Denver test- Evaluation study applied to reveal the developmental problems of kid aged 0 – 6 years

As children grow and mature, they also continue to learn and experience quantitative and qualitative changes. These changes, called development, are affected by the quality of knowing, understanding, interpreting and learning, while creating and developing characteristics.

Piaget’s; There are behaviors expected to be acquired in each of the four developmental periods, which are the sensory-motor period, the preoperational period, the concrete operational period and the abstract operational period. Every child goes through the same developmental stages while trying to understand the world, but not every child may exhibit the same developmental characteristics at the same time.

The 0-6 age range, which emerges in relation to age and is considered the pre-school period, is considered the most basic and most valuable period of the life process. The foundations of cognitive, affective, social, physical development, language development and self-care skills, which are areas that individuals will use throughout their lives, are laid in this period. In order for the development in every field to be provided as required by the period, the opportunities and conditions provided to the child are of vital importance.

The development process that progresses holistically can be effective and permanent thanks to the interaction of the achievements of children and their support in a way that supports each other. For example, a child with strong physical development can easily acquire motor skills. The development of motor skills affects language development. Language development is one of the most important steps of social development, and these steps pave the way for psychological development. It is very important to support all developmental steps of children, who are in a continuous growth, learning and development adventure, in terms of increasing their development speed and quality.

Each child may exhibit developmental characteristics at different levels. However, there are some developmental features that may result in irreparable results in case of lack or absence. In order to determine the developmental problems that may arise, it is necessary to evaluate the developmental characteristics of children at regular intervals. In this way, new or ongoing development problems can be detected early and necessary measures can be taken.

There are some tests that evaluate the developmental activities of children. Thanks to these tests, possible developmental problems can be seen in children and it can be prevented from negatively affecting other developmental areas.


What is the Denver Test?

The Denver test is an evaluation study applied to reveal and evaluate the developmental problems of children aged 0 – 6 years. The purpose of this test is to determine whether children have the developmental characteristics required by the age-related developmental period. The Denver test, which enables the observation of suspicious developmental conditions and children, was first published in 1967 and was renamed Denver 2 in 1996.

The test, which consists of 4 sections and 116 items and can be considered as a method of observing the developmental status of children who seem healthy, was first used in Turkey in 1980 and was rearranged in 1990.

The Denver test, also known as a developmental test, is used in children.

  • Social and personal development,
  • development of fine motor skills,
  • Development of gross motor skills,
  • development of language skills

It is applied to follow the developmental course of four areas and diagnose existing developmental problems.


How Is the Denver Test Performed?

There are behaviors that children should exhibit and skills that they should have in every age period. If the situations in which these skills are not acquired can be observed by the families, it can be easy to intervene and correct the problems. However, in some cases, existing developmental problems may not be observed and it is necessary to use various sources to detect them. Denver developmental screening test, which is one of these resources, facilitates the determination of developmental problems in children, making necessary evaluations and taking precautions.

Test application performed by experts who have received Denver test training,

  • To evaluate the development of children who do not show any clinical symptoms and who seem healthy, or to determine the developmental problem of children whose development is suspected (clinical evaluation),
  • Intermittent evaluation of children who have previously been found to have a developmental problem, during the special education initiation period and throughout the special education process,
  • Evaluation of the skills developed by the children who will start their pre-school education while being admitted to the educational institution.

made for the purpose.

While applying the Denver test, the child’s parents are asked to briefly introduce the child with a short story called anamnesis. While asking questions about the child to both the child and the parents, the behavior of the child is observed by asking him to perform some activities.

The child whose personal and social development level is examined is asked to introduce himself and his expression in society is evaluated. With the language development test, the relationship between his age and the language development he has acquired is examined. In the test application, the development of gross and fine motor skills of the child, such as walking, running, wearing clothes, holding a pencil, playing with various toys, holding scissors or a pencil, is examined.


As a result of the work done during the test, an assessment is made about the child’s skills and developmental status and it is determined whether there is a developmental problem. In case of a detected problem, referrals are made to the relevant institutions in order to take the necessary measures.

The Denver growth test can be reapplied at regular intervals.

The Denver test is in the form of a table with questions to reveal skills that correspond to months and years on a single page. A line is drawn according to the coordinates of the age of the child and certain markings are made by asking the questions corresponding to the line to the parents and the child. There are questions on the table in steps from light to dark, and the dark questions corresponding to the line are the items that the child is expected to be able to do. If the child cannot do three of the skills to the left of the line, that field is left.

During the application, the child may be asked for verbal answers as well as to exhibit behaviors that can be observed instantly and are immediately noted by the tester. During the test, the child’s anxiety level, the effect of the family and the environment are also noted and used in the interpretation of the test.


Denver Test Questions

While applying the Denver test, various questions are asked to the parents and the child in order to determine the developmental status of the child. Psychological counselor can be applied by people who have graduated from psychology or child development departments and have received Denver test training. Test questions prepared by authorized centers include standard stages and are shared with people in charge under certain conditions. When the Denver developmental screening test is applied by people who are not knowledgeable in this field, the results and evaluations may not be healthy.

Some of the questions of the Denver developmental test administered to a 3-year-old child are as follows. These questions are applied in four steps that examine the child’s language development, social – personal development, gross and fine motor development separately and can be asked to the mother, father and child at the same time.

Items for personal and social development:

  • Can your child wear clothes alone?
  • Can he build a tower from a certain number of blocks?
  • Can he eat his food unassisted?
  • Does it help with simple chores at home?
  • Can he say his name or surname?

Items for gross and fine motor development:

  • Copying the figures, numbers or letters shown to his cat,
  • Build towers by placing certain objects on top of each other,
  • Making comparisons such as big – small, long – short by examining various images,
  • jumping a certain distance,
  • Throwing the object in hand a certain distance,
  • Standing on 2 or one leg for the specified time


Items to measure language development:

  • Explaining the meanings of concepts simply with questions such as what is a tree, what is a table, what is a bird, what is a notebook,
  • Completing words and sentences
  • Showing various images and saying the name of what they see here,
  • Showing the parts of the doll,
  • Defining words that indicate place and time such as evening, noon, out, home



Denver Test Results and Interpretation

The child’s answers to the questions are as follows:

  • Pass: The child fulfills the requested item.
  • Fails: Fails to achieve the requested item.
  • It is impossible: It is not possible for the child to fulfill that clause due to parents or other reasons.
  • Refuses: The child completely rejects the item requested from him and does not fulfill it.

The conditions for children to receive these assessment items are as follows:

  • A child is considered “advanced” if he/she passes an item that most of his/her peers cannot pass at that age and leaves it completely to the right of his/her line.
  • It is considered “normal” if the child has failed or rejected an item that is completely to the right of his/her age line, or if 25-75% of the items falling within his/her age have passed, failed or been rejected.
  • If the child has rejected or remained 75 – 90% of the line corresponding to his age, it is marked as a “warning”.
  • If the items to the left of the age line are completely left or rejected, the test results in a “delay”.
  • Test items where parents say it is impossible for a child to try an item are marked as “impossible”.

By looking at the markings given after all test items have been applied, the following conclusions are reached:

  • “Normal” if there is no delay item in the entire test or if at most 1 warning item is given ,
  • “abnormal” if the entire test has 2 or more delays, with or without warning ,
  • The test result is considered “ suspicious” if there is only 1 delay, 2 or more warnings, 1 delay+1 or more .


Where is the Denver Test Applied?

Families who want to have their children have the Denver developmental screening test can contact the authorized centers after doing the necessary research and have the test applied. The test, which is applied in certain clinics and hospitals, can also be applied by people who are experts in this field and who have received training, by kindergartens and psychological counseling units.

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