spanish-language-assessments-par.jpg

The need for mental health services for Spanish-speaking populations has never been greater. A study published in May reveals that from 2014–2019, the Hispanic population in the U.S. increased by 4.5%, but the number of facilities providing services in Spanish decreased by 17.8%. And these statistics don’t include the overall uptick in demand for mental health services created by the pandemic. 

As part of our commitment to provide access to underserved populations, PAR now offers several Spanish-language assessment tools on PARiConnect, our online assessment platform, providing you with flexible assessment options for your Spanish-speaking clients and students to assess your Spanish-speaking clients.  

Administration for these products is now available in Spanish on PARiConnect: 

The Parenting Stress Index™, Fourth Edition Short Form (PSI™-4-SF) can quickly identify parent–child problem areas. 

The Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function®, Second Edition (BRIEF®2) Parent and Self-Report forms help you assess impairment of executive function from the parent or child’s perspective.  

The Trauma Symptom Inventory™-2 (TSI™-2) evaluates acute and chronic posttraumatic symptomatology.  

The Emotional Disturbance Decision Tree™–Parent Form and EDDT™-Self-Report Form assess emotional disturbance from the parent’s or student’s perspective. 

The Personality Assessment Inventory™ (PAI®) Spanish: Revised Translation comprehensively assesses adult psychopathology. 

 

Visit our Spanish-Language Products page for a complete listing of the many other products we offer in Spanish, plus you can download our FREE Language Acculturation Meter

 

 

rias2-accurate-intelligence-assessment.jpg

When schools shut down in 2020 due to the pandemic, millions of children, parents, and teachers found their worlds upended. Without kids in school, school psychologists were unable to test students who had been referred for special education services. Initial evaluations and re-evaluations piled up. Students, many of whom needed academic accommodations and interventions, were unable to receive the help they needed.  

“We paused [testing], like everyone else in the country,” said Tina S. Nguyen, PhD, a school psychologist with Washington, D.C., public schools. “Initially, we thought it would be a few weeks. But eventually, we realized we couldn’t just not do these assessments.”  

The scenario was similar for Tiombe Bisa Kendrick-Dunn, SSP, MS, NCSP, the district psychology chairperson for Miami-Dade County, Florida, public schools. “We did no evaluations at all between March and July [2020],” she said.  

Both school districts began using the Reynolds Intellectual Assessment Scales, Second Edition Remote (RIAS-2 Remote), which was published in July 2020. 

Developed specifically to support school psychologists and clinicians who need to test students and clients from afar, the RIAS-2 Remote features minimally modified and digitally packaged components. It’s administered using a videoconferencing platform, and a 2018 study showed equivalency with the paper-and-pencil version.  

Nguyen had used the RIAS-2 prior to the pandemic, so, for her, “it was a no-brainer to continue to use it,” she said. “We couldn’t determine eligibility without the information. The RIAS-2 Remote allowed us to evaluate these kids. Otherwise, we would have had to table [the evaluations] or do them without all the components.” 

Norma Castillo, MEd, assistant director of special education for the Clint Independent School District in El Paso, Texas, also ordered the RIAS-2 Remote that summer. With a backlog of referrals to work through and new referrals coming in, she needed a trusted tool that her team could use to reach students and get them the services they needed.  

“Without the RIAS-2 Remote, we would have waited [to test],” Castillo said. “I didn’t feel comfortable using a test that wasn’t meant to be used in any other way and have the diagnosticians write in their reports that they used a test the way it wasn’t meant to be used. The nice thing about the RIAS-2 Remote is that you don’t have to do that. It’s RIAS-2 Remote. It was great.” 

A time-saving tool 

The quick administration time for the RIAS-2 (less than 30 minutes for intelligence assessment) can help school psychologists reach more students in less time and work through their backlog of evaluations.  

“I have so many assessments to do,” Nguyen said. “It’s easier for me to get through them with the RIAS-2 Remote. It’s a time-saver.”  

Kendrick-Dunn said the RIAS-2 allows her to complete more evaluations per day. “I have used it more than I typically would for children who have been referred for the gifted program, specifically because of the time,” she said. “Other tests can take 90 minutes to 2 hours. I can do the RIAS-2 in half that time.”  

“It’s quick,” agreed Rachael Donnelly, MA, AC, NCSP, a school psychologist with Anne Arundel County, Maryland, public schools. “There are other things I could be doing, like working directly with students or in consultation with teachers.”  

Fewer demands 

In addition to being faster, the RIAS-2 also has fewer motor demands and language requirements, making it a more accurate test of intelligence. This was one of the authors’ goals during development.  

“It is not necessary to include motor-dependent tasks to assess intelligence accurately.” said co-author Cecil R. Reynolds, PhD.  “Intelligence tests should emphasize thinking, reasoning, and problem-solving.” 

“The RIAS-2 is just as good a measure of cognitive ability and overall full-scale IQ than any other test that maybe has a million manipulatives that may impede or impact the validity,” Donnelly said. “It does a good job of measuring intelligence purely.”  

With straightforward administration and clear directions, school psychologists also find that the RIAS-2 is easier for students to understand, giving them confidence that results are valid.  

“I never have any fears that a student’s response is because they don’t understand what I’m asking them,” Nguyen said. “That is helpful. It’s clear their score is their score because they [do or] don’t know the answer, not because they didn’t understand what to do. 

“On other intelligence tests,” she added, “[if] there’s a subtest that the kids don’t understand. They bomb completely. The examples confuse them. I’m grateful for the RIAS-2. It’s simple, straightforward direction.”  

More than two years post-pandemic, most students are now back to in-person learning. However, school psychologists continue to be overwhelmed and understaffed—and an uptick in mental health and academic concerns means more referrals and more evaluations.  

With a faster administration time, the RIAS-2 and RIAS-2 Remote can help them continue to work through their case loads quicker and meet the needs of all the children they serve.  

“If the student for some reason is not able to come to school, it’s okay because they can do a portion of the evaluation remotely now,” Castillo said. “It’s another piece of mind.”  

“I’m glad that we [will continue to] have the remote option,” Kendrick-Dunn said, “so we can make the best clinical decision based on the needs of the child.” 

 

Learn more about remote assessment and using the RIAS-2 in one of our free PARtalks webinars available on the PAR Training Portal. Learn more about the development of RIAS-2 from coauthor Cecil R. Reynolds, PhD, in this video.  

 

Veterans-Day_Blog-Social_2233081207_11_22.jpg

For more than 100 years, the 11th day of the 11th month has been set aside as a day to recognize and honor America’s servicemembers—it’s a day to publicly say “thank you” to all living veterans—all ages, all ranks, all branches, all years.  

At PAR, we recognize that freedom is not free and we thank America’s service members for their dedication, bravery, and courage. We would also like to acknowledge PAR employees who have spent time in uniform: Adam Barrett-Clarke, Teri Lyon, Mike Nolan, and Greg Schmitt.  

We know veterans can face unique obstacles while serving and after separation or retirement from the military. Several of our assessment tools can help you better serve those clients and patients. The Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI) evaluates a broad range of disorders, including PTSD, anxiety and depression, and substance use. The Trauma Symptom Inventory-2  (TSI-2) evaluates the effects of traumatic events including combat, sexual and physical assault, abuse and neglect, and more. And for those service members who aren’t sure how they should follow their military careers, this Veteran SDS white paper can help you help them find a rewarding career.  

 

 

PARblog_1_y22m11y08.jpg

The week of November 7–11 is National School Psychology Week (NSPW). Being a school psychologist has always been crucial, and given the current shortage of school psychologists, along with increasing demand for your services, your role is more demanding—and important—than ever. If you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed, here are some resources and supports that may help.    

Sponsored by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), the theme for NSPW this year is “Together We Shine.” The events of the past few years have led to disconnection and even isolation. While we each have an inner light, when we work together, we can shine brighter to help others in our schools and in our communities. 

Here are some suggested activities for NSPW: 

Counselors: Help students see the power of working together by focusing on these skills. 

  • Help students develop their social and active listening skills. 

  • Engage students in discussions about building self-esteem and confidence. 

  • Encourage students to develop social connections. 

Schools: Offer additional activities that emphasize togetherness. 

  • Hold a scavenger hunt, asking students to find someone who makes a positive contribution to the school. 

  • Initiate classroom discussions that encourage active listening, and discuss how different opinions can lead to enlightenment. 

  • Inspire students to express gratitude by having school administrators, teachers, and staff model the behavior. 

PAR would like to thank all school psychologists for the essential services they provide to their students, and for placing your trust in our instruments. 

Looking for more information about PAR school resources and assessments? Visit our school resources page

NCD_Month_0002_GettyImages-588266018.jpg

November may conjure up images of colorful leaves, cornstalks, and turkey, but, for the past 57 years, it has also been National Career Development (NCD) Month. 

Championed by the National Career Development Association (NCDA), the purpose of NCD Month is to focus on activities that can help individuals find, grow, or change career paths. Career professionals, students, and employees are encouraged to engage in a variety of activities like career workshops, résumé refinement, and career exploration and awareness.  

Here are some activities for individuals interested in promoting career development: 

  • Participate in NCDA’s annual poetry and art contest, which promotes career development. 

  • Encourage students to dress up for their dream careers for a day. 

  • Hold a career fair. 

  • Help students or employees update their résumés. 

  • Inform students about job shadowing opportunities, internships, and tours. 

  • For businesses, set up a mentor program for your employees. Encourage your staff to be mentors or get a mentor. 

For career professionals (or any professional looking to provide career guidance to clients or students), the Self-Directed Search is a time-tested career assessment tool that matches an individual’s aspirations, activities, and talents to the career choices and educational opportunities that fit them best.  

To learn more, visit self-directed-search-com. 

 

 

Community PARtners blog Q3_Resized.jpg

One of PAR’s core values is to give back to the community. We participate in many special events during the year that benefit organizations in the Tampa Bay area. Here’s a look at some of the activities and events PAR staff have participated in recently. 

In August, PAR CEO Kristin Greco participated in the 2022 CEO Soak to raise money for the ALS Association Florida Chapter. The event, which took place at ZooTampa, raised more than $50,000 to help raise awareness and funds to support those living with and impacted by ALS.  

In September, PAR took part in our annual United Way campaign. We had 100% staff participation and exceeded our fundraising goal—raising $113,278 in staff contributions to benefit those in need in the Tampa Bay area. Visit unitedway.org to learn about United Way in your area. 

In October, a group from PAR joined a sold-out crowd of animal lovers for the Humane Society of Tampa Bay’s annual gala fundraiser, Tuxes and Tails. This black-tie event raised hundreds of thousands of dollars while finding homes for adoptable dogs and cats from the shelter. 

Also in October, a team from PAR participated in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s at Raymond James Stadium. The walk benefits the Alzheimer's Association, the largest voluntary health organization benefitting Alzheimer’s care, support, and research. The team raised $8,300 to support those living with Alzheimer’s. 

We are so grateful to be able to give back to our community with our time, energy, and resources. To learn more about what we are doing to make a difference in the Tampa Bay area, visit our Community PARtners page. 

 

far-ir-feifer-products-par.jpg

This is the third part in a series on the Feifer Assessment of Reading (FAR). Catch up on the first part here and the second part here

The Feifer Assessment of Reading (FAR)  stands out from other reading tests not only because it measures several aspects of reading and identifies likely dyslexic subtypes, but also because it provides targeted interventions based on a student’s strengths, weaknesses, and age.   

“The FAR is able to say, This is what the kid is really good at in the area of reading, so that tells us we can play into their strengths to help them compensate for their weaknesses,” said Angela Hodges, EdS, NCSP, a school psychologist from Aiken, South Carolina. “It gives a much better diagnostic and even research-based assessment of reading than just basic reading comprehension or reading fluencies or word recognition.” 

The FAR features 15 subtests that measure various aspects of reading, from vocabulary and phonological awareness to word memory and reading fluency. Detailed interpretations of index, index discrepancy, and subtest scores are provided in the FAR Interpretive Report, available on PARiConnect, along with targeted reading interventions based on current reading research.  

“It helps me tell the team what to focus on in the special education IEP,” said Angela Hoffer, PsyD, NCSP, a school psychologist. “Sometimes, the recommendations or interventions become so general when you say, It’s a reading disability. … Knowing how they perform qualitatively on specific subtests on the FAR can help me with recommendations.” 

“The big thing about the FAR is it gives so much more information about the different processes in reading,” Hodges said. “The more you know about the deficit, the easier it is to intervene. 

“It helps teachers know where the gaps are and where they need to drill into those developing skills versus a universal screener, which just places a child in a ranking,” she added, “and gives us a clearer picture of the specific areas where the child needs help.” 

A FAR Screening Form and FAR Screening Form Remote are also available. 

  

 

FAR-IR-interview-metrics-part 2_Blog-Social_3200459916_10_22.png

This is the second part in a series on the Feifer Assessment of Reading (FAR). Catch up on the first part here

 

The FAR is a comprehensive assessment of reading and related processes that was developed to fill a gap in student testing. It measures the neurocognitive processes responsible for reading, within the actual context of reading, to explain why a student may struggle.  

Information gleaned from the FAR can be used to determine if a student is likely to have dyslexia. However, it digs deeper than other measures to identify the likely dyslexic subtype as well, which arms educators with the detailed information they need to develop effective interventions.  

“I prefer the FAR over other measures because it gives me more specific dyslexia information,” said Angela Hoffer, PsyD, NCSP, a school psychologist in Aiken, South Carolina. “I like that I can provide more tailored recommendations for students.” 

The FAR is based on the premise that interventions for reading disorders vary by dyslexic subtype. The FAR measures four subtypes of dyslexia:  

  • Dysphonic—an inability to sound out words; these students rely on visual and orthographic cues to identify words in print.  

  • Surface—the opposite of dysphonic dyslexia; students can sound out words but have difficulty recognizing them in print. 

  • Mixed—the most severe type of reading disability; these students have difficulty across the language spectrum.  

  • Reading comprehension—these students struggle to derive meaning from print despite good reading mechanics.  

Recommendations are based on FAR scores and dyslexic subtype, allowing for more tailored—and effective—interventions to help students become better readers.   

The FAR Interpretive Report on PARiConnect also helps explain a student’s reading concerns in ways parents and teachers can readily understand.  

“The FAR does a good job of testing for dyslexia but also explaining to parents exactly what dyslexia is,” said Angela Hodges, EdS, NCSP, a school psychologist from Aiken, South Carolina. “It’s not always the stereotypical flipping of letters. It helps parents understand, Yes, your child might have dyslexia, but it really is a comprehension issue or a phonemic awareness issue. It helps parents and even some teachers understand that there are more functions and operations involved in reading than just sight word recognition, fluency, and comprehension. It helps parents understand where their child’s reading gaps are as opposed to, My child can’t read, or My kid’s below grade level in reading.” 

A FAR Screening Form and FAR Screening Form Remote are also available! 

 

 

Mental-Illness-Awareness_Blog-Social_2232952981_10_22.jpg

Each year, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and other advocates sponsor activities related to Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW), dedicated to educating the public about mental illness, including issues such as available treatments and methods of support.   

This year’s theme for MIAW is “What I Wish I Had Known.” Individuals who have dealt with mental illness will have an opportunity to share their lived experiences, with an emphasis on learnings that could have helped them if they’d known them sooner. You can view videos from people sharing these experiences.  

Other organizations such as Mental Health America (MHA) also have events planned during the week, including a free webinar on navigating barriers to treatment. NAMI Minnesota is offering a free week-long series of classes on various aspects of mental illness.  

When you are looking for solutions to help your clients, patients, or students facing mental illness, PAR has a wide variety of mental health resources that can help across constructs.  

 

 

far-ir-cognitive-linguistic-assessement-par.jpg

Note: This is the first in a series about using the Feifer Assessment of Reading (FAR) to find out why students struggle with reading.  

 

Several years ago, when Jacqui Veitch-Richie, a school psychologist in Aiken, South Carolina, wanted to evaluate students for reading disabilities, she cobbled together subtests from a variety of academic instruments to evaluate the things she knew were important to measure, like spelling skills and phonemic awareness.  

“I actually put together what I considered a rubric of tests that I was separating out myself,” she explained. “There was no standardization, but I was getting samples of the child’s performance. I tried to pull out those processes separately the best I could.”  

When a colleague learned what Veitch-Richie was doing, she suggested using the Feifer Assessment of Reading (FAR) instead.  

“She said, ‘that’s pretty much what the FAR does for you. You should take a look at it,’” Veitch-Richie, the District 504 Coordinator, recalled, “and I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is so wonderful!’” 

Standardized achievement tests, commonly used by school psychologists for initial evaluations, don’t typically offer much beyond a reading score and a rating. And while they may indicate that a student has a problem with reading, they don’t explain why that student struggles—or provide ways to help.  

“If all I’m showing is a weakness in reading, that doesn’t generate any kind of conversation,” Veitch-Richie said, “and it doesn’t give me the tools to help it or fix it any way.” 

In contrast, the FAR comprehensively deciphers the neurocognitive processes responsible for reading—and measures them within the actual context of reading—to explain why a student may struggle with reading instead of merely reporting the level at which a child can read.  

Another benefit of the FAR is its robust interpretive report, available only on PARiConnect. Along with student scores and score interpretation, it generates specific recommendations, based on those scores, along with resources designed to help educators develop their own tailored interventions.  

“You have to know what you’re doing with your interventions and your remediation,” stressed Veitch-Ritchie. “I think that is what teachers are missing. What I’m starting to see with the FAR and the interpretive report is there are lots of interventions that we can use.”  

 

Learn more at parinc.com/FAR 

 

Archives