Educational psychologist recommendations

(22 Posts)
Patti888 Fri 16-May-14 20:06:14

My DS nursery school has strongly recommended that we have him assessed by an Ed psyc. prior to starting primary school.
The head, (13yrs as a primary teacher herself) believes that this will be of help to both DS & his future school.
We live in Fulham, west London but would be willing to travel for an Ed psyc that can assess a four year old.
Does anyone have a recommendation?
Many many thanks

SuperSophie Sat 17-May-14 09:04:18

Has he composed a symphony yet?

If not, he's a normal boy who doesn't need any 'gifted and talented' nonsense.

Primary school teachers should teach the three R's and stop pretending to be any more than glorified childminders.

MissSmiley Sat 17-May-14 09:46:49

We were recommended Joan freeman. We didn't go and see her in the end (she had v long wait for a appointment) and moved schools which solved our probs at the time. I emailed her and she got back to me.

inthesark Sat 17-May-14 10:03:22

How helpful Sophie.

Assuming that you are doing this because of g&t issues, then as well as Joan Freeman (who isn't to everyone's taste) there is also Peter Congdon in Solihull. He is also a dyslexia specialist and can usually see you quite quickly. He will almost always recommend a grade skip, JF never does.

You could also use the Potential Plus Assessments, which I don't really know about but their website has all the details - really depends what you are after.

If it is other stuff, for example if you may be looking at ASD as well, there are other specialists and asking on the Special Needs boards may be better.

Patti888 Sat 17-May-14 12:49:42

How sad I feel to be slapped down by you Sophie.
You have no knowledge of my DS nor his gifts or struggles.
As to the other very kind posters, a huge thankyou.
It's such a shame that, I too, hesitated, before posting for this very reason.
I am not a pushy mum. With five children, I don't have the time. I merely want to help my child in any way I can.
Any other Ed psyc recommendation really appreciated

Lesleythegiraffe Sat 17-May-14 13:02:53

SuperSophie I'm so glad that my profession is seen as being a glorified childminder.

Presumably you have never spent any time in a primary school classroom or you'd realise that you are talking utter rubbish.

But, hey ho, we're used to the people who think we work from 9 to 3 with months of holidays.

Of course lessons just magically appear, books mark themselves and reports write themselves along with the hundreds of other jobs (mainly time-consuming bureaucracy) that the government foist upon us.

IsItMeOr Sat 17-May-14 13:07:22

Hi Patti - I may be missing something, but is there a reason that you can't do this through the state sector?

I'm a bit clueless, as just going through the SEN process ourselves with DS, who is in reception. But it seems as if the local councils place much more weight on their own ed psych assessments than on privately obtained ones, when it comes to making the case for the statutory assessment.

Good luck (and please let me know if you find a good one!).

IsItMeOr Sat 17-May-14 13:07:47

Actually, you might get a better response on the SEN boards?

RawCoconutMacaroon Sat 17-May-14 13:43:24

Sophie shock, that's harsh and uncalled for. Even at that age there are some kids who are so far beyond (or different to) the development of "normal" that they need appropriate help for their development, just as much as the kids who need help to achieve "average". All kids deserve to be able to access an education suitable for their level of ability, and that includes ALL abilities, even the very able.

OP, why can't the assessment be done through the nhs? When my DS1 was assessed (twice, once at 3 1/2, again at 5 1/2), it was organised with our consent, through the preschool and through the primary school and we didn't pay anything (Scotland, so maybe different).
The Ed Psych came into the school and carried out (long!) assessments there, and afterwards recommended extension work and other adjustments (which the school refused to do btw, and eventually we changed school to get him what he needed, but that's another story!).

I think that if pre school is activity pushing you to assess before school starts, the HT suspects that your DC isn't just bright, but is exceptionally bright (because G&T is only the top 10% as I understand it? We don't have G&T in Scotland).

Maybe you need to discuss it some more with the HT and clarify why they think it needs to be done now, and why privately.

Patti888 Sat 17-May-14 13:45:42

We've tried going through our GP, alas the waiting lists are horrendously long, plus we have the financial resources to go privately & not burden the NHS nor education sector at this point.
For us, we want to do all we can to ensure that DS & his future primary/prep school have a good picture of him & feel they can nurture his all round growth & happiness.
After all, it's really what we all want for our children.

Patti888 Sat 17-May-14 13:50:17

Ps, and yes, HT does suspect he's exceptionally gifted, but that presents a whole host of other issues rawcoconutmaccaroon...sigh!

RawCoconutMacaroon Sat 17-May-14 14:34:52

Patti, I appreciate things are very different in England (south east especially) wrt waiting lists, and also that there is more private provision available too (medical family). It's excellent that you are able to pay and speed things up.

DC1 is at uni now so I can advise you to be ready to fight your DCs corner, it was a long and hard road (as it was with DS2 &3 and as we expect it to be with preschool DS4!), you need to be vigilant to the motivations of schools for suggesting certain things (for financial reasons, or just because it's easier!), which are not in the best interests of your particular child (bearing in mind of course that there are always compromises of some sort in a classroom situation between what's best/easiest for the group and what's best for an individual child).

Ime if the child has other needs in addition to having a very high iq/academic ability, school often over focus on the additional needs and neglect the academic side unless you as a parent are careful to make sure that all the issues are being considered, and not just one aspect!

BlackeyedSusan Sat 17-May-14 21:55:50

many schools do not understand assessments. they parrot we have many gifted children here... which they do but there is a big diifference between the needs of the larger group of moderately gifted children , and the needs of exceptionally gifted children. (terms used In WISC IV I think?)

How old is he? have you researched tests? can you potentially afford two assessments? one with the preschool assessment and later for the over 6s? if the head of his current school is sympathetic to his needs maybe you do not need an assessment now.

Peter COngdon charges approximately £400 for an assessment. His reports though are quite formulaic, though the children involved tested at a similar ability level. He is easy to get to as he is just off the motorway network.

the test was helpful as it gives a lot of insight into the strenghths and weaknesses of the child. you may need to do you own research using the data provided by Peter.

BlackeyedSusan Sat 17-May-14 21:59:09

whole host of other problems is about right in many cases, though not all.

diamondage Sat 17-May-14 23:06:55

You need the WIPPSI rather than the WISC see here for children under 6.

Joan Freeman uses the Stanford Binet (the version that allows one test area to provide an overall IQ rather than the averaging of all areas that's required by modern tests). That's not to say there's no value in the SB (particularly for exceptionally gifted children) however my feeling was it led to over inflation in DDs case. PM me if you'd like more details re Joan Freeman.

No one in our area had access to the latest WIPPSI test (as part of the ASD diagnosis) - I'm not sure if that's common.

You could start with buying 5 levels of gifted by Deborah Ruf. If your DS is exceptionally gifted then the SB will be especially useful if he reaches the ceilings on the WSSPI.

Patti888 Tue 20-May-14 17:28:20

Diamnonage, thank you.
I'd no idea there were differing standards of testing, some appropriate for four year olds.
Yes please to any info on Joan Freeman, also if you knew where I could search for someone doing the WIPPSI testing.
Would Potential Plus be able to help in my search?
Do they test?
DS has reading age of 8+ & numeracy a little above. He'll turn four in September.
Many many thanks again everyone

diamondage Tue 20-May-14 22:07:59

Yes Potential Plus will assess see here. I have no idea about how this compares to other IQ tests but it seems like it might be useful to you given that it is geared towards supporting / maximising learning potential, although whether it is geared for exceptionally gifted children I don't know - you would need to ask them about their test's 'ceiling'.

If you want an actual IQ score then you will need to either have an assessment with Joan Freeman as she does a short version of the SB and will assess children as young as 2 or 3 I think or find someone who can administer the latest version of the WIPPSI.

When DD was assessed for ASD the psychologist tried to find a colleague (via her network) who had the latest WIPPSI test. No one did, it was fairly newly out and costs a lot to upgrade and if there's not much call for it I suppose they don't bother upgrading. So I can't really help you there I'm afraid other than knowing it's the right test for children under 6.

This site might also be useful.

JoInScotland Fri 23-May-14 22:25:18

rawcoconutmacaroon How did you get your son assessed on the NHS? Preschool have recommended it, but our GP said we'd have to have it done privately, and had never heard of such a thing. Now we can't find any educational psychologists to do a test privately and the ones we've contact in England are all booked up!

Educational Psychologists don't usually work for the NHS (although clinical psychologists do - they're usually more involved in diagnosing ASD etc though).

Local authorities usually employ ed psychs. Ds1 had the LA ed psych visit him a lot in nursery - not sure who referred him - nursery or HV I suspect.

RawCoconutMacaroon Sat 24-May-14 21:29:17

Jon, I'm not actually sure of the ins and outs, the nursery (and later the school) requested/suggested it and then they organised it.

tricot39 Sun 01-Jun-14 20:00:03

do you have a surestart children's centre locally? you may be able to get an appointment with an ed psych there. one of our local centres offers a clinic once a week via referral - possibly by health visitor. worth che king as we once got speech & language assessment by self referring which then led on to other things without initial.gp wait. good luck.

dalziel1 Sun 01-Jun-14 22:24:13

Have sent you a PM with the name of the educational psychologist I had recommended to me last year.

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