We all have those books that we use all the time, that have proved to be worth every penny. If you are a new School Psychologist starting out, or a seasoned Psychologist wondering what others have on their bookshelves, I’m going to share some of our favorites. I have asked my School Psych friends about their favorites and here are some of the responses.
Currently we are shifting towards the Cross Battery Approach in my area. It is very useful in looking at a person’s abilities and identifying strengths and weaknesses. For those who are using this method or interested in this method, the Essentials of Cross-Battery Assessment
is a must. It comes with a book and a CD to use the programs. To be fair, I must give the disclaimer that the software is not user friendly, but as the wife of a web programmer/designer I have a low tolerance for these things. I would love them to hire my husband to make the software more user friendly! However, it is useful and once you have figured it out, you probably won’t go back to your old ways of looking at strengths, weaknesses, and processing deficits.
I use my Desk Reference to the Diagnostic Criteria from DSM-5(TM) all the time. I love that it is so small and lightweight and can be thrown in a bag without weighing me down any more than I already am. I’m often writing reports at one of my schools and it is very handy to have a DSM-5 nearby. We have the full version in the main office if I need to reference it, but all I really need for my reports is this desk reference. It is much cheaper and way lighter. This was definitely a good choice!
For report writing, the Essentials of Specific Learning Disability Identification is extremely useful. Even if you buy this book for nothing else than the lovely charts, it is worth it! There are charts with specific recommendations for various processing deficits. Last week, I found a phonological processing deficit, so I went to the chart and found three or four solid recommendations for that area to put into my report that will likely go straight into an IEP very soon.
Skill Streaming Series
If you are doing counseling or social skill training, many of us are still using the Skill Streaming books. They were updated recently and still very useful. You can give the child a rating scale that is in the book and then use that to identify specific skills that need to be taught. It is a great way to teach pro-social skills. The skills are broken down step by step and you can also buy a workbook to accompany the manual. It comes with a CD containing all of the materials.
These cards were recommended as fun mindfulness activities to do during counseling. A person can pull a card and complete the short activity. I have not used these yet, but they seemed like a lot of fun and very useful.
Self-Regulation Interventions and Strategies: Keeping the Body, Mind & Emotions on Task in Children with Autism, ADHD or Sensory Disorders
Self-regulation is a skill that many of my students need desperately. We are working self-regulation strategies into almost every behavior plan. The book Self-Regulation Interventions and Strategies was recommended. I flipped through it and decided that it was definitely something I need to purchase myself. There are great recommendations and strategies that will be very beneficial in Behavior Plan writing.