Shaping the future of clinical and education-related assessmentsMHS
Within our Education division, MHS provides the expertise and resources required to help children and adolescents reach their full potential in and beyond the classroom. We work together with our partners to identify and manage psychological and education-related concerns so all students, families, and educators can succeed.
Within our Clinical division, MHS specializes in aiding the identification and treatment of psychological disorders that span all stages of life. With our advanced suite of tools, team of experts, and robust data sets, we help practitioners provide comprehensive evaluations, uncover powerful insights, and improve client outcomes.
Some of the key areas we address with our solutions are:
- Assisting professionals effectively address mental health challenges children face
- Helping professionals provide informed intervention plans to children and their parents
- Creating a space for collaborative communication to increase positive outcomes
- within our assessments to promote fairness and inclusion in testing
Identifying Mental Health Challenges
1 in every 6 children in the U.S. experience neurodevelopmental, behavioral, or emotional difficulty (CDC, 2019). When the social, emotional, and behavioral challenges are not accurately identified and addressed, it affects a students’ potential to learn and achieve academically and can impair their ability to function at home, school, or in the community.
Our portfolio of comprehensive, evidence-based measures empowers professionals to accurately identify social, emotional, and behavioral challenges in children so providers can offer supportive learning environments and the interventions needed to improve mental health. Learn more about our comprehensive assessments that focus on mental health like the Conners™ family of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) products, the Multidimensional Anxiety Scale for Children 2nd Edition™ (MASC 2), the Children’s Depression Inventory 2™ (CDI 2), and the Autism Spectrum Rating Scales™ (ASRS®).
Integrating different assessment results into meaningful decisions for intervention planning can often be a complex and challenging process. Continuous assessment and progress monitoring should be a part of any intervention plan. But, due to restraints like time and high caseloads, this standard of care is sometimes not achieved. Without a means to more directly connect assessment results to inform intervention plans, the effectiveness of individualized treatments and intervention plans can be lost, leading to poor social, emotional, behavioral, educational, and vocational outcomes.
Our portfolio of solutions was built to go beyond a single assessment. We focus on a holistic assessment approach while zeroing in on quantifying the severity of problems and utilizing multi-rater data and reports, progress reports, item-level elevations, and within-profile comparisons to inform intervention. As an example, products like the Conners Comprehensive Behavior Rating Scales™ (Conners CBRS®), Rating Scale of Impairment™ (RSI™), Anger Regulation and Expression Scales (ARES), Conners Continuous Performance Test 3rd Edition™ (Conners CPT 3™), and the Pediatric Performance Validity Test Suite (PdPVTS) can all be used together to effectively evaluate early identification of behavioral, social, and emotional problems.
In a school environment, collaborative communication with families, multi-disciplinary school teams, and other providers is a key part of successful assessment and intervention outcomes. Lack of effective communication can lead to confusion, contention, fractured decision-making, and improper implementation. Without enabling collaboration among these different groups, treatment fidelity is challenged and can lead to poor intervention or treatment outcomes.
MHS is focused on creating a holistic approach within our assessments that include multi-rater reports, progress reports, and feedback reports, emphasizing looking at functional impairments and outcomes across different domains like school, work, home, peers, and access to resources. Learn more about products that feature multi-rater and feedback reports like the Comprehensive Executive Function Inventory™ (CEFI®), Multidimensional Anxiety Scale for Children 2nd Edition™ (MASC 2), and the Children’s Depression Inventory 2™ (CDI 2).
Innovation in Fairness and Inclusion
In line with the American Educational Research Association (AERA), American Psychological Association (APA), and the National Council on Measurement in Education (NCME), MHS believes fairness is an integral part of test development and must be addressed throughout all stages of a test’s development, delivery, and use. When inclusive and fair assessment practices are not followed, the process results in evidence and conclusions that are not meaningful, accurate, appropriate, or fair to all youth. For example, we often see disproportionality among students of different backgrounds in special education referrals and discipline practices, along with disparities in access to care among individuals from low-income and minority groups.
MHS prides itself on following an impactful Fairness Framework when developing products and solutions. Our framework is built on four pillars: fairness within the research and design of the tests we are creating, the absence of measurement bias with supporting psychometric evidence, fairness in delivery (which focuses on principles of universal design and accessibility) and offering customer and user training that clearly defines intended use, along with efforts to raise awareness of sources of bias and unfairness, as well as reducing adverse impact.
We are also at the forefront of providing innovative assessments that promote fairness in their design. The Ortiz Picture Vocabulary Acquisition Test™ (Ortiz PVAT™) is the first receptive vocabulary assessment that can be used to fairly and accurately assess both English speakers and English learners. The Pediatric Performance Validity Test Suite (PdPVTS) is the first digital suite of performance validity tests for youth, with content specially designed to be fair and equitable, designed to be inserted at various points throughout a full test battery to assess performance effort. And we are incredibly excited to introduce the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test® (NNAT®). These three tests measure general intellectual ability across verbal, nonverbal, and quantitative content areas, and were developed to help achieve equitable identification for all students. Stay tuned for more info on their release!