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!  
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.  
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!
[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=IadhMXIQWuU[/embed] 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!  
When we think of self-esteem, the first thing that comes to mind is feeling good about ourselves. Norman Vincent Peale, who wrote the classic, The Power of Positive Thinking, is considered the father of self-esteem. He made the idea of positive thinking a phenomenon. In his follow-up book, Positive Imaging: The Powerful Way to Change Your Life, he said, “There is a powerful and mysterious force in human nature that is capable of bringing about dramatic improvement in our lives. It is a kind of mental engineering... So powerful is the imaging effect on thought and performance that a long-held visualization of an objective or goal can become determinative... This releases powerful internal forces that can bring about astonishing changes.” Merely thinking good thoughts and speaking positively may provide temporary benefits, resulting in pseudo-self-esteem. Psychotherapist Nathaniel Branden, author of The Psychology of Self-Esteem: A Revolutionary Approach to Self-Understanding That Launched a New Era in Modern Psychology, describes pseudo-self-esteem as “an irrational pretense at self-value” and “a nonrational, self-protective device to diminish anxiety and to provide a spurious sense of security.” Genuine self-esteem goes beyond imaging and visualization. Those things may play a role, but they are just one piece of the puzzle. The other piece is doing good, according to Hartwell-Walker, a licensed psychologist and marriage and family therapist and author of Self-Esteem: A Guide to Building Confidence and Connection One Step at a Time. She states, “Cultivating genuine self-esteem takes work and awareness. It’s a lifelong process. It means balancing ‘our feelings with our doings.’” Though self-esteem and self-confidence often seem to go hand in hand, it is possible to have one without the other. Confidence is often the result of successful activity. The more success one has, the more confident that person will be on the next attempt. Therefore, confidence largely operates within the realm of the known. But esteem has to do with perception of one’s own inherent value. According to Hartwell-Walker, the two parts of genuine self-esteem constantly interact with each other. “Feeling good about ourselves is the outcome of doing good things and doing good things (things that contribute to our community and to others’ well-being) is what makes us feel good.” Positivity without action leads to pseudo-self-esteem, and action without positivity leads to confidence without esteem. What do you think about the difference between self-esteem and self-confidence? PAR wants to hear from you, so leave a comment and join the conversation!