Together with parental insight, teacher observations, school and other appropriate records, a developmental screening or assessment is used to observe and document a child's behavior and performance in order to identify where he or she is functioning along the continuous path of development.
The Gesell Developmental Observation-Revised (GDO-R) ©2010 involve direct observation of a child’s growth and development, as well as some measures of achievement. These GDO-R assessments should be administered only by an examiner trained through Gesell Institute workshops, and a refresher course is recommended every five years due to the complexity of the assessment’s interpretation and scoring. GDO-R examiners make discriminating observations of a child's behavior and then evaluate these observations through comparison with normative patterns for each developmental age.
Administering the GDO-R is quite different from other developmental testing where a quantitative score is obtained. As Dr. Gesell said, "A child is more than a score." Gesell assessment items are designed to allow the child to accomplish tasks successfully within his or her attained developmental level. There are no right or wrong responses. Developmental evaluation is based upon observing every aspect of child development, including language development, cognitive development, fine and gross motor development, social and emotional development, adaptive behaviors, and overt behaviors. Combined with the Teacher Questionnaire and Parent/Guardian Questionnaire, all of these aspects indicate the overall development of the whole child.
Because success in early childhood and elementary school settings is made up of more than simply academic achievement, the GDO-R gives an overall picture of the whole child's development, taking into consideration social, emotional, physical, cognitive, and adaptive development. When utilized as a complete assessment system, this is pulled from three sources -- the GDO-R assessment, the Teacher Questionnaire, and the Parent/Guardian Questionnaire. Research has proven that healthy growth and development in all of these domains is extremely important.
The GDO-R is unique in many ways, especially in that it provides a qualitative, descriptive profile of the child's development rather than a numerical or standardized raw score. As such, it requires interpretation, and individuals who administer it need special training. Gesell Institute provides training workshops throughout the country.
A national study collecting current baseline, exploratory, and normative data on the Gesell Development Observation was completed in Fall 2010 and was highly recognized by Harvard Education Letter. For more information about study outcomes and our new products, please click here to review our answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).
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|Updated July 31, 2012|