A parent questioned the ASQ-3 age interval selected for her child even though the child's age fell in the age window. The parent was concerned that the selected interval was setting her child up for failure. How can we accurately explain why a given age interval was chosen and help alleviate parent concerns?

Some parents may express concerns about the age interval chosen for their child, especially if a parent perceives the child’s skills as being delayed. Completing the ASQ-3 (and ASQ:SE-2) is designed to be a positive experience for parents so it is important to address these concerns by explaining the purpose of developmental screening and the development of the questionnaires. 

Items on each age interval of ASQ-3 were carefully selected based on the criteria that they are skills that guide important developmental milestones. Each questionnaire includes items that target a skill that occurs at the middle to low end of the developmental range for that particular age interval. This range was chosen because many standardized tests use 1.5–2.0 standard deviations below the mean as the lower end of the typical developmental range; therefore, it is reasoned that any child who was generally unable to perform items in the middle to low end of the developmental range should be referred for further assessment.  Informing parents of the reasoning behind the inclusion of items on each questionnaire will help them understand how the ASQ-3 accurately identifies young children who are in need of further assessment. You can also explain to a concerned parent that a large number of children were used at each age range to establish the cut-off points on the questionnaires. 

If a parent is still concerned with the difficulty of the items, you can use an earlier age interval, and if the child has no problem with that interval, the next interval could be given. 

If a child has been previously identified with a disability, it not recommended that professionals continue administering ASQ-3 to the child. Parents of children with disabilities may be discouraged when completing questionnaires because their child can do only a few of the skills targeted. If you are interested in figuring out where a child is within a domain that may not be affected by the delay (for instance, gross motor skills on a child with language delays), selected domains on the ASQ-3 could be completed. 

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  • 18-Dec-2018
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