Every year, the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) holds its Annual Convention, an event that allows school psychologists from all over the country to gather for learning opportunities about important topics related to education and mental health issues affecting children and youth. The 2023 conference was held in Denver February 7-10.
The conference included access to more than 1,200 sessions, all providing a wealth of knowledge for our team members in attendance. Psyched Services also had the pleasure of being presenters, allowing us to share our insights on easy-to-read, user-friendly reports that benefit children and stakeholders, focus on strengths, and inform interventions.
After arriving at the conference, our team was eager to attend some of the sessions that applied directly to the work we are doing here at Psyched Services.
Psyched Services co-owner Marlene attended a session entitled, "Demystifying the Identification of Autism in Females in School Settings." Kristin Begay, Elizabeth Cutrer-Párrage, and Terisa Gabrielsen shared a lot of information about what to look for when assessing girls, as well as about "pink flags" (instead of red flags) which are more typical for boys.
"Understanding the Connection Between Language and Behavioral Disorders" presented by Jason Chow was also very interesting. As a speech therapist, he did research with preschoolers and kindergartners on how language impairments impact behavior and the perception of children's behavior. His session hinged on the idea that kids with language impairments have less reciprocal friendships. Jason emphasized how important collaboration between school psychologists and speech and language pathologists is – and collaboration is one of our core values, so it was nice to see that idea being expressed by other industry professionals, too!
At the end of the day, Rachael, Mary, and Marlene met to practice their presentation.
It's presentation day for our Psyched Services team members! Rachael, Mary, and Marlene arrived to the session room to find a line outside the door of attendees waiting to enter.
42 participants got to experience our presentation entitled, "A Comparison Study of User-Friendly Reports Versus Traditional Reports." We had a really good discussion with the participants at the end of the session, too.
The rest of day two was spent learning from school psychology's big names, including Milton Dehn (on Early Identification of Dyslexia), Steven Feifer (on Using Neuropsychology to Identify Dyslexia in Spanish and English), and Dawn Flanagan (on Responsible Use of PSW Methods). Marlene also attended a session on how to support students with anxiety in school by Elena Bernstein and a session on selective mutism by Brittany Bice-Urbach and Karolyn Mirasola – both were especially insightful!
We also met with with Maureen for a team photo!
The third and final day of the Annual Convention was spent with some familiar faces. Marlene and Rachael met with two professors from Texas State, Dr. Laurie Klose (NASP past president) and Dr. Jon Lasser.
Fun fact: Dr. Klose taught four Psyched team members, including our founders Kristyn and Marlene!
We also met up with our Learn.Do collaborator Jack Naglieri, who did a session on navigating the legal and ethical landscapes in schools with Peter Faustino.
Later in the afternoon, we attended a session on improving consultation by understanding beliefs about bilingualism by Texas A&M students and their professor.
Marlene shared that the highlight of the entire conference for her personally was "Impact of COVID: Developmental Losses, Classroom Behaviors, and Anxiety" by Caron Westland from the University of Colorado Denver.
Marlene said, "It was great to interact with other school psychologists from around the country on how COVID has impacted themselves and their schools, as well as learn about the delays children have been experiencing during pandemic. This provided some insight on how we should shift our lens and expectations, and keep in mind that children came back with a 2-year delay in their social and emotional skills. We have to make social emotional learning a priority."
Thank you for reading about our #NASP2023 experience! These learning experiences are invaluable for our team, as we are always seeking new information to help us operate at the highest levels and serve students to the best of our abilities. We continue to strive for excellence.
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