It’s time for the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) Annual Convention. This year’s event will take place February 18 to 21 in Baltimore and PAR will be there. If you’re going to NASP, please stop by the PAR booth (#413) to visit us. You can see samples of our products, pick up some giveaways, and enter a raffle to win a BRIEF2 or FAR kit!
While you’re at NASP, make sure to attend some of the many presentations being hosted by PAR authors. For a complete listing of sessions, dates, and times, see our author presentation schedule.
Yet another reason to visit the PAR booth—we will be offering special discounts on all purchases made at our booth during NASP. You’ll save 15% on your order plus we’ll include free ground shipping!
One of PAR’s core values is to give back to the community, and our dedicated staff provide time and resources to a variety of causes. This blog is the first in a series about what drew our staff members to become involved with various charities. Today’s blog focuses on Jim Eddy’s relationship with Trinity Café.
When he was in high school, PAR Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer Jim Eddy’s mother left for good. Soon after, his father decided to leave town. He told Jim he had minutes to move out. Suddenly, Jim found himself without a home.
The youngest of five children, he needed to find a way to support himself, so he walked into First Florida Bank in Fort Myers looking for work.
“Gotta eat; need a job,” he told them. They walked him into the computer room—which no one in the bank wanted to learn. He didn’t know how to operate a computer, either, he told them. A woman pointed to some manuals nearby and told him, “That’s what the big books are for. You better start reading.” That was the day Jim started on his career path in computers.
About six years ago, Jim, who came to PAR in 2013, learned about Trinity Café. A program of Feeding Tampa Bay, Trinity Cafe is a free full-service restaurant for those in need. Seven days a week, guests take part in a restaurant-style experience, complete with a three-course meal. Volunteers serve, act as hosts, and bus tables. Trinity Café’s message resonated with Jim, and he organized a group of volunteers from PAR—known for its commitment to community—to serve. Today, Jim spearheads a group from PAR to make the trip to Trinity Café three times each year.
“You do a lot of things and often never see the outcome,” Jim said. “At Trinity Café, you serve and you see the outcome as you do it. It’s not abstract.” Jim believes that many other PAR staff members continue to volunteer at each opportunity because they can see how their work helps someone in an immediate way.
“My career has been fast-paced and I’ve raised a family with my wife Shari,” said Jim, who sees his involvement with Trinity Café as one way to integrate his strong Christian faith into the workplace, “but it limited my time to help others. It bothered me that I wasn’t able to do more. If you aren’t helping others, then faith is meaningless. PAR makes it easy to help others.”
Make sure to stop by the PAR booth (#3) at INS to learn more about our latest products. The Trails-X assesses executive function through an innovative trail-making task. We’ll also have a sneak peak of our latest test, Identi-Fi, which provides a modern, realistic, and reliable way to measure visual organizational ability. You can also satisfy your sweet tooth with our delicious chocolates and we’ll have other giveaways, including door hangers and notebooks.
Mark your convention calendar for a poster presentation by Jennifer Greene, PhD. Held in conjunction with Session 2 (Pediatric Assessment and Neurodevelopmental Disorders), Dr. Green will discuss Development of the Language Acculturation Meter for Spanish-Speaking English Language Learners on Thursday, February 6, from 8 to 9:15 a.m. in the Centennial Ballroom Foyer.
The Language Acculturation Meter is a free tool that helps you makes informed decisions when testing culturally and linguistically diverse clients or students. It measures education history, everyday English usage, and self-reported English Comprehension to provide a framework for assessment testing and clinical decision-making, ensuring bilingual and ELL examinees receive a fair and ecologically valid assessment.
Remember: All orders taken at the PAR booth during INS receive a 15% discount plus free shipping and handling!
Let the EDDT family of products help you find the way when navigating the challenging path of an emotional disturbance diagnosis. The EDDT family of products offer school/clinical professionals a standardized approach to gathering information from parents, teachers, and the student him or herself about the individuals functioning in the areas that make up the federal ED criteria. Now training on how to use the EDDT products is available on the PAR Training Portal.
Whether you are a long-time user and want a greater understanding of the products or are considering purchasing for the first time, this course will give you greater insight into the assessment of emotional disturbance, the decisions made when developing the EDDT, and how the different components work together to promote a comprehensive assessment of the student across school and home environments.
The PAR Training Portal is a free, on-demand resource available 24/7.
Visit partrainingportal.com today!
Simply use your parinc.com account to log in. Don’t have a free account? It’s easy to register.
In December 2019, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) updated their recommendations for the screening of autism for the first time since 2007. Here is a brief summary of the new guidelines issued by the AAP.
· All children should be screened for symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) at all visits.
· Developmental and behavioral screenings should be performed at the 9-month, 18-month, and 30-month visits.
· Standardized autism-specific screening tests should be performed at 18 and 24 months of age.
One of the primary reasons for the change is that children with ASD can be identified as young as toddlers. As with many conditions, early intervention is crucial and can influence outcomes.
PAR is proud to publish an instrument that can help clinicians adhere to these new guidelines. The PDD Behavior Inventory™ Screening Edition (PDDBI-SV) can be used to screen children at risk for autism spectrum disorder as young as 18 months. It can be administered in 10 minutes or less, letting you know quickly if the child is at risk.
If further evaluation is warranted, PAR’s PDDBI and the PDDBI ASD Decision Tree can also be used with children as young as 18 months of age.
This week’s blog was written by Carrie Champ Morera, PsyD. Dr. Champ Morera is a project director at PAR. She is also a nationally certified school psychologist and licensed psychologist with more than 20 years of experience in the field. She enjoys traveling and exploring beaches.
Traumatic experiences are widespread. More than 38% of children have experienced a traumatic event. Though many children are able to demonstrate resiliency and continue to thrive in school after experiencing an adverse event, others are not as fortunate without intervention. The impact of trauma too often interferes with children’s behavior and learning in school. On average, children spend about 1,000 out of 6,000 waking hours in school each year; therefore, it is critical for school professionals to become knowledgeable about trauma and learn how to help children improve their emotional, behavioral, and academic functioning so that they can be successful.
PAR author Steven G. Feifer, DEd, has written a new book, The Neuropsychology of Stress & Trauma: How to Develop a Trauma Informed School, meant to educate and help professionals, parents, and other caregivers. The book includes a foreword by Robert B. Brooks, PhD, faculty at Harvard Medical School, provides information on the physiological, psychological, environmental, and educational impacts of childhood trauma. The book also provides an abundance of additional resources for trauma information including evidence-based interventions for addressing trauma in the schools and at home. Key learning points, figures, and tables are provided in each chapter, making the information easy to digest and providing the reader with major takeaways.
Furthermore, the book examines how trauma and stress impact the brain. Dr. Feifer explores how the impact of trauma can disrupt behavior and learning, particularly in the school setting, an area that only has been explored recently. Strategies and interventions on how to develop a trauma-informed classroom are provided. Finally, Dr. Feifer provides guidance in the area of assessment by providing a framework for trauma-informed assessment, with a review of important areas to assess and suggested tools.
Dr. Feifer will present on trauma at the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) annual convention in February. In his workshop, The Neuropsychology of Trauma: Trauma-Sensitive Assessment, Dr. Feifer will discuss steps in developing trauma-informed schools, cover trauma assessment techniques, and explore classroom and school-wide interventions to foster emotional growth. If you attend the convention, feel free to stop by the PAR booth to learn more about how PAR can meet your assessment needs.
Dr. Feifer is also the author of the Feifer Assessment of Math (FAM), the Feifer Assessment of Reading (FAR), and the Feifer Assessment of Writing (FAW).
This week, PAR catalogs will be hitting mailboxes. We are so excited to hear your reactions—we’ve spent the last few months hard at work to make considerable changes to our catalog. This year, we will publish two separate catalogs targeted to two different groups: schools and clinicians. The catalog you receive includes the products you are most likely to find useful.
The sections of each catalog have been updated to better address your assessment needs and help you find solutions faster and easier. We’ve also made significant improvements in presentation with a more modern, clean format, and messaging that is more conversational and personal.
We hope you enjoy the new look and feel of your catalog!
To view both catalogs online, visit our e-catalog page.
Each year, PAR donates to a charity selected by its Customers as a way to say thank you and to give back as part of our Pay It Forward campaign.
“PAR has been incredibly fortunate as a company,” said Kristin Greco, chief executive officer. “Rather than send our Customers an end-of-year gift, we decided a few years ago to make a charitable contribution on their behalf instead. This is the sixth year of our Pay It Forward campaign, and each year, our Customers select a different charity to honor.”
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 of three deserving charities. Results have been tallied, and PAR is proud to announce that on behalf of its Customers, a $5,000 donation will be made to Mental Health America.
“We are so inspired by the work our Customers do, and Mental Health America is doing work that is important to our Customers and to PAR,” Greco said. “It is an honor to be able to pay it forward to such a worthy organization.”
Founded in 1909, Mental Health America is a community-based nonprofit organization dedicated to addressing the needs of those living with mental illness and promoting the importance of mental health as a critical part of wellness. To learn more, visit their website at mhanational.org.
PAR is pleased to announce that we’ve added a page to our website dedicated to our Spanish language products. This page provides a centralized source of information for our Customers looking for assessment products in Spanish.
The page is categorized by construct, each listing the specific products that have Spanish content. It also provides links to those specific product pages where customers can learn more about the product or place an order. We also offer customers a link to a brief, alphabetized listing of all our products that offer Spanish language options, along with the specific items that are available in Spanish. And we’ve included links to our Spanish language brochure and the Language Acculturation Meter page!
You can find the new web page via this direct link or by typing parinc.com/Spanish-language-products into your browser.
While jumping on a trampoline after school, 12-year-old Keira collided with her sister and hit her head on the back of her sister’s kneecap. She didn’t lose consciousness, but Keira developed a headache, had trouble with her balance, and her speech was slowed – all symptoms consistent with concussion.
Though commonly thought of a sports injury, concussion can result from everyday play (on trampolines, playgrounds, and even in the home), too. In 2014, individuals ages 15-24 had the highest number of TBI-related emergency department visits. From 2006 to 2014, there was an 80% increase in emergency department visits due to falls and a 58% increase due to being struck by or against an object.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, concussion “is a type of traumatic brain injury—or TBI—caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth.” Symptoms include appearing dazed or stunned, not being able to recall events prior to or after a fall, moving clumsily, headache, nausea, confusion, being bothered by light or noise, and just not “feeling right.”
Though generally not life-threatening, recovery from concussion can take from a few weeks to a month or longer. For students who have experienced a concussion, returning to school or sports may take time, and some kids may need support services at school to help them while they heal.
The new PostConcussion Symptom Inventory-2 (PCSI-2) is an essential part of a multimodal concussion evaluation. Part of PAR’s ConcussTrack family of concussion products, it measures physical, emotional, cognitive, and sleep/fatigue symptoms to assist clinicians with diagnosis of concussion, monitor recovery, and manage student activities. Use alongside the PostConcussion Executive Inventory, which measures working memory, emotional control, and initiate/task completion for a thorough concussion evaluation.