What is the Gesell Early Screener?
The Gesell Early Screener (GES) assists parents, educators, and other professionals in quickly producing a snapshot of a 3 to 6 year old child’s development, compared to other children of the same age. The GES can be administered to a child by persons with varying levels of experience in less than 20 minutes.
The components of the GES include:
- GES online asynchronous workshop: available to support new Gesell examiners to learn how to administer and score the GES
- GES Examiner’s Manual: all instructions needed to administer the GES
- GES Child Recording Form (CRF-S): standardized sheet to track observations
- Sanctioned Gesell Manipulatives: official materials needed to administer the GES with validity
- Teacher Questionnaire and Parent/Guardian Questionnaire (paper or electronic)
- GES Strand Scoring Worksheet : auto-calculating worksheet to tally results
The Results of the GES
Results of the GES are recorded as a Performance Level Rating across four domains of Development.
- Performance Level Rating: A child’s abilities are defined as Age Appropriate, Emerging, or Concern
- Domains of Development: Cognitive, Language, Motor, and Social-Emotional Developmental and Adaptive Skills.
Unlike the Gesell Developmental Observation-Revised (GDO-R) the GES does not assign a Developmental Age. To better understand this and other differences between the GDO-R and the GES, and assist you in making an informed decision, we suggest viewing this short video.
Training to Become a GES Examiner
No training is mandated to administer the GES (unlike the GDO-R). A manual is included in your GES kit purchase and can be followed by individuals with experience using the GDO-R as well as by some child development or education professionals.
However, Gesell strongly recommends that to be best prepared, GES examiners:
- Complete a brief online workshop to ensure they are adequately trained in valid administration and competent in analyzing results. View workshop details here.
- Complete a Foundations of Child Development recorded webinar.
- Adhere to assessment best practice, as summarized here.
Private Group Workshops
GES Strands and Tasks Measured
- Hand-eye coordination
- Short-term memory
- Attention Span
- Visual/spatial perception
- Pre-mathematical skills
- Familiarity with numbers
- Fine motor skills
- Large motor skills
- Gait, corrdination, balance
- Sentence structure
- Ability to expresss self verbally
- Ability to understand what is said
- Social interaction with peers/adults
- Self-help skills
- How do the GDO-R and the Gesell Early Screener (GES) differ?
- The GDO-R is an in-depth, multi-dimensional child assessment. Its purpose is to help educators, parents and other professionals understand the characteristics of child behavior in relation to typical growth patterns. The GDO-R provides a Developmental Age based on in-depth interpretation of the developmental items as well as strand scoring. The GES is based on selected GDO-R items, provides a “quick look” at the child and is intended for use with 3-6-year-olds. It has fewer items than the GDO-R, takes less time, is scored objectively and results in a simple, three-tiered scoring rubric. No Developmental Age is provided. The GES also flags if further testing (i.e. the GDO-R) is necessary.
- What does the GES’s “three-tiered scoring rubric” mean?
- Based on the national 2010 technical data sample, the simple scoring rubric for the GES generates one of three levels for the child. Children scoring in one tier have responses that are essentially normative for their age level for their age level, indicating no concerns about development at the time of the screening. Scores in a second tier indicate a pattern of non-ideal responses relative to the child’s age level that prompts mild concern. A child scoring at this tier may need more attention or more individualized instruction, and it would be appropriate to watch the child more closely and retest. Children who score at the third tier exhibit responses that deviate well below the average for their age level and may benefit from an in-depth assessment and observation.
- How does the Gesell Early Screener meet IDEA and Head Start mandates?
The GES kit meets evaluation requirements for both Head Start (§ 1304.20) and Section 614 of IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act). Namely, the system meets the following guidelines:
- In collaboration with each child’s parent…obtain linguistically and age appropriate screening procedures to identify concerns regarding a child’s developmental, sensory (visual and auditory), behavioral, motor, language, social, cognitive, perceptual, and emotional skills
- Screening procedures are sensitive to the child’s cultural background
- (Assessment system) utilizes multiple sources of information on all aspects of each child’s development and behavior, including input from family members, teachers, and other relevant staff who are familiar with the child’s typical behavior
- Use technically sound instruments that may assess the relative contribution of cognitive and behavioral factors, in addition to physical or developmental factors.