Feifer Offers Insight into Trauma, What Schools Can Do to Help

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).

2020: New year, new catalog!

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.

 

 

PAR pays it forward, donates to Mental Health America

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.

 

 

#PayItForward

 

Check out PAR's Spanish Assessment Solutions Page

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.

Now available: Postconcussion Symptom Inventory-2!

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.

 

 

What to do with old forms? We can help!

Are outdated assessment forms cluttering your office? Many Customers are unsure what to do with unused or obsolete test protocols or materials from prior versions of an instrument. Rather than letting them collect dust in a bottom drawer, PAR recommends that you destroy and discard obsolete materials in a secure manner.

If you or your institution doesn’t have access to a secure recycling program, we are happy to help! Simply e-mail custup@parinc.com or call our Customer Support line at 1.800.331.8378 and a specialist will help you obtain a prepaid return label so we may discard the materials through our own corporate recycling program. This program is available only to our Customers in the U.S.

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.