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Parent Support

Family Engagement

Gesell grounds all work with families in an evidence-based family engagement framework. We partner with schools and early childhood centers to support the development of family engagement strategies, policies, and programs that put families at the center of all initiatives impacting children and schools. This includes our work with schools using the Gesell Assessment System for admissions and/or assessment.

Family engagement coaching can focus on building connection and trust, creating opportunities for greater parent/guardian voice or designing and implementing an admissions process that leaves parents feeling engaged and supported.

Contact us to discuss how we can partner with your school or center.

Parenting Support

Since 1950, Gesell has been a leader in parenting education. The goal of our parenting resources is to acknowledge that parenting can be hard, but it can be a lot easier when you’re armed with some knowledge about how things usually go in a child's development. In short, we can help even the odds a bit and help you anticipate what to expect.

The historic Gesell "Your X Year Old" books though seeming "old fashioned" are still filled with useful child development information relevant to today's parenting challenges.

Our updated and ever popular Ages and Stages Pamphlets provide a snapshot of child development at each age of a young child's life, and are available in English and in Spanish. Additionally, we offer short reference booklets to assist with specific topics in child development.

Have questions or concerns about your child’s development? Considering your placement options for kindergarten? Gesell’s expert assessors are available for administration of the Gesell Developmental Observation and consultation on the findings. Families may contract with an expert Gesell examiner and set up a private administration by following these instructions. Fees apply.

Is your child being assessed using the Gesell Assessment System? Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:

How long do Gesell assessments take?
For the GDO-R, plan an hour for the full assessment for 2.5 - 6 year old children, and about 20 minutes for 6-9 year olds. For the GES, 30 minutes is likely sufficient.
What should we expect?
Both assessments ask children to complete a set of tasks such as an interview, drawing, as well as counting and language activities. Through a few enjoyable exercises we can gather much information about a child's overall development.
How do I prepare my child for a Gesell Assessment?
A good night sleep along with some time to play and a healthy snack beforehand is plenty preparation. There is no way to “practice” or “get better” at the tasks administered. Children will always show us their authentic developmental stage through the assessment, regardless.
What is developmental observation or assessment, and why is it important?

Developmental assessment is used to determine whether a child has reached developmental milestones and can accomplish the major associated tasks. Individual children’s responses are matched with normative patterns of behavior for each age. The responses yield a description of the child’s Developmental Age in contrast to chronological age.

An important aspect of developmental observation or assessment is that it can highlight areas of concern, and administered over time, can monitor consistency among developmental domains. When developmental assessment reveals signs of difficulty, re-screening should follow after a short interval. Persistent signs of difficulty indicate the need for a referral for diagnostic assessment.

Understanding children in light of their developmental age can help to adjust expectations, inform curricula, design spaces, and establish practices that are developmentally appropriate and supportive of the natural unfolding of the growth and development process.

For more information regarding the role of assessment or screening, we recommend Gesell’s Guide for Parents and Teachers: Understanding the Relationship Between Families and Schools booklet from our online bookstore.