You have decided to get your child tested. It's important to have testing done by someone who understands and has experience working with gifted children? How do you find such a person? Here are some methods you can use. They are listed in order of ease and reliability. The first method is the easiest and most likely to get you a reliable tester. The last one requires more effort and more care. One of these methods should lead you to an appropriate tester.
Time Required: Varies
Contact Your State's Gifted Organization
The people in these organizations are quite knowledgeable and may have information about qualified testers in your state. However, they may not be aware of any in your area, so you might have to travel. They also might not have any information about testers. Nevertheless, this is a good place to start.
Contact the School Administration Office of the Nearest Large City
If you are lucky, you live in or very close to a large city. School systems in large cities usually have a psychologist who does the testing for their gifted program. Find out if they have one and if so, how to contact him or her. These psychologists have private practices and often specialize to some degree in gifted children.
Contact the Educational Psychology Departments of Universities
Some universities offer a gifted endorsement in their education department. These schools may also have people within their educational psychology department who are able to do testing or know someone who does. To find schools with gifted endorsements, you can contact your state's education department. The Council of Chief State School Officers website has links to every state's department of education.
Call Local Psychologists
If you are unable to find a tester using any of the other methods, you can call child psychologists in the area and talk with them. You want one who understands gifted children, and preferable has experience working with them. The experience of a tester can affect the test results and the interpretation of the results. The Davidson Institute has an article with a great list of questions to ask a potential tester.
- If you find a psychologist through a school system, make sure that he or she has experience with gifted children. Many school systems have a staff psychologist who is responsible for all testing of all children. They are not necessarily experienced with gifted children, but instead are more likely to have experience with learning disabled children.
- A potential tester who tells you that experience with gifted children doesn't matter should be avoided. That person clearly neither understands nor has experience working with gifted children.