A Closer Look: Blogs From NASP Speakers, Leaders, and Presenters

This blog features blog posts written by experts in specific areas of practice, giving you an opportunity on your lunch break or after hours to quickly read up on a topic and learn more about implications for practice.

You can also check out the webinars related to many of these blog posts, as well as a list of our upcoming live webinars, by visiting the Online Learning Center.

  • Simple, Summative Skills: Incorporating Brief Positive Psychology Practice Into Your Day

    SEL curricula are often designed around pillars of positive psychology (PP) like social connectedness, resilience, positive reappraisal, and positive refocusing. However, many curricula require extensive time and fidelity to integrate into already-full classroom schedules. However, even if time is short, teaching isolated PP skills to students is shown to be beneficial. Recent research indicates learning and practicing brief PP skills (e.g., 3–7 minutes of mindfulness, gratitude, goal setting, resilience, growth mindset) can provide a double buffer effect: an instant mood booster and the building of neural pathways and generalized behavior over time. Brief PP practices demonstrate improvement in feelings of wellness for individuals of all ages, cultures, and geographies as well as across a range of symptom experiences and severity. This means that taking a few minutes out of the day to practice short PP exercises can help students, teachers, and other school staff with instant social–emotional boosters, which over time generalize into other aspects of their days, extracurriculars, social relationships, and academic practice.

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  • Creating the Psychologically Safe Learning Environment

    We are in the midst of so much trauma and stress—it is never ending. How can school psychologists team with others in their schools and communities to help alleviate childhood drama? How can you apply trauma-informed, evidence-based practices to promote equity, alleviate trauma, accelerate learning, and achieve greater individual and collective self-care? The presenters will share tips and strategies for using their podcast, “Cultivating Resilience: A Whole Community Approach to Alleviating Trauma in Schools,” to advance well-being, resilience, and compassionate school cultures. They will also describe the approaches they have developed and promote trauma-informed policy and practices, heart-centered learning, compassionate school practices, and the use of mindfulness, meditation, and movement in schools.

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  • Get Out of the Testing Rut: Expanding Your School Psychology Role by Understanding Your District's Needs

    While able to provide comprehensive services, school psychologists have bemoaned their "test and place" role for generations. But many have not analyzed their district’s strategic planning goals, the organizational interactions of district and school leaders, the importance of controlling costs and maximizing staff impact, and how these factors relate to student proficiency. This webinar discusses these systems-level areas, identifying what school psychologists need to include in their “three-minute elevator speech” when advocating for more comprehensive roles. We will discuss how to show district leaders that testing is inefficient, and how consultation and intervention activities improve student, staff, and school outcomes.

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  • Oral Reporting of Assessment Results for Maximum Impact

    While school psychologists devote considerable time and effort to writing assessment reports, oral presentation of findings has the greater potential impact on parents, teachers, administrators, service providers, and other consumers. Oral presentations that are clear, child-centered, and responsive to the needs of consumers increase the likelihood that evaluators' findings will be accepted, and that recommendations will be followed. This session will provide practical guidelines and practice opportunities for participants to increase the effectiveness and impact of their oral presentation of assessment findings.

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  • Culturally Responsive Interviewing: Proactive Strategies for BIPOC Students

    Culturally responsive interviews with students, caregivers, and teachers are an important and useful component of a culturally responsive assessment. Aside from gathering important data, interviewing can help build and foster interpersonal connections and relationships. The authors introduce here three specific aspects of the culturally responsive interview to support students who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC).

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  • Beyond Self-Care Sunday: Four Surprising Ways to Prevent School Psychologist Burnout

    In this blog post, Dr. Rebecca Branstetter identifies four key ways that school psychologists can engage in self-care and prevent burnout in their practice, during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

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  • Five Clues in Your Data: Identifying Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders

    In this blog post, Dr. Laura Dilly recognizes the difficulty in identifying ASD in some children, and lays out five clues in the assessment data that can help school psychologists to better identify students with ASD, assist educators in developing appropriate goals for these students, and help them to reach their full potential.

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  • Five Questions Intern Supervisors Should Ask New Interns

    In this blog post, Dr. Meaghan C. Guiney answers five important questions for intern supervisors to ask new interns at the beginning of their internship experience. Meaghan argues that with just a few strategic questions, supervisors can start a conversation that will help them understand your supervisee and make a strong start to a great year.

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  • Restorative, Collaborative Functional Behavior Assessments and Behavior Intervention Plans

    In this blog post, Matthew Graziano, Anya Morales, Kelsie Morales and Craig Varsa discuss proactive actions that promote justice and fairness for all students, particularly those who are at risk of being marginalized because of their identities. There is a particular critical need to address the historical injustices wrought upon Black males within school settings, and the authors recommend that school psychologists begin or continue to reflect on current practices and identify those that cause harm to all marginalized students, are punitive, or are rooted in educators holding the sole authority.

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  • School Psychologists Should Embrace Telecounseling as an Option in the Post-COVID-19 World

    In this blog post, Robyn Moses and Thomas J. Sopp answer questions about the advantages of continuing to provide telecounseling services to students after the COVID-19 pandemic, including the practical benefits of doing so, as well as identifying barriers to telecounseling services that may arise for some.

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  • Stress and Anxiety: I’m Not Just the Presenter, I’m Also a Client

    In this blog post, Amy Cannava opens up about her personal experience with anxiety. She also illustrates how she helps her students deal with their own anxiety, including a list of the top ten strategies that have helped her cope personally.

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  • Problem-Solving the Complexities of Reading Comprehension

    Being able to comprehend written text is an essential life skill. Consider all the ways in which one uses reading comprehension skills in everyday life. Everything from reading the comics in the newspaper and social media online to reading the voter's pamphlet or a job application are impacted by one's comprehension skills. Because of its importance, school psychologists need to understand which reading and language skills are critical to the development of reading comprehension.

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  • Promoting School Psychological Service Delivery Through Active Self-Care

    Even though psychologists know the importance of taking care of themselves, achieving it within the complex and demanding school settings that exist in today’s educational landscape can be a serious challenge. Recognizing this dilemma and the significance of personal well-being is a critical professional skill that can have powerful impacts on job productivity and effectiveness.

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  • How to Prevent Students From Experiencing Psychosis

    Did you know that it is rather common to have strange or extraordinary experiences? Many people experience these events, and they are usually harmless and are quickly forgotten. However, sometimes these experiences can be distressing and interfere with activities. Below are some examples of unusual or extraordinary experiences that students might mention or appear to be experiencing

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  • Science-Based Case Conceptualization

    This entry to our A Closer Look blog examines science-based case conceptualization and its importance to navigating the overabundance of factors relevant or helpful for student assessment or intervention.

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  • Trauma, Stress, and the Postpandemic Opening of School: Let’s Not Pathologize Students’ Emotional Needs

    Multifaceted data has not yet been collected regarding students’ current emotional status and how many students have actually been traumatized by the current COVID-19 pandemic. This entry to our "A Closer Look" blog takes a look at considerations schools must be mindful of in order to act as conscious leaders and caring adults supporting students through these times.

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  • Testing Accommodations: From the 2019 Admissions Scandal to the Bigger Scandal of Poor Decision-Making

    Americans were shocked by the news that broke in March 2019. A number of affluent individuals, including celebrities Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman, had allegedly paid William “Rick” Singer to help their children get into selective colleges through fraudulent means. Singer’s strategies for gaming the admissions process were diverse, including faking athletic accomplishments and even lying about students’ ethnic backgrounds, but one of his techniques involved providing fraudulent college admissions test scores. Singer had associates who worked as proctors, and who could arrange for the scores. But logistical problems remained—in particular, Singer’s associates needed time to procure or produce tests with the high-scoring correct answers.

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  • Self-Regulated Strategy Development (SRSD)

    Self-regulated strategy development (SRSD) is a trans-theoretical teaching approach that was first developed by Karen Harris and Steve Graham nearly 40 years ago. They designed the approach to fill a gap in writing instruction for students with disabilities. It can be used with individuals, in small groups, and classwide with students in grades two through twelve.

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  • Thinking Versus Knowing: The Key to Measuring Intelligence

    The pattern of strengths and weaknesses in a student’s thinking and knowing gives us information about eligibility (perhaps a specific learning disability) and direction for intervention. It is, however, critical that the way we measure how well a student thinks is not confounded by what they know.

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  • Social Media and Crisis Intervention: Opportunity and Danger

    Over 70% of Americans use some form of social media every day (Pew Research Center, 2019). As a result of this trend, when a school associated crisis occurs, it has become expected that schools will use social media to disseminate information. In addition, we should expect that today's students and their caregivers will use social media to connect with each other.

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  • Self-Care Lessons From the Field

    A 2-week Hawaiian vacation. Cozying up in thick fleece sweat pants, an oversized hoodie, and half a pint of cookie dough ice cream on a Friday night to watch your favorite movie. Taking backroads to work and marveling at the turns and hills and many shades of green along the route. Walking from the parking lot to the office, choosing not to focus on the deafening sounds of the ride-on mower zig zagging across the lawn, but instead attending to the sweet smell of fresh cut grass, brilliant sunshine, and crisp hint of autumn in the air. Self-care is different things to different people.

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