Steven T. Kane, PhD, is the author of the Kane Learning Difficulties Assessment™ (KLDA™). The KLDA screens college students for learning difficulties and ADHD. This week, the PAR blog sits down with the author to learn more about the development of the KLDA and the feedback he has received from clinicians on the impact it has made.
What initially inspired you to develop the KLDA?
Before becoming a professor and researcher, I was employed in a university disability resource center as a psychologist who specialized in learning disabilities and ADHD. I was also previously employed at three of the most diverse community colleges in California. In each of these settings, I saw literally hundreds of students who should have been screened for learning and attentional challenges but never were. I was also quite frankly shocked by the number of individuals I saw who clearly suffered from some form of learning or attentional difficulties as adults yet were never screened or tested in the K–12 system. Testing for a learning disability and/or ADHD is very expensive and simply out of reach for the majority of our most at-risk college students, especially those of color and those from low socioeconomic backgrounds. I also found it troubling that almost none of these students were ever screened for anxiety disorders or memory challenges. Thus, my goal was to develop a screening assessment that was very affordable and easy to take, preferably via the internet.
How does the KLDA differ from other competitive measures?
There are not a lot of similar measures, which is, again, one of the main reasons why we developed the KLDA. There are two or three other measures that assess study skills, motivation, etc., but not the key academic skills and executive functioning skills the KLDA assesses.
What are some important things clinicians should know about the KLDA?
First, the KLDA is normed on a very large and diverse population from across the U.S. and Canada. Second, the KLDA was completed by more than 5,000 people over the internet for free as we performed factor analyses, perfected item development, and more. Third, the KLDA is very affordable, essentially self-interpreting, and can be administered quickly via the Internet. Most respondents finish the assessment in about 10 minutes as the items are written at about a fourth- through sixth-grade reading level. The KLDA can also guide the assessment process and inform which lengthier diagnostic assessments should be administered. Finally, the KLDA is a great discussion prompt to encourage clients to talk about their difficulties across different environments.
What feedback have you received from users of the KLDA?
Practitioners and test-takers have found the assessment very useful and easy to administer (especially via the web in a pandemic!). It leads to very interesting discussions that the respondent has often never had with anyone before.
Anything else you think is important for people to know about your product?
The KLDA is a very flexible product. The assessment can be used by individual clinicians to screen a client before they even meet for the first time. It’s been used by community colleges and universities as part of their orientation process to screen at-risk students before they fail. Study skills and student success instructors have found the KLDA extremely useful to administer to a classroom as part of a group assignment. Thanks to PARiConnect, the KLDA can be easily administered to large groups of individuals online at a very low cost.
Related Article: ADHD & ACADEMIC CONCERNS DURING A PANDEMIC
The Eyberg Child Behavior Inventory™ (ECBI™) Score Report on PARiConnect has now been updated to include a longitudinal profile and an updated look and feel. The ECBI, designed for completion by parents, assesses a child’s conduct and behavior at home to determine the variety and frequency of behaviors commonly exhibited by all children, distinguishing behavior problems from conduct-disordered behavior in children and adolescents.
The new ECBI Score Report makes it easier for clinicians to monitor behavior over time by offering a profile that charts scores from each administration for ease of comparison. These updates will make the report more useful for parent–child interaction therapy when monitoring progress over time.
Learn more about the ECBI.
Each year, the first full week in October is Mental Illness Awareness Week. Established by Congress in 1991, this week raises awareness, fights discrimination, and educates the public on mental illnesses.
The theme for this year is “Together for Mental Health,” with a focus on advocating for better care for individuals facing serious mental illness and improving mental health care and crisis response.
There are events throughout the week of October 3–9, 2021:
Tuesday, October 5: National Day of Prayer for Mental Illness Recovery and Understanding
Thursday, October 7: National Depression Screening Day
Saturday, October 9: NAMIWalks United Day of Hope
Sunday, October 10: World Mental Health Day
There are a number of ways to get involved:
Learn: The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) will be sharing personal stories of people living with mental illness each day on their blog.
Share: It’s important to bust the stigma around mental illness. NAMI provides downloadable graphics you can use on your social media to raise public awareness.
Walk: You can take part in NAMIWalks from virtually anywhere. Check out the list of in-person and virtual events.
Screen: Mental Health America offers online screening for many mental health concerns. If you think you or someone you know may be at risk, these can provide a quick way to determine if more in-depth assessment is needed.
One in 5 adults will experience mental illness each year. It is important that we all do our part to promote awareness and understanding this week and throughout the year!