out our free online Training Portal. Don’t miss this chance to learn from PAR authors:

Plus, all orders placed at the PAR booth during INS will receive 15% off as well as free shipping and handling!

Follow PAR on Facebook and Twitter for updates throughout the conference!

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Is Hypnosis Useful for Retrieving Lost Memories?

Among academics and mental health professionals, there is a widespread belief that hypnosis has the power to retrieve lost memories. In 1980, Elizabeth and Geoffrey Loftus found that 84% of psychologists and 69% of non-psychologists endorsed the statement that “memory is permanently stored in the mind” and that “with hypnosis, or other specialized techniques, these inaccessible details could eventually be recovered.”

The idea of whether people can truly forget traumatic memories has been debated for years. Early psychologists and psychiatrists such as Sigmund Freud, Joseph Breuer, and Pierre Janet also endorsed the memory-enhancing powers of hypnosis. In addition, belief in the power of hypnosis has spilled over into the mainstream with the help of TV shows, movies, and books. However, experts in general agree that “hypnosis either has no effect on memory or that it can impair and distort recall.” While people can certainly remember events they haven’t thought about for years, the issue at question is whether a special mechanism of repression exists that accounts for the forgetting of traumatic experiences.

While there are many reports of people who seem to have recovered memories of abuse through hypnosis, David Holmes reviewed 60 years of research and found no convincing laboratory evidence for repression. In his book, Remembering Trauma, psychologist Richard McNally concludes that repressed memories are “a piece of psychiatric folklore devoid of convincing empirical support.” In addition, McNally gives an alternate explanation for the recovery of repressed memories: “Children may be more confused than upset by sexual advances from a relative, yet years later recall the event with revulsion as they realize that it was, in fact, an instance of abuse.”

People sometimes forget significant life events, such as accidents and hospitalizations, even a year after they occur; therefore, a delay in the recall of events isn’t unusual. While hypnosis may not be the magic potion that uncovers traumatic memories, not all uses of hypnosis are scientifically problematic. Controlled research evidence suggests that hypnosis may be useful in pain management, treating medical conditions, eliminating habits such as smoking addiction, and as therapy for anxiety, obesity, and other conditions. Memories recalled even decades later aren’t necessarily false; however, it shouldn’t be assumed that recovered memories are valid unless corroborating evidence exists.

What do you think? Is hypnosis the real deal? PAR wants to hear from you, so leave a comment and join the conversation!

 

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A new addition for your career assessment library!

SDS_HBThe Handbook for Using the Self-Directed Search®: Integrating RIASEC and CIP Theories in Practice by Robert C. Reardon, PhD, and Janet G. Lenz, PhD, is now available!

 A second edition to The Self-Directed Search® and Related Holland Career Materials: A Practitioner’s Guide, this book is designed for professional counselors, psychologists, career development facilitators, career guidance technicians, librarians, social workers, and graduate students learning to be career counselors. It incorporates John Holland’s RIASEC theory with cognitive information processing (CIP) theory and studies four aspects of the career choice process: self-knowledge, options, decision making, and executive processing.

 Order your copy today!

 

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PAR Pays It Forward, Donates to Feeding America

logoPAR is happy to announce the recipient of our second-annual “Pay It Forward” program to benefit worthy charities.

“PAR has been incredibly fortunate as a company,” stated R. Bob Smith III, PhD, Chairman and CEO. “Rather than sending our Customers an end-of-year gift, last year, we decided to do something new—we made a charitable contribution on behalf of our Customers to organizations chosen by those we serve. We decided to make it an annual tradition, and continued the program this fall, selecting new charities.”

In November, PAR mailed an end-of-year communication to select Customers, thanking them for their business and asking them to choose their favorite organization from a list as a way to acknowledge the important work they do throughout the year. Now that results have been tallied, PAR is proud to announce that on behalf of our Customers, a $5,000 donation will be made to Feeding America.

“We are so inspired by the work our Customers do, and Feeding America inspires them,” said Smith. “It is an honor to be able to pay it forward.”

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Introducing the MVP!

MVP_18We are pleased to announce the release of the Memory Validity Profile™ (MVP) by Elisabeth M.S. Sherman, PhD, and Brian Brooks, PhD.

The MVP determines whether an examinee is providing valid test scores and is designed to be used in tandem with other assessments. It is the first and only performance validity test (PVT) designed for and nationally standardized on children, adolescents, and young adults ages 5-21.

The MVP is conormed with the Child and Adolescent Memory Profile™ (ChAMP™), which provides comprehensive information about learning and memory and an embedded indicator of validity.

Highlights of the MVP

  • It is the first PVT to provide age-adjusted cutoff scores to minimize false positives in younger children.
  • It has no motor requirements and can be administered to youth with motor impairments, visual impairments, developmental delays, and acquired cognitive, academic, or behavioral concerns.
  • It takes less than 10 minutes to administer and score.
  • It’s easy to learn and practical, with just one stimulus book and one record form.
  • It features colorful, engaging stimuli.

Check out the MVP Fact Sheet!

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Identifying and Preventing Psychopathic Behavior in Children

Many children are antisocial and have trouble making friends; they even lie and fight, but these traits may indicate a deeper problem that can develop into psychopathy if ignored. Researchers at the University of New South Wales have found that some children as young as three years old display callous-unemotional traits (CU traits), demonstrating a distinct lack of emotions. DSM-5 lists four behavioral indicators for CU traits: lack of remorse or guilt, callous/lack of empathy, lack of concern about performance, and shallow or deficient affect. Two of the four must be present for a diagnosis.

When adults within the criminal justice system have CU traits combined with antisocial behavior, they are labeled psychopaths; therefore, children who exhibit severe conduct problems and CU traits are at an increased risk for developing adult psychopathy, according to the research. These children demonstrate lack of concern or empathy for others, excessive and often inappropriate pursuit of rewards, and poor processing of punishment cues. Such conduct increases the risk of substance abuse, criminal behavior, and educational disruption.

Because CU traits often resemble normal misconduct, punishment is often used as a preventive measure. However, these children are relatively insensitive to punishment, threats, or the distress of others, so punishment is largely ineffective. It is more useful to focus on positive reinforcement to encourage positive behavior.

The good news about early diagnosis is that treatment can be effective in reducing levels of antisocial behavior and CU traits. New studies suggest that children with high levels of CU traits respond to warm parenting. For example, it’s better to emphasize what they did well rather than what they did poorly. In addition, another study by Dadds emphasizes that children with CU traits could benefit from training in emotional literacy and emotional recognition.

When considering CU traits, it is important to distinguish between children who are capable of premeditated violence and children whose violence is primarily impulsive and in reaction to a perceived threat.

Eva Kimonis was the lead author of a study that involved more than 200 children between the ages of three and six. In an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald, she said, “Until now we didn’t really have a way to identify those traits in very young children. This is really the first study which uses tools adapted for very young children, and the sooner those children are identified, the earlier they can be helped.”

What do you think? Can psychopathic behavior be identified and prevented in young children? PAR wants to hear from you, so leave a comment and join the conversation!

 

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Nine more reasons to visit the PAR Training Portal!

We are proud to announce that we have deepened the offerings available from the PAR Training Portal.  

“The Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function™, 2nd Edition (BRIEF™2): An Introduction by Peter K. Isquith” is a video featuring Dr. Isquith discussing this new assessment and how it was updated during this revision. “Reynolds Intellectual Assessment Scales™, 2nd Ed. (RIAS™-2): An Overview with Cecil R. Reynolds” is a video featuring Dr. Reynolds discussing the RIAS-2 and what users should know about this revision. Both videos are excellent ways to learn about the key points of the product direct from the authors themselves!

Full-length, interactive training courses on both the BRIEF2 and RIAS-2 will be added to the PAR Training Portal in 2016.

Furthermore, to complement the full-length interactive training course on the Feifer Assessment of Reading™ (FAR™) currently live on the portal, we have added seven pronunciation guides. Each of the seven audio files offers the correct pronunciation for items appearing on subtests from the FAR. These audio presentations are meant to help users learn the most accurate enunciations of items and/or responses.

The PAR Training Portal offers our Customers the unique opportunity to receive training through online presentations that provide an overview of the development, scoring, sample item content, and normative and clinical data of selected assessments. To access the Training Portal, use your parinc.com username and password to log in. Don’t have a free account? Register now.

 

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Reading Disorders… Beyond Dyslexia

Dyslexia is often misunderstood and is used as a catch-all term for reading disorders. However, other lesser-known reading disorders often mimic dyslexia, such as Specific Reading Comprehension Deficits (S-RCD). While people with dyslexia struggle to sound out words and often confuse letters, people with S-RCD can decode words but struggle to understand what they read.

In an interview, celebrity Jennifer Aniston shared that she grew up believing she was stupid, revealing that she was finally diagnosed with dyslexia at age 20.  Other celebrities such as Whoopi Goldberg and Tom Cruise also revealed they were diagnosed with dyslexia. It is very common for dyslexia not to be discovered until adulthood; therefore, people grow up with low self-esteem thinking they aren’t smart and that something is wrong with them. Yet according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, there’s no correlation between dyslexia and intelligence. Many people diagnosed with this disorder have normal or above-average intelligence.

S-RCD often goes undiagnosed until it becomes an unavoidable problem. According to Neuroscience News, “Neuroimaging of children showed that the brain function of those with S-RCD while reading is quite different and distinct from those with dyslexia. Those with dyslexia exhibited abnormalities in a specific region in the occipital-temporal cortex, a part of the brain that is associated with successfully recognizing words on a page.”

A few months ago, the Mississippi Board of Education notified 5,612 third grade students that they failed to pass the reading test that would allow them to enter the fourth grade. While some deemed the test unfair, Governor Bryant believes that taking a tough stance is the best course of action in the long run, crediting his own fourth grade teacher with discovering that his reading disability was caused by dyslexia, and helping him overcome it. “Repeating the third grade was the best thing that ever happened to me,” the governor said.

Because of its prominence in the news, dyslexia often overshadows other reading disorders. In schools, it is necessary to break down reading disabilities, or learning disabilities in general, and match the disability with intervention strategies to assist the student. Once the underlying causes of reading disabilities are understood, school personnel can use their knowledge to help students understand their strengths and weaknesses regarding reading and language.

What do you think? PAR wants to hear from you, so leave a comment and join the conversation!

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DBR Connect is now available!

Looking for an easy and effective way to track classroom behavior? Look no further than the DBR Connect. The DBR is an online tool that allows teachers, administrators, and school-based intervention teams to rate classroom behavior quickly and easily and track it over time.

 Based on more than a decade of research, DBR Connect was developed by school psychologists Drs. Sandra Chafoules and T. Chris Riley-Tillman, who know educators and school psychologists need a customizable assessment that requires limited materials and virtually no paperwork and can be completed quickly.

 Using built-in, easy-to-use sliders, users rate three core student behaviors—Academically Engaged, Disruptive, and Respectful—which studies have shown are the keys to school success. Users can also add customized behaviors tailored to their unique student population, such as “Uses cell phone during class.”

 In just a few minutes per day, teachers can easily monitor student behavior online and determine if intervention strategies are working. Results can be tracked by the behavior, by the student, by the teacher, across a school, or across an entire district. Charts and reports offer intervention recommendations.

Learn more about DBR Connect today!

 

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