Five Things to Know About PARiConnect

  1. PARiConnect streamlines the assessment process. Assess clients when and where you wish—on-screen in your office, remotely via Internet, or by entering responses from paper-and-pencil administrations.
  2. PARiConnect saves time. Instant scoring and reporting means you get immediate feedback, enabling you to spend more time with your clients and less time waiting for results.
  3. PARiConnect improves accuracy. Built-in verification tools help you confirm the accuracy of data entry, so simple mistakes won’t cost you valuable interpretation time.
  4. PARiConnect protects your data. Designed with HIPAA compliance in mind, you can be sure your data are secure, safe, and protected.
  5. PARiConnect offers 3 FREE assessments and reports for the instruments of your choice! Register for PARiConnect today to take advantage of all this innovative online assessment platform has to offer!

Join us on Thursday, June 23, 2016 from 12 to 1 p.m. ET. Register now, space is limited!

Share this post: Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponEmail this to someone

Tips, tricks, and more… Get the most out of PARiConnect

Join us for a free Webinar on how to make PARiConnect work for you! Whether you are new to this innovative, online assessment platform and curious as to how it can help your assessment process or if you are a current user who wants to learn more, there is something for everyone!

  • New users will learn how to import client information, assess clients when and where you wish, and generate score and interpretive reports.
  • Experienced users can deepen their understanding of the platform, learning how to manage inventory, reallocate uses for large multi-user accounts, and organize client groups.
  • All attendees will be able to submit questions and comments throughout the Webinar so their particular concerns can be addressed.

In less than an hour, you will learn how PARiConnect streamlines the assessment process, whether you are a single practitioner in private practice or a large institution with varied assessment needs. Join us on Thursday, June 23, 2016 from 12 to 1 p.m. ET. Register now, space is limited!

Share this post: Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponEmail this to someone

Just a Narcissist or is it a Disorder?

Narcissism is one of those terms freely used but little understood. It is often used to describe someone who is considered vain or self-centered. With the rise of social media, sometimes it seems there is a narcissist on every corner. However, many people fail to properly identify the deep layers of narcissism or fail properly identify it as a disorder. It has become so common to identify people as narcissists that it’s time to get back to a proper definition of what it really means.

Joseph Burgo, PhD, wrote a book called The Narcissist You Know: Defending Yourself Against Extreme Narcissists in an All-About-Me Age. Burgo sees narcissistic personality disorder as being on a spectrum. This ranges from those who simply have a healthy regard of themselves to those who display traits of pathological narcissism. The American Psychiatric Association identifies 1% of the population as having the traits of narcissistic personality disorder. In his book, Burgo discusses those people who meet the criteria for what he calls “extreme narcissism.” They fall short of traits that would identify them as having the disorder but differ significantly from those who merely have an inflated sense of self. Burgo indicates that extreme narcissists make up 5% of the population.

Narcissistic behaviors often don’t occur in a vacuum; they leave a trail in their wake, affecting the lives of friends, family, and coworkers who endure such behaviors on a daily basis. Burgo’s intent in The Narcissist You Know is to help people recognize and subdue their own narcissistic tendencies. He seeks to help identify narcissistic behaviors of others and deal with them in an effective manner. Burgo identifies these behaviors in categories of narcissism: know-it-all, self-righteous, vindictive, addicted, seductive, bullying, and grandiose.

Because narcissistic traits are often so harmful to others, it can be difficult to feel sympathy for them. But Burgo reminds us that these often indicators of, and are a defense against, invisible pain. At their core, those who display such traits feel that they are frauds or losers, and that at any moment someone will find out their “true” nature. For this reason, they constantly need to appear as “winners,” even at the expense of other’s feelings. Although those with narcissistic behaviors often don’t feel empathy, Burgo invites us to extend empathy, rather than judge, when they exhibit offensive behavior, because they are always in flight from pain. Burgo acknowledges that people with narcissistic tendencies are indeed difficult to deal with, but provides assurance that they’re not impossible to manage.

Share your thoughts on Joseph Burgo’s views about narcissism. PAR wants to hear from you, so leave a comment and join the conversation!

Share this post: Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponEmail this to someone

The Benefits of Lucid Dreaming

Dreams have long been the subject of intense scrutiny, and the subject of lucid dreams even more so. Lucid dreams can be defined as any experience within the dream in which you become aware you are dreaming. If we are asleep and become aware we are dreaming, what good does it do? Well, psychologists have conducted studies that have shown multiple benefits to lucid dreaming.

Ward Off Nightmares – Thanks to lucid dreaming, nightmares don’t have to be traumatic, dreaded experiences. Those who know they are dreaming can see threats for what they are—nonexistent. In the face of perceived danger, the knowledge that one is dreaming automatically relieves anxiety because the individual knows events aren’t really taking place and no harm can occur.

Enhance Creativity – Because the brain is very active and unconstrained during lucid dreaming cycles, it is more creative than at other times. This creativity carries over into the dreamer’s waking life, allowing for greater problem-solving ability and artistic expression.

Embrace Adventure – Dreams offer a level of adventure that often isn’t possible in real life. Due to the realization that one is in a dream, anything can occur. The traditional limits of time or laws of nature no longer need apply. Whatever can be imagined can be fulfilled, and the experience can be very freeing.

Learn or Practice Skills – Thinking about or visualizing a task enhances the ability to perform that task. Mental imagination uses the same muscles that would be used if the action were actually performed. A study on the effect of imagery revealed that imagined exercise produced significant elevations in systolic blood pressure, heart rate, and oxygen consumption.

Alleviate Depression – A study by the Department of Human Development at Cornell University revealed that the frequency of lucid dreaming is directly tied to depression. There is a positive link between lucid dreaming and how much control people feel they have over their lives. Because lucid dreaming gives one a sense of control while asleep, that same feeling of control can be felt while awake.

Lucid dreaming, like any skill, can be nurtured and developed. There are many techniques available for those who would like to learn or perfect the art of lucid dreaming. Lucid dreaming is a natural state when the conscious brain awakens during sleep, turning dreams into an alternate reality where all senses come to life, enabling one to do things limited only by their imagination.

Share your thoughts on lucid dreaming. PAR wants to hear from you, so leave a comment and join the conversation!

 

Share this post: Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponEmail this to someone

SDS to be featured at 2016 FPEA Convention

For the first time, PAR will be participating at the Florida Homeschool Convention in Orlando, Florida, May 26-28, 2016. The convention is sponsored by the Florida Parent-Educators Association, an organization dedicated to serving homeschooling families in Florida. The family-oriented event is the largest homeschool convention in the U.S., with more than 15,000 attendees each year.

Parents and students make up a large majority of attendees, making this the ideal setting to learn about the Self-Directed Search® (SDS®). If you are attending the FPEA convention, stop by the SDS booth to say hi and learn about the assessment.

At a time when many students are deciding whether to go to college, choose a major, or pursue a career, the SDS can help them find the fields of study and career paths most suited to match their skill set. This is an especially crucial function to the homeschooled student, as they may not have access to a traditional guidance office.

Conference attendees will be able to see sample SDS Summary Scores and Interactive Reports. They may also purchase the SDS at a special convention price.

The SDS is one of the most widely used career interest tests in the world. With more than 1,200 occupations, 1,000 programs of study, and 800 leisure activities, the SDS gives students more choices.

In our global economy, the possibilities are limitless…and sometimes overwhelming. The SDS can help these homeschooled students focus their search.

 

Share this post: Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponEmail this to someone

The Feifer Assessment of Mathematics™ (FAM™) is now available on PARiConnect!

FAM_120Learning WHY a student struggles in math so you can determine HOW to intervene just got easier! The FAM is a comprehensive assessment of mathematics designed to examine the underlying neurodevelopmental processes that support the acquisition of proficient math skills. It not only helps determine if an examinee has a math learning disability, but also identifies the specific subtype of dyscalculia, which better informs decisions about appropriate interventions.

With the FAM on PARiConnect, you can:

  • Receive Score Reports instantly for the FAM battery and FAM Screening Form after entering scale-level data.
  • Obtain brief interpretive statements available only through PARiConnect.
  • Generate Reliable Change Reports to track performance after multiple administrations of the FAM.

Try the FAM on PARiConnect today!

Free 24/7 training on the FAM is available on the PAR Training Portal!

Share this post: Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponEmail this to someone

The FAM: Now Available on the Training Portal!

FAM_ManualCover2Interested in learning more about the new Feifer Assessment of Mathematics (FAM)? Now you can enroll in a free training course on the FAM through PAR’s Training Portal. Whether you have already purchased the FAM and want to learn more about it or are looking for more information to help you make your purchase decision, this training course will give you a quick overview of the product, explain how the test was developed, and provide insight into scoring and administration. And, best of all, the Training Portal is always available, so you can get training on your schedule.

The FAM examines the underlying neurodevelopmental processes that support proficient math skills.

To access the Training Portal, use your parinc.com username and password to log in. Don’t have a free account? Register now. Training courses are also available on the Vocabulary Assessment Scales™ (VAS™), the Test of General Reasoning Ability™ (TOGRA™), the Reynolds Adaptable Intelligence Test™ (RAIT™), the Academic Achievement Battery™ (AAB™), and many more!

Share this post: Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponEmail this to someone

Happy Birthday,
Sigmund Freud!

On a day in early May in 1856 (traditionally thought to be May 6), Sigismund Freud was born, better known as famed psychiatrist Sigmund Freud. Freud’s theories served as the foundation for psychoanalysis as we know it today. While many of his theories have caused considerable controversy, his work shaped views of sexuality, childhood, memory, therapy, and personality. So significant was his contribution to society that many of his ideas have become common terms and catch phrases in our culture, such as repression, denial, Freudian slip, defense mechanism, and anal retentive.

Though Freud is highly quoted, one of the most famous quotes attributed to him was likely never uttered by him: “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.” The story goes that this was his response after a student asked him about the hidden meaning behind his frequent cigar smoking. His supposed response was ironic as it demonstrated that even a famous psychoanalyst can admit that not everything has a profound meaning. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, and things are exactly as they appear.

As controversial as some of Freud’s ideas have been, here are some things he got right:

  • The Unconscious plays a huge role in our lives: Random feelings, thoughts, and actions often have important, unconscious meanings.
  • Talking lightens the load: The common image of someone lying on a psychologist’s couch discussing their problems directly stems from Freud’s view that many mental problems can be resolved simply by talking about them.
  • The body defends itself: Defense mechanisms are the body’s way of manipulating reality to protect feelings.
  • Change is unwelcome: It is in our nature to resist change, even when that change is good.
  • The problems of the present stem from the past: Difficulties that occur in childhood can carry forward and influence present actions.

Though it has now been many years since Freud’s death in 1939, he is still a household name in the field of psychology. In fact, Time Magazine once featured him as one of their 100 most important people of the 20th century, and his ideas live on as part of the fabric of popular culture.

Share your thoughts about Freud and his theories. PAR wants to hear from you, so leave a comment and join the conversation!

Share this post: Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponEmail this to someone

Brain-Based Assessment: An Interview with Steven G. Feifer (Part 2)

We recently sat down with Steven G. Feifer, DEd, author of the Feifer Assessment of Reading™ (FAR™) and Feifer Assessment of Mathematics™ (FAM™) for an interview to discuss how to use cognitive neuroscience to better understand why students struggle in school. This is the second part of a two-part interview. Did you miss Part 1? Catch up here.

How do the FAR and FAM go beyond just using an aptitude/achievement discrepancy perspective?

SF: The FAR and FAM represent a more ecologically valid way to understand the core psychological processes involved with both reading and mathematics. Many psychologists are used to measuring executive functioning, working memory, visual perception, and processing speed using stand-alone instruments, and then must clinically bridge these results into the worlds of reading and math. In other words, how does poor performance on executive functioning tasks impact the ability to read on grade level? These can be very difficult questions to answer.

The FAR and the FAM seek to measure these psychological constructs while the student is actually engaged in the academic skill itself, allowing the examiner to directly determine the impact of each neurocognitive process on the academic skill itself. Typical achievement tests are important to determine where a student is functioning with respect to a nationally normed sample, but the FAR and FAM were designed to explain why. This is the key to really bringing back the “I” into an “IEP,” so practitioners can more readily inform intervention decision making.

Do the instruments give you a reading/math level?

SF: Both the FAR and FAM give you an overall composite score, but the true value of these instruments lies within the factor scores. We chose grade-based norms due to the variability of ages in each grade and thought it was only fair to compare a student’s performance with students in the same grade-level curriculum. In other words, it did not seem fair to compare a 10-year-old in the 3rd grade with a 10 year-old in the 5th grade with two more years of formal instruction.

Academic skills should be based upon the current grade level of the child, especially when we have an educational system where 43 of 50 states follow a common core curriculum. If practitioners are uncomfortable with grade-based norms, there is a conversion by age proxy table included.

Do you need a neuropsychology background to administer and/or interpret any of these instruments?

SF: I think you need a reading or math background to administer and interpret these instruments, which is why these are B-level qualification instruments.  This means most teachers can readily administer the FAR and the FAM. It is not necessary to understand the neuroscience behind each learning disorder subtype, but it is necessary to understand the learning dynamics involved with each skill. For instance, most educators readily understand the role of phonics, fluency, orthography, and comprehension in reading. The FAR can catalogue the relative strengths and weaknesses within each of these processing areas to best inform intervention decision making.

To learn more about the FAR or the FAM, visit their product pages.

Share this post: Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponEmail this to someone

Brain-Based Assessment: An Interview with Steven G. Feifer (Part 1)

We recently sat down with Steven G. Feifer, DEd, author of the Feifer Assessment of Reading™ (FAR™) and Feifer Assessment of Mathematics™ (FAM™) for an interview to discuss how to use cognitive neuroscience to better understand why students struggle in school. This is the first part of a two-part interview. Come back next week for the conclusion.

 

What influence did neuroscience and research in this area have on your work in test development?

Steven Feifer: I have spent most of my career as a school psychologist trying to coalesce the fields of neuropsychology and education. I suppose it stemmed from my utter frustration in trying to explain learning simply through the lens of an IQ test score. After all, when was the last time somebody wrote a meaningful goal and objective on an IEP because a psychologist said a child’s Full Scale IQ was 94?

Why was an instrument like the FAR needed?

SF: The FAR was created for a number of reasons. First, I am especially grateful to PAR for recognizing the need for an educational assessment tool based upon a neuropsychological theory: the gradiental model of brain functioning. Second, I think the FAR represents a new wave of assessment instruments that does not simply document where a student is achieving, but explains why. This allows practitioners to better inform intervention decision making. Third, with the reauthorization of IDEA in 2004, school psychologists and educational diagnosticians no longer have to use a discrepancy model to identify a learning disability. However, most examiners are a bit leery about switching to a processing strengths and weaknesses model because of the sheer complexity and loose structure of this approach. The FAR identifies the direct processes involved with reading and makes the process easy without having to rely on a cross battery approach. Lastly, many states have now required schools to screen for dyslexia in grades K-2. The FAR Screening Form is ideal to function in this regard.

How did using a brain-based perspective guide you when developing the subtests and subtypes for the FAR and the FAM?

SF: I have conducted more than 600 professional workshops worldwide to both educators and psychologists. Most educators readily understand that there are different kinds of reading disorders, and therefore different kinds of interventions are necessary.

By discussing reading, math, or written language from a brain-based educational perspective, I try to point out specific pathways in the brain that support phonemic awareness, decoding, fluency, comprehension, and other attributes inherent in the reading process. I also illustrate what a dyslexic brain looks like before an intervention and then after an intervention.

Cognitive neuroscience greatly validates the work of our educators and reading specialists. In addition, cognitive neuroscience also provides the foundation for various subtypes of reading disorders based upon the integrity of targeted neurodevelopmental pathways.

Come back next week for the second part of this interview!

 

Share this post: Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponEmail this to someone

Creating Connections. Changing Lives.