Originally posted here by Dr. Stan Spinner, chief medical officer at Texas Children’s Hospital.
The use of screening tools is an efficient means of helping health care providers identify areas of deficiency or risk amongst our patients. As pediatricians, we incorporate a number of screening tools to help us assess a wide variety of conditions, including developmental, emotional and behavioral issues.
As part of the American Academy of Pediatrics routine screening recommendations for developmental and emotional factors, the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ) screening is widely used for our younger patients.
The ASQ are parent-completed development and social-emotional screeners for young children. These help determine if there are any delays in key areas of your child’s development. While visiting your pediatrician during regularly scheduled well-child check appointments, you may be asked to complete these questionnaires.
The ASQ-3 is a developmental screener that evaluates communication, gross motor, fine motor, problem solving and personal-social development. Used for infants and children up to 5 years old, the ASQ has 30 items per questionnaire with 10 questions, takes 10–15 minutes to complete and only a couple of minutes to score.
An example of an ASQ-3 question about fine motor skills is, “Does your baby grab a toy you offer and look at it, wave it about or chew on it for about one minute?” An example question about personal-social skills is, “Does your baby act differently toward strangers than they do with you and other familiar people?” You can answer yes, sometimes or not yet.
The ASQ: SE-2 is a social-emotional screener that evaluates seven key areas including self-regulation, compliance, communication, adaptive functioning, autonomy, affect and interaction with people. Used to periodically screen children ages 1 month to 6 years, this allows your pediatrician to monitor your child’s progress and detect if there are social-emotional delays.
An example of an ASQ: SE-2 question might be, “Does your child follow simple directions? For example, do they sit down when asked?” Another example is, “Does your child wake three or more times during the night?” You can answer often or always, sometimes, or rarely or never.
To learn more about ASQ, please visit http://agesandstages.com/.