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How do you find an Educational Psychologist to assess your child for giftedness? I imagine if your child is in school you can ask at your school, but what about pre-school aged children?
And what should I expect from a visit to an Educational Psychologist? Do you get time at the same time as an assessment to discuss your child and questions about strategies to manage issues? Or do you need to set up a separate time? And what costs are typically involved? Waiting time for appointments? Is it something you could maybe book a few weeks in advance or is it usually months in advance?
Finally, if you have a specific Educational Psychologist you've been happy with can you let us know? I'm in Melbourne, but let's share for all states so that it can help others with the same questions :).
You can use the search engine at the Australian Psychological Society to find an Educational Psychologist. It's not a comprehensive search engine (ie only members of the APS are on there, and you don't have to be a member of the APS to be a psychologist), but it will probably be useful for your purposes.
So enter the values that it's for a pre-schooler and that you're looking for an intellectual assessment (under the heading of 'EDUCATIONAL' and put in your postcode and an acceptable radius. When your results come up if you click on the psychologist's name and scroll to the bottom of their profile, if it says they're a member of the College of Education and Development, that means they're an Educational and Developmental psychologist.
Each psychologist sets their own fee structure, so I can't answer that question - you'd just need to call a few and ask abut what their fees would be. Most assessments would be structured so that there would be a pre-assessment interview to discuss reasons for the referral, information about the child etc, in which you'd be able to discuss any concerns. Generally an assessment would be run over several sessions (not necessarily the assessment itself, but the information gathering is an extremely important part of the process too). Waiting times vary hugely between psychologists and aren't always indicative of their talent, either - ie some of the best psychologists don't 'do' waiting lists for ethical reasons. For something that's not clinically urgent, you might be able to see somebody relatively quickly or you might not. Again, you'd just have to call a few psychologists to see.
We used Dr Gayle Byrne of Exceptional Children, who is based in Camberwell. She has a website with quite a lot of good information. The CHIP centre is affiliated with one of the Unis (possibly Monash) and also have a testing programme alongside a number of support services - they test in Richmond from what I can tell. Google "children of high intellectual potential" - lot of info on their site also.
I would stress that it's important to find an ed psych with a speciality in gifted children - they tend to do more indepth tests (not just the standard tests but subtests as well) which identify a profile (ie specific breakdown of skills) rather than simply produce a number.
Cost wise it can vary, most seem to be between $500 and $600. You can get some back on private health insurance (extras) if you claim as simply psychological services and do not specify IQ testing.
My daughter was tested by 'Gifted Minds'. They are based in NSW but travel to other states to do testing. They have a good website you could check out.
The testing process was fun and not stressful. We got a 20+ page report which included in addition to the results of all subtests and fullscale IQ, recommendations, strengths and weaknesses and information on sensitivites. Our school has found the report very helpful.
Maybe call the Gifted Association in your state?
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