2019: Another year of innovative products!

As our 41st year of publishing industry leading assessment materials draws to a close, let’s take a look back at some of the new tests and supplementary materials PAR released during 2019.

PostConcussion Executive Inventory: This evidence-based assessment and monitoring tool tracks a student’s functioning and recovery following concussion. It uses items from the BRIEF2, the gold-standard test for executive function.

Trails-X: This instrument is an innovative take on the traditional trail-making task that includes additional executive function demands by requiring examinees to connect circles of alternating colors with no designated start or end point.

PDDBI Parent Form in Spanish: With the introduction of this form, the Spanish-speaking population can now benefit from the PDD Behavior Inventory product family for detection, diagnosis, and progress monitoring of autism.

RIAS-2 Record Form with Spanish Responses: This form provides acceptable Spanish-language verbal response options for the RIAS-2 Guess What, Verbal Reasoning, and What’s Missing subtests. Examinees can choose to provide responses in English or in Spanish.

PostConcussion Symptom Inventory–2: This instrument measures physical, emotional, cognitive, and sleep/fatigue symptoms to assist with diagnosis of concussion; use in conjunction with the PostConconcussion Executive Inventory for a more complete evaluation of concussion.

We also made some additions to PARiConnect, our industry-leading online assessment platform.

PARiConnect 3.0: Already the industry’s most reliable platform, the completely revised PARiConnect now features a more intuitive design and incorporates Customer suggestions, such as e-mail templates and customizable groups.

Emotional Disturbance Decision Tree: Administration and scoring for the EDDT-Self Report has been added to PARiConnect. Additionally, anytime you administer and score two or more EDDT tests on PARiConnect, a Multi-Rater Summary Report will be generated.

As we move into 2020, PAR will continue to release innovative instruments. Due to be released next year are the highly-anticipated Feifer Assessment of Writing, a comprehensive test of written expression, as well as the Identi-Fi, a more appealing, up-to-date, and accurate test of visual organization. 

 

Get expert advice on emotional disturbance

Students with an emotional disturbance (ED) can be difficult to assess and identify due to the unique and diverse nature of the disorder.

A new white paper discusses social–emotional evaluations with experts in the field, helping you to identify emotional disturbance using a variety of PAR products. The white paper will help you make more confident and informed decisions about eligibility for an ED diagnosis.

This free white paper discusses the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function, 2nd Ed. (BRIEF2), the Pediatric Behavior Rating Scale (PBRS), the Adolescent Anger Rating Scale (AARS), and the Emotional Disturbance Decision Tree (EDDT).

Download your copy today!

 

New EDDT reports now available on PARiConnect!

Assessment of emotional disturbance (ED) just got faster and more convenient.

Administration and scoring for the Emotional Disturbance Decision Tree Self-Report Form (EDDT-SR) and a new EDDT Multi-Rater Summary Report are now available on our online platform, PARiConnect.

From 2011 to 2018, the number of students who received special education services in U.S. public schools increased from 6.4 to 7 million—about 14% of enrollment. Of that number, 5% have been identified as having ED, a condition that has historically been difficult to assess and identify.

Gathering information from multiple perspectives is an important component of ED assessment. The EDDT, EDDT Parent Form, and EDDT-SR are designed to be used together to help professionals develop a more thorough and well-rounded picture of student functioning. These standardized assessment tools map directly onto the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) criteria for ED to help professionals determine and document student eligibility for special education services.

Administer and score all three EDDT tests online and generate the Multi-Rater Summary Report at no additional cost for a limited time! This new report provides significant score discrepancies, discrepancies between raters, and profiles of ED scales and indicates if scores meet the IDEA criteria for an ED diagnosis to help you get students the help they need.

Learn more about the EDDT.

 

PAR is going to San Diego for NAN!

The National Academy of Neuropsychology is holding their 39th Annual Convention this week in San Diego and PAR will be there!

If you’ll be at the convention, please join Melissa A. Messer, MHS, PAR’s Director of Product Development, for these poster sessions:

Both take place during Poster Session A, 5:30 to 7 p.m., Wed., Nov. 13.

While you’re in San Diego, make sure to stop by the PAR booth (#301) to say hello. We’ll have samples of our latest products and you can enter our raffles to win a free BRIEF2 or ChAMP kit. Plus you can take advantage of our conference discount: all orders placed at the PAR booth during NAN will receive 15% off plus free ground shipping.*

We look forward to seeing you in San Diego!

*This offer cannot be combined with any other promotion, discount, coupon, or special offer. Promotion may not be applied to previously placed orders.

Customer Support—as important as the instruments we publish

PAR understands that our Customers are the reason for our success. Your support and business keep PAR going. That's why we’ve never lost sight of how important it is to provide you with the outstanding Customer Support you deserve.

How do we do that? Our phones are answered live by our own Customer Support team located in our Florida headquarters.  When you call PAR you will never hear a recorded menu. Averaging 12 years of experience at PAR, our reps are knowledgeable, friendly, intelligent people who know our products well and are committed to meeting your needs every time you call.

We strive to ensure you get the best of both worlds. Give us a call at 1.800.331.8378 and see for yourself.

Bring theory to life with a new SPECTRA white paper

Many psychiatric disorders are dimensional and presentations can vary widely, making it more difficult to treat effectively. Inspired by the hierarchical–dimensional model, the SPECTRA measures psychopathology at three levels of specificity and provides an overall estimate of the p-factor.

A new white paper from SPECTRA author Mark A. Blais, PsyD, helps you learn more about how to interpret results using this framework—building from the SPECTRA’s 12 clinical scales to the Internalizing, Externalizing, and Reality-Impairing spectra of psychopathology, to the overall global assessment of total psychopathological burden. The white paper offers clinical examples and a reproducible worksheet that can be used to enhance your interpretation.

 

Learn more today!

 

 

 

 

New NEO resources available!

In order to facilitate research using the NEO Inventories, we are now offering a comprehensive bibliography through Mendeley, a free reference management tool. In addition, a white paper describing this research repository and explaining its creation and use it has been created.

After accessing the Mendeley link, you will be prompted to create an account. Mendeley includes a desktop application and a cloud-based system for ease of use when finding references and citing them within a document. Use of this free resource is encouraged to facilitate research on the topics related to that particular assessment. Individuals who do not wish to create an online account may visit the Resources tab on the product page to view a Word documents of the bibliography.

In addition to the NEO, PAR offers Mendeley bibliographies for many of our products. Links are provided on the white paper.

Test anxiety or anxiety disorder?

Test anxiety is part of life for many college students. After all, it’s natural to worry about performance and want to do well, and mild nervousness before a test can actually improve performance. For most, the symptoms disappear when the test is over. But for students with an anxiety disorder, test anxiety can be overwhelming and all-consuming, leading to symptoms like difficulty concentrating, rapid breathing, dry mouth, and even panic. For these students, the symptoms don’t stop when the test is over.

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illnesses in America, with an estimated 42 million adults diagnosed. About 46% of Americans will meet the criteria for a diagnosable mental health condition sometime in their life—and half of them develop conditions by the age of 14. Some of these young people will enter college not knowing they suffer from a treatable condition.

Students with undiagnosed anxiety are likely to struggle with physical, emotional, behavioral, and cognitive symptoms. They could even be at risk of failing—or dropping—out of school.

The Kane Learning Difficulties Assessment (KLDA) is a self-report screening tool developed to identify college students who struggle with a condition that affects learning such as an anxiety disorder, ADHD, an executive function deficit, or a specific learning disability.

The KLDA can help your students get the help they need to succeed in college. In just 15 minutes, it evaluates key areas including reading, writing, math, organization, time management, anxiety, and more. Administration is available on PARiConnect 3.0, the fastest and most reliable online platform in the assessment industry, so students can complete it on their own time, 24/7.

The KLDA report provides valuable information about the student’s individual learning strengths and weaknesses—and includes tailored interventions and accommodations that address them—and identifies students who are at risk of an undiagnosed condition like anxiety.

Help your struggling students keep their college careers—and their lives—on track with the KLDA.



Dyslexia in prisons: Eye-opening statistics

This week’s blog was written by Teri Lyon. Teri is a Senior Technical Support Specialist at PAR. She has been with PAR for more than 20 years. She enjoys punk music and painting.

I like to watch CBS Sunday Morning every weekend. Recently, I watched a segment on the prevalence of dyslexia in the prison population, which immediately caught my attention. Working at PAR and knowing Dr. Steven Feifer, I know how important it is to diagnose dyslexia and other learning disabilities early so a student can achieve his or her full potential. What I did not realize are the numbers behind this issue.

The segment told of a study that shows almost 50% of the prison population in Texas has dyslexia. In addition, approximately 80% of inmates are functionally illiterate. The segment went on to talk about how prisons are addressing this issue with more funding and prison reform. Although these things certainly help people in prison lead better lives, this does not prevent these individuals from ending up there in the first place.

Although this is not a case where you can throw money at a problem, we do know that schools in more affluent communities have higher test scores and graduation rates. While the parents and students may have more resources and may not have concerns like how to study while hungry, you can’t ignore how much better they do. Recently, the thinking on spending in education has changed. Studies show significant long-term gains for students when educational spending increased. The issue is that districts need to determine the best way to use their money.

Currently, the U.S. spends more on prisons than we do on education. California alone spends $53,147 more per year on a prisoner than it does a student. Overall, there are 15 states that spend more than $27,000 a year more per prisoner than they do per student.

Even with the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), there are kids who fall between the cracks of education and into the justice system. It’s clear that this issue is multifaceted and complicated. From starting mandatory schooling at an earlier age, to better training for teachers, there are many ways this issue can be addressed. One thing is clear, though, we have to start somewhere.

I think it’s important to take a step back and realize how PAR instruments can help with greater societal issues. Because this is such an important topic, I immediately sent letters to both my congressman and senator letting them know my thoughts. Hopefully, this will get a very important subject the attention that it deserves.  



Now available: RIAS-2 Record Form with Spanish Responses

Lack of understanding about language acquisition. Inadequate or inappropriate psychoeducational assessment practices. Restricted access to effective understanding.

The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) position lists these as some of the reasons why English language learners (ELL) are overrepresented in special education and underrepresented in gifted programs.

In U.S. schools, more than 77% of ELL students speak Spanish. Based on their educational history and exposure to the language and the culture, these students will exhibit different degrees of acculturation and English-language proficiency.

Cognitive assessment that relies on verbal interaction and response in English is naturally unfair for individuals who are still learning the language. Nonverbal assessment is not free from cultural bias, either, and using translations or interpreters is not ideal.

The Reynolds Intellectual Assessment Scales, Second Edition (RIAS-2) evaluates verbal intelligence, nonverbal intelligence, memory, and speeded processing and provides an estimate of general intelligence in under an hour. The new RIAS-2 Spanish Form with Spanish Responses provides correct Spanish-language responses for the RIAS-2 Guess What, Verbal Reasoning, and What’s Missing subtests. Designed for use with Spanish bilingual and ELL students, it allows examinees to answer items in English or in Spanish, providing a practical and more ecologically valid way to test the intelligence of individuals who are still learning English.

Acceptable Spanish responses represent Spanish dialects most commonly spoken in the U.S., including Mexican, Central American, Caribbean, Colonial Spanish, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Venezuelan, Colombian, and Argentinian. The form also includes a new Language Acculturation Meter, a tool that provides a framework for test administration and interpretation.

The goal, after all, is to assess general intelligence, not English-language knowledge or fluency.