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With several students each day to evaluate, assess, and refer, your time is at a premium. Finding time to score assessments, interpret results, and write reports is never easy, but your job is to help students on the path to academic success, so you do what it takes.

The Feifer Assessment of Mathematics (FAM) is a comprehensive assessment of mathematics that determines if a student is at risk for dyscalculia. It is useful for educators, math specialists, and school psychologists not only because it identifies possible neurodevelopmental causes of math learning difficulties—but also because it offers intervention recommendations based on a student’s specific areas of strength and weakness.  It truly helps put “individual” back into your IEP.

A new Interpretive Report—available only on PARiConnect—uses the power of the FAM to get your students the help they need and saves you valuable time. 

After entering scores from a FAM administration, the report generates a detailed score summary and profiles that you can easily copy and paste into your own report; comprehensive interpretations of all FAM indexes, index discrepancies, and subtests; targeted math intervention strategies and programs based on your student’s age and unique profile of strengths and weaknesses.  

With quick scoring, thorough interpretation, and tailored recommendations, the FAM Interpretive Report saves you time and helps you get your students on the path to math success. Volume pricing is available.

Learn more

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When you need to measure visual organizational ability in patients or clients with traumatic brain damage or central nervous system compromise, you need a tool that’s not only reliable and valid but also one that uses clear and realistic illustrations, one with up-to-date normative data, and one that requires low motor demand.

Identi-Fi is a new measure of visual organizational ability that can be used to assess the effects of traumatic brain injury or central nervous system compromise, monitor recovery following a brain injury, evaluate visual perceptual or processing skills deficits (as seen in some reading disorders), determine right hemisphere dysfunction, and measure visual attention.

It was conormed with the Trails-X, a measure of adaptive planning and executive function, and standardized with individuals ages 5 to 79 years. Normative data is representative of 2017 U.S. Census statistics, and percentile ranks, T scores, z scores, normal curve equivalents, and stanines are available.

Unlike similar measures, Identi-Fi features two subtests. The Visual Organization subtest requires the examinee to view a series of cut-up, puzzle-like images and identify what each would be if assembled. Visual Matching uses the same cut-up images but provides a series of foils for each from which the examinee must choose the correct assembled image.  Administration takes only 10 minutes. 

Designed with large, full-color stimuli that feature modern illustrations, Identi-Fi is more salient to current populations and more adaptable to mildly visually impaired individuals. And without the confounds that accompany similar tests (such as the rapid assembly of physical puzzle pieces) Identi-Fi is an easier-to-interpret and more accurate measure of visual organization.

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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).

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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.

 

 

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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. 

 

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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.

 

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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.

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As of 2018, there were nearly 60 million Hispanic people living in the U.S., and about 41 million of those people speak Spanish in the home. Students who take part in language assistance programs are often referred to as English language learners (ELL).

Language acculturation is a process that occurs over a period of time, and it will be different for everyone due to age, education, length of time in the U.S., and adaptation to prevailing social, linguistic, psychological, and cultural norms. In U.S. schools, more than 77% of ELL students speak Spanish, and these students will exhibit different degrees of acculturation.

When these students need psychological assessment to address academic concerns, to determine appropriate classroom placement, or for any other reason, their level of language acculturation could have an effect on test results—and decisions based on those results could have lasting consequences.

The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) position notes “inadequate or inappropriate psychoeducational assessment practices, restricted access to effective instruction, [and] lack of understanding about language acquisition” as reasons for overrepresentation of ELL students in special education and underrepresentation in gifted programs.

The Language Acculturation Meter is a new tool that will ensure you are assessing bilingual and ELL individuals appropriately. It provides information about the examinee’s educational history, including where he or she attended school, in what language, and for how long; his or her level of everyday English-language use; and self-identified English comprehension in everyday scenarios.

This knowledge sets the stage for an ecologically valid assessment by providing a framework that helps you determine the most appropriate assessment—and get the most accurate results.

The Language Acculturation Meter and accompanying White Paper are available to download at no charge. Learn more or download.

 

 

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Have you tried the new PARiConnect 3.0? Now PARiConnect isn’t just the most reliable platform in the online assessment industry, it is the fastest, as well! Plus, its new intuitive design and upgraded features make it the platform you enjoy using! We’ve taken Customer feedback and used it to make the platform even better for you! Here are a few features that we’ve added:

Group clients to keep organized! PARiConnect allows you to create groups of clients. Organize clinicians with their own client rosters, as well.

Change labels as needed. Account settings allow you to customize the labels used throughout the system to better suit your purposes. Personalize terms like client or student, depending on your setting.

Filter your caseload easily. New filter capabilities allow you to easily search by assessment, Client ID, name, and more!

Save your favorites. Save your most-used assessments under My Favorites and quickly access the tools you use most.

Established users can sign right in to your account to see the upgrades for yourself. All client data and inventory has transferred over seamlessly. New users can get started with 3 FREE uses. Simply sign up!

To learn more about PARiConnect 3.0, view an on-demand video tour now or read more about the new features.

We can’t wait for you to try it for yourself!

 

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With the launch of PARiConnect 3.0, we’ve taken Customer feedback and used it to make the platform even better for you! Here are a few features that we’ve added:

Group clients to keep organized! PARiConnect allows you to create groups of clients. Organize clinicians with their own client rosters, as well.

Change labels as needed. Account settings allow you to customize the labels used throughout the system to better suit your purposes. Personalize terms like client or student, depending on your setting.

Filter your caseload easily. New filter capabilities allow you to easily search by assessment, Client ID, name, and more!

Save your favorites. Save your most-used assessments under My Favorites and quickly access the tools you use most.

Established users can sign right in to your account to see the upgrades for yourself. All client data and inventory has transferred over seamlessly. New users can get started with 3 FREE uses. Simply sign up!