One of the first questions on every parent’s mind is: “is my child behind in development?” It’s a big fear that we have.
We want our kids to excel and be ahead of the curve but we also worry that they are falling behind. But how are you supposed to know what skills they’re supposed to develop and when they should be fully developed?
Luckily, your doctor will keep you on track. Here’s how they assess your child’s skill development.
The ASQ Form
There’s a questionnaire form that most pediatricians use even if they don’t actually hand you the form to fill out. They may just ask you all of the questions verbally during your well baby visits. Toot’s pediatrician usually does verbal questions, but they’ve given me the form to fill out twice.
That’s how I found out about it. It’s called ASQ-3. The ASQ stands for Ages and Stages Questionnaire. I’m guessing the 3 means it’s the third edition.
How does the form work?
The form is broken out into 5 categories of skills: Communication, Gross Motor, Fine Motor, Problem Solving, and Personal-Social.
There’s also an open ended question section but we’re going to focus on the multiple choice categories of development. Each section has 6 questions with answer choices of “yes,” “sometimes,” and “not yet.”
You’re going to calculate a score for each skill category of zero to 60 points. A yes answer is 10 points. Sometimes is 5 points, and not yet is zero points.
Your child doesn’t have to get a perfect score to pass. Each skill set has a range of developing on pace, needs some monitoring and improvement, and needs to be seen by a professional for guidance.
Where can I get the form?
I found most of them online for you! Here’s a list of PDFs from 2 months up to 5 years old.
1 Year Old
2 Years Old
3 Years Old
4 Years Old
5 Years Old
Using the the ASQ Form
Now that you have this information, what do you do with it?
Obviously, if your child scored below any of the cutoffs, consult with your pediatrician for more information. If you answered maybe or not yet to any of the questions, focus on teaching those skills. Your child should naturally pick up new skills with practice. You just need to know what to work on.
I like to look ahead to the next one before I go into our well-baby visit. That way I know exactly what the nurse is going to ask while I’m trying to corral Toot and keep her from getting into stuff.
It also gives me an idea of what I need to be teaching her. Some of the problem solving questions such as “After you’ve shown her how, does your child try to get a small toy that is slightly out of reach by using a spoon, stick or similar tool?” I had no idea how to answer because we hadn’t tried it.
About a week before her appointments, I make an attempt to try everything on the list so I know how to answer.
What skill development areas are your little ones struggling with or excelling in?
Toot is very far ahead on her communication skills. She’s almost 16 months and says about 30-40 words. We need to work on her problem solving skills though. Let me know in the comments where your kids are in their skill development!
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