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This week’s blog was written by PAR Project Director Carrie Champ Morera, PsyD, NCSP, LP

Millions of children have experienced some type of trauma including, but not limited to neglect, abuse, natural disasters, death of a parent, and violence. These negative experiences subsequently can alter brain development, contribute to health problems, and impair functioning in multiple areas. We now know through the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) study that the effects of stressful and traumatic events can have immediate and lifelong impacts. Trauma manifests itself in various ways. In the short term, behavioral issues, academic issues, and emotional dysregulation may be observed in the school, community, and home settings as a result of trauma. Years later, substance abuse, cancer, depression, and even heart disease can be linked to childhood trauma. Education, prevention efforts, and strategies to develop resilience in children are needed to break the cycles of abuse, addiction, and disease, which in turn, will lead to more positive outcomes in children and provide them with the opportunity to live emotionally stable and productive lives.

Assessments are like puzzles, and addressing trauma is one of the many pieces needed in a comprehensive evaluation. In the school setting, one would not imagine leaving out academic measures as part of a psychoeducational evaluation. That is the way we need to think about trauma in school and community-based evaluations. As a starting point, we need to address whether the child experienced any type of trauma, how often, and to what extent. We need to intervene if there are immediate safety concerns. We need to uncover what supports, coping skills, and resources the child or adolescent utilizes. Trauma does manifest itself in many ways, and children and adolescents will respond to traumatic experiences differently, some in a more complex manner than their peers. However, if an assessment of trauma is not at least considered in our evaluations, this could lead to misdiagnosis, implementation of inappropriate interventions, and/or treatments that do not address the root cause of the problem. If an assessment of trauma is incorporated in an ethical, safe, and caring manner, we are minimizing the risk of harm and increasing the risk at a chance for positive outcomes in all children we evaluate.


 

Further reading on trauma:

Essentials of Trauma-Informed Assessment and Intervention in School and Community Settings

“Trauma is there, it is happening. We can either chose not to acknowledge it and continue to fall short in meeting needs, or we can acknowledge it is there and figure out how to help. We need to know how to effectively and ethically assess for its presence and then use assessment data to drive intervention planning.”  -coauthor Kirby L. Wycoff, PsyD, EdM, NCSP

The Neuropsychology of Stress and Trauma: How to Develop a Trauma Informed School

The ACES study has unveiled that childhood trauma is much more prevalent than previously thought; therefore, it is imperative that schools are better informed of the cognitive, academic, and social-emotional manifestations of trauma in order to provide appropriate accommodations to help ensure student success."-Steven G. Feifer, DEd


To learn more about what school professionals can do to understand trauma in light of the COVID-19 crisis, visit PAR’s YouTube channel to watch a recorded webinar presented by Terri Sisson, EdS, and Carrie Champ Morera, PsyD, NCSP, LP.

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Calling all test developers, researchers, data collectors, and potential authors—we want to work with you! We recently revamped our Partner with PAR programs and are proud to announce two new opportunities, in addition to our longstanding data collection and assessment publishing programs.

  • Requests for research proposals. We invite proposals from any nonstudent investigator using PAR instruments for research, with priority given to studies validating PAR instruments, using PAR instruments for developing or validating treatments or interventions, or validating PAR instruments for use with underrepresented populations.
  • PAR Data Program. If you have collected data using one or more PAR products, we want to work with you to help develop new solutions and enhancements that will better serve society and improve the mental health of others. Our ultimate goal is to increase fairness and inclusivity in test development by increasing representation of underserved populations.
  • Data collection. We are always collecting normative, reliability, and validity data for products in development and welcome new data collectors. Bonus—data collectors earn cash payments or credit toward PAR products for the essential work they do for us!
  • Publishing. Developing new and updated assessment instruments is what keeps us going, day in and day out. Though we keep our ears close to the ground for ideas, we invite you to contact us with your proposals or ideas—and to do so as early as possible in the development process. We’d love to have the opportunity to work with you!

Visit parinc.com/PARtner for more information on all our programs and for details on how to get in touch with us.

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More than 41 million individuals in the U.S. primarily speak Spanish at home, many of them between the ages of 5 and 17 years. With only a small percentage of psychologists able to administer assessment measures in Spanish, misdiagnosis due to lack of cultural or linguistic awareness is possible. That’s why it’s important to provide practitioners with tools that help Spanish-speaking and bilingual clients and students get the mental health support, monitoring, and treatment they need. 

Six new tests now offer forms in Spanish to help you help your bilingual and Spanish-speaking clients. Scoring sheets remain in English, allowing clinicians who do not speak Spanish to easily score and interpret these instruments.

Learn more about personality with the NEO-FFI-3 Form S Adult Item Booklet , the NEO-PI-3 Reusable Form S Item Booklet, and the NEO-PI-3 Hand-Scorable Answer Sheet.

Evaluate for symptoms of psychopathology with the PAI-A Hand-Scorable Answer Sheet, the PAI-A Softcover Reusable Item Booklet, and the PAS Hand-Scorable Response Form.

Measure depression and anxiety in children and adolescents with the RADS-2 Hand-Scorable Test Booklet and the RCDS-2:SF Test Form.

Prior to testing, make sure to use our updated Language Acculturation Meter form. Now with a scoring sheet, this free resource helps provide a framework for testing to help you choose the most appropriate assessment instrument and interpret test results.  A Spanish version is also available.

We’ve also updated the accompanying Language Acculturation Meter white paper, which now includes an appendix with normative data and a new section describing the normative process.

Visit our Spanish-Language page to learn about the more than 40 products PAR offers in Spanish.

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The newest member of the Feifer Family is now available!

The Feifer Assessment of Writing (FAW) is a diagnostic achievement test designed to examine the underlying cognitive, motoric, and linguistic processes that support proficient written language skills. It is the third and final member of the Feifer family of diagnostic achievement test batteries, joining the Feifer Assessment of Reading (FAR) and the Feifer Assessment of Mathematics (FAM).

Results of the FAW help specify, from a neuropsychological perspective, exactly why a student struggles with written language so clinicians can develop appropriate, customized interventions. It also provides additional information about a student’s writing skills that allow users to dig deeper into a student’s abilities. Unlike other writing tests, the FAW provides an Administration and Scoring Guide that helps to clarify the qualitative aspects of assessing writing and serves as a go-to resource throughout scoring.

The FAW can be administered to individuals from prekindergarten through college. Depending on a student’s grade level, administration can take between 20 and 65 minutes. A screening version is also available for individuals in kindergarten through college, which can be administered in 15-20 minutes. Scoring will be available later this year via PARiConnect.

Learn more or order today!

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     We know how important it is to keep your clients, students, and patients safe during these uncertain times. Our two new white papers describe in detail how to administer the IGT2 and the WCST to your clients while staying apart, using the product software and a videoconferencing platform. Available to you completely free, these guidelines allow you to comply with social distancing requirements while continuing to serve those in need.

The IGT2 is a computerized assessment that assists in the evaluation of decision making, while the WCST is used primarily to assess perseveration and abstract thinking. The remote administration guidelines can also be used with the WCST-64These white papers continue our series of resources to help you serve your clients while you’re apart. Our recently released white paper on the RAIT and TOGRA offers similar instructions to help you evaluate intelligence via PARiConnect and a videoconferencing platform.  

  

  

  

  

  

 

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We have created PARcares as a resource to offer a hand up to those most in need. With shareable videos, blogs, and lists of free resources, PARcares is our way to show how much we care not only for our Customers, but for those you serve.

If you think someone would benefit from these resources, feel free to share them directly or through your social media channels. We will be updating regularly with new and helpful content to be used and shared with everyone.

We are all in this together.

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From FAR and FAM author Steven Feifer, DEd, comes the Feifer Assessment of Writing (FAW), a comprehensive test of written expression that examines cognitive, motoric, and linguistic processes to help explain why students may struggle with writing.

Students spend nearly 60% of their school day engaged in the process of written expression. The FAW examines the underlying processes that support proficient written language skills.

The FAW:

  • Helps specify why a student struggles with writing.
  • Provides qualitative information about a student’s writing skills.
  • Includes an Administration and Scoring Guide with instructions, tips, and examples.
  • Offers a screening version that can be completed in 20 minutes or less.

Learn more or preorder today!

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We’ve heard the requests. And we listened! The PAI Plus is coming this fall!

The PAI Plus takes the existing PAI items and gives users an updated way to interpret the data. Using the PAI, an objective inventory of adult personality, the new PARiConnect report offers:
• DSM-5® update: Updated diagnostic possibilities align with the DSM criteria.
• Alternative Model Profile: An optional new profile scores in accordance with the Alternative Model for Personality Disorders.
• Additional supplemental indices: Based on years of academic research, 15 new supplemental indices provide additional profile information related to negative and positive distortion and random responding. Supplemental clinical indicators provide profile information related to suicidality, aggression, level of care, presence of ADHD, and more.
• Context-specific norm groups: Including profile overlays for bariatric surgery candidates, child custody evaluations, chronic pain patients, college students, deployed military, egg donors/gestational carriers, motor vehicle accident claimants, police applicants, and potential kidney donors. This profile is overlayed onto the examinee’s profile to allow for comparison.
• Updated report: An updated look and feel create a streamlined and modern-looking report.

A manual supplement details the research, theory, and development behind this update.

To determine the right kit for your needs or to preorder, call Customer Support at 1.800.331.8378.

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Do you see students or clients with symptoms like restlessness, excessive talking, or difficulty staying on task? Sometimes, it can be difficult to know if the behaviors are age-appropriate and typical or if they might be signs of ADHD–the primary developmental disorder of executive function.

Find out quickly with the new BRIEF2 ADHD Form.

Using results from the BRIEF2, the gold-standard instrument for assessing executive function, the BRIEF2 ADHD Form takes a three-step approach to predict the likelihood of an ADHD diagnosis. This knowledge helps parents, clinicians, and educators get children and adolescents ages 5 to 18 years the supports they need—both in and out of the classroom.

Scoring is quick and straightforward, and existing BRIEF2 scores (or PARiConnect results) can be used–there’s no need to retest. Scores are first plotted alongside skylines of scores from children and adolescents known to have ADHD to help evaluators get an at-a-glance view of how their clients’ and students’ ratings compare.  Next, using classification statistics and an evidence-based approach, scores from the BRIEF2 Working Memory and Inhibit scales are used to predict the likelihood of ADHD and determine likely subtype. Finally, specific responses on individual BRIEF2 items are compared to DSM-5™ ADHD criteria.

Results from the BRIEF2 ADHD Form can help professionals develop Individual Education Plans and provide academic interventions and accommodations and help get students on the path to success.

Coming to PARiConnect this summer!

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Recently, PAR Project Director Carrie Champ Morera, PsyD, NCSP, LP, interviewed Kirby Wycoff, PsyD, EdM, MPH, NCSP, the coauthor of Essentials of Trauma-Informed Assessment and Intervention in School and Community Settings to learn more about what inspired her to write this book, who would benefit from reading it, why it’s important to assess trauma in schools and community settings, and what she learned while writing it.

Check out the article under the Resources tab on the product page to learn from childhood trauma expert Dr. Wycoff!