Denver Developmental Screening Test (DDST), Denver II

Norm of Denver Developmental Screening Test (DDST), Denver II

Age-appropriate tasks should be demonstrated for each area tested in children between 1 month and 6 years of age.


Usage of Denver Developmental Screening Test (DDST), Denver II

The Denver Developmental Screening Test (DDST) tests children in the following areas: gross and fine motor development, language skills, and personal-social skills. Norms for each chronologic age are provided. Although not diagnostic by itself, this frequently used test can identify children (such as those with HIV, hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, or blindness) who have global problems or problems in one specific area. This test can also be used to track children over time.


Description of Denver Developmental Screening Test (DDST), Denver II

The DDST is a skills test that was revised in 1990 as the Denver II to include 125 items. These easily administered items were picked to prevent any bias against gender, ethnicity, maternal education, or place of residence. Most skills are objectively visualized by the tester, but caregiver verbal reports are adequate to pass some of them.


Professional Considerations of Denver Developmental Screening Test (DDST), Denver II

Consent form NOT required.

  1. Provide a quiet room with all the equipment needed for the test:
    • a. Denver Development Screening forms available in pads of 100 sheets from Denver Development Materials.
    • b. Denver Development Screening kit, which includes a ball, bell, and other objects needed to perform test.



  1. Determine the chronologic age of child (see manual for explanation of age adjustment for preterm birth) and draw age line on scoring sheet.
  2. Begin testing child with items in approximation but to the left of the age line. This establishes confidence. See manual for directions on repeating test items and giving instructions to child.
  3. Continue testing along age line and then to the right of the age line until child fails items in each of the four categories.


Postprocedure Care

  1. Explain results to parent or caregiver. Show adult the scoring sheet.


Client and Family Teaching

  1. The test usually takes less than 1 hour and helps identify potential developmental problems in the child.
  2. A parent or person familiar to the child will be asked to stay with the child during the screening.
  3. Results are completely available within 48 hours.


Factors That Affect Results

  1. Environmental distractions interfere with validity of the results.
  2. Testing by untrained clients. Screening should be performed only by clients who have successfully completed a written and an observational proficiency test.


Other Data

  1. The Denver examination is less reliable for children less than 30 months of age and more than 4½ years of age. For younger children, use the Revised Denver Prescreening Developmental Questionnaire (R-PDQ).