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Pediatrics Questionnaires: The ASQ®

Updated: Apr 23, 2019

The Ages and Stages Questionnaire refers to one of my favorite set of developmental screening tools. These 21 questionnaires can be used from 1 month to 5 1/2 years of age. My office does not currently use these questionnaires and unfortunately I cannot link them here as they are not public domain. I used them for years previously so can provide a brief overview of them here.

Each ASQ is age-specific to the month. It looks at communication (both expressive and receptive), gross motor skills, fine motor skills, problem solving skills and personal-social skills. Questions in these five sections allow for the answers "yes", "sometimes", or "not yet". There is also an "overall" section at the end of each questionnaire which asks further questions about the child's development and offers space for additional concerns to be noted. The ASQ takes about ten minutes to complete without distractions, which makes it difficult to complete during the visit if not given at least in the waiting room.

I find the ASQ very useful because it is broken down into specific domains. This helps me to very clearly see and show the parent or caregiver the child's strengths as well as areas for improvement ("he just has not tried that activity yet") or areas where the child is at risk for delays. Furthermore, after scoring the raw numbers I can quickly see whether patients need referral immediately or fall in the "grey area", scores that are close to normal for developmental age. If the ASQ is not in the normal range there are specific handouts with activities to practice at home. These activities may represent ones they have not tried, like tying dad's shoes because they don't have any shoes with strings. Activities may also represent skills that a child of that age would normally be able to do and that can be practiced and demonstrated at the next visit. When I used the questionnaires, I found them very interesting to study. I had a definite pediatrician moment when jubilant over my son perfecting a skill that I knew was on the next month's ASQ! Overall, the ASQ questionnaires are a great way to keep track of milestones and celebrate them. Here are some examples of fun ASQ activities.

Have a wonderful day!

ASQ ® is a registered trademark of Paul H. Brookes Pulishing Co., Inc.

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