Gesell Screening & Assessment System

“If we use effective tools the child reveals himself to all who will stop and listen to what he says and who with seeing eyes will watch what he does.”  -- Arnold Gesell


Click to view a 15 minute video explaining the GDO-R and GES

At The Gesell Program in Early Childhood we assist parents and educators in finding the best match between what individual children need and what educators and parents can offer using our Gesell Developmental Assessment system. Assessment should be intentional and potentially have some benefit to the child. For example, assessment results can help:

  • Identify what children know
  • Identify children’s special needs
  • Determine appropriate placement
  • Select appropriate curricula to meet children’s individual needs
  • Refer children and, as appropriate, their families for additional services to programs and agencies
  • Do you need more information about assessing young children?

The Gesell Program in Early Childhood offers developmentally appropriate, research validated, and kid-
reported “fun” screening and assessment resources for educators, parents, pediatricians and other early childhood professionals. These tools help us to understand the ages and stages of child development, and how they relate to the individual learning and development needs of children.

Gesell’s experienced staff can also help with communicating the need for and results of these tools with families and the community, through seminars with our trained experts, as recommended by the National Education Goals Panel (L. Shepard, S. L. Kagan, and E. Wurtz, Principles and Recommendations for Early Childhood Assessments (Washington, DC: National Education Goals Panel, December 14, 1998), 5-6. ).

Gesell Developmental Observation - Revised

The Gesell Developmental Observation-Revised (GDO-R) is a comprehensive, multi-dimensional assessment that assists educators and other professionals in understanding characteristics of child behavior in relation to typical growth patterns between 2½ to 9 years of age. It uses direct observation to evaluate a child’s cognitive, language, motor and social-emotional responses. A child’s natural behavior will be assessed against three levels of age appropriate norms (Age Appropriate, Emerging or Concern) and result in a Developmental Age.

The results of the GDO-R provide information regarding a child’s unique developmental and educational needs. This information portrays the child’s strengths as well as areas that may need additional support. The results provide a teacher, parent or other professional with a deeper understanding of the child’s Developmental Age which then provides direction for differentiated instruction.

Gesell Early Screener

The Gesell Early Screener (GES) is a short screening instrument that can “flag” any child  who may benefit from further diagnostic evaluation with a tool like the Gesell Developmental Observation (GDO-R). It can identify if a child may be at risk for developmental or learning delays. It does not, however, assign a Developmental Age, as its complementary tool the GDO-R does. The GES is intended for use with children ages 3 to 6.

Supplemental Tools

The Teacher Questionnaire (TQ) and Parent/Guardian Questionnaire (PQ) complement both the GDO-R and the GES by providing valuable insight from the individuals who know the growing child best. Parents and educators can work together to understand appropriate expectations to meet the individual needs of each child. The TQ and PQ are intended to supplement the use of the GDO-R or the GES, and are not intended as stand alone instruments.

Choosing the Right Assessment Tools

Do you need more information about assessing young children? For more information about how to chose the right tool, read Assessment and Young Children: What's Really Important


To Schedule a Consultation:

Unsure which tool is right for your needs? Or interested in setting up a seminar with your staff or parents to explain the benefits of using a reliable screening or assessment tool? Please contact us to set up a consultation or for more information on our suite of assessment options.