The health visiting team will aim to review your child’s development at key stages. These are when your baby is 10-14 days old, 6-8 weeks old, 10-12 months old and when your child is 2 years 3 months old.
The Ages and Stages questionnaire, or ASQ, is a reliable, researched based screening tool for you to review your child’s development. These questionnaires will be used at key points by your health visiting team as your child grows. If you need support in completing this, please speak to your health visiting team.
They provide an overview of how your child is developing 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 additional support.
As a parent or carer, you know your child best, which is why the ASQs are designed to be filled out by you. The questionnaires only take about 10-15 minutes to complete.
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 with your child. Each question focuses on activities that encourage your child to play, move around and practice day-to-day skills
- Parents should receive the questionnaire prior to the health visitor completing the review
- You’ll need to have the completed questionnaire available for your appointment and the health visitor will discuss it with you
The ASQ is not a measure of how well your child is or isn’t doing, as we know all children develop differently and at their own pace. It is an opportunity to discuss with a health professional how you can be supported to help your child’s development.
To support the Ages and Stages questionnaire, you may be asked to complete a further questionnaire which focuses on your child’s social and emotional development. This will focus on how well your child copes in social situations, as well managing their emotions.
Here is how the 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 have the completed questionnaire for your appointment and the health visitor will discuss the results with you
If your child has difficulties in some areas, your health professional will advise you and support you on the next steps.
Sometimes, following discussions with your health professional, it might be agreed to refer your child to specialist services such as Speech Therapy, Audiology, Community Paediatrician or the Specialist Teaching service.
It’s important to discuss any worries you may have early, so that your child can access the additional support they may 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 these developmental assessments.