Your health visitor will review your child’s development at key points. These are when your baby is 6-8 weeks old, 3-4 months old, 10-12 months old and when your child is 2 years 3 months old.
For the 10-12 month and 2 years 3 month developmental review, all parents will be sent out a set of questionnaires about their child’s development. This is know as the Ages and Stages questionnaire, or ASQ. The ASQ is a reliable and easy to use, researched based screening tool. It provides a quick overview of how your child is doing in important areas such as communication, physical ability, social skills and problem-solving skills. The ASQ can help to identify your child’s strengths as well as any areas your child may need support.
As a parent or carer, you know your child best, which is why the ASQ questionnaires are designed to be filled out by you. The questionnaires only take about 10-15 minutes to complete and are quick and easy to do. In completing the questionnaires, parents learn about general developmental milestones as well as their child’s strengths.
Here is how the ASQ works:
- For each question, you’ll be asked to choose between ‘yes’, ‘sometimes’ and ‘not yet’, based on what your child is able to do at this point in time.
- To answer each question you can try fun and simple activities to do with your child. These activities encourage your child to play, move around and practice day to day skills.
- The questionnaire will be sent out to parents two weeks before the health visitor is due to visit you.
- You’ll need to bring the completed questionnaire to this appointment and the health visitor will discuss it with you.
If there are no concerns about your child’s development, there’s nothing more you need to do. If your child has trouble with some skills, your health professional will suggest simple things you can do to support your child in this area, and will be in touch with you again in a few months to see how they are getting on.
You will be sent two questionnaires to complete for your child’s 2 year, 3 month developmental assessment. The second questionnaire was developed to work alongside the ASQ and focuses on your child’s social and emotional development.
Here is how to social-emotional questionnaire works:
- You complete the questionnaire in much the same way as the ASQ, answering each question ‘most of the time’, ‘sometimes’ and ‘rarely or never’, depending on where you feel your child is in their development.
- You will need to bring the completed questionnaire to your appointment and the health visitor will discuss the results with you.
If your child has difficulties in any areas, your health professional will discuss with you the next steps. Where appropriate, your health professional can refer your child to specialist services such as Speech Therapy, Audiology, Community Paediatrician, Specialist Teaching service.
It’s important to identify areas of concern early, so that your child can access the additional support they need.
Remember, every child is unique and will develop and learn at their own pace. As a parent or carer, you know your child best so it’s really important that you are able to take an active role in any developmental assessments.