An expert who needs no introduction (but we’ll give one anyway): Dr. Jane Squires—ASQ’s Lead Developer, Professor, Investigator, and Director of the Early Intervention Program at the University of Oregon’s Center on Human Development (and more)—is here to answer your questions!
Q: After discussing results with parents or caregivers, what information should be given to the parent – the completed questionnaire, the score sheet, activities? What information should the professional keep?
Professionals should give the questionnaire pages with the answers to the parent unless there’s specific reason not to. Parents often are better observers after they’ve filled out a questionnaire because they’re looking for new skills and the completed questionnaire pages help them remember questions and responses. To help parents in responding to child’s development, learning activities can be given, as well. Programs should look at their procedures and figure out one that works for their record keeping. The summary sheet has place to record individual answers so programs do not need to keep all the questionnaire pages for their records.
Q: What’s the best way to screen English language learners? Should they be screened in English or should teachers translate the questionnaire and administer it in the child’s home language?
Q: At our child care program, we have both parents and teachers complete the ASQ-3 for the child. What are your thoughts on this method?
(From ASQ developers Jane Squires and Jantina Clifford): There are many child care and Head Start programs using the ASQ-3 and ASQ:SE that have both the parent and teacher/provider complete a questionnaire for the child. At some programs, the results are compared and discussed during a parent–teacher conference.
It can be a positive thing for the teacher to communicate all of the skills that she is observing a child do at the center. Highlighting the positives conveys to the parent that the teachers are really paying attention to the child’s development and, at times, teachers may also observe skills that the parent has not seen at home.
To avoid the issue of “right” and “wrong” answers, we advise teachers to leave responses blank if they have not observed a skill in their setting (i.e., instead of marking not yet). Teachers then invite the parents to report whether they have observed the skill(s) at home. Keep in mind that it is not uncommon for children to display skills at home first, especially if the skill is emerging—this presents a good opportunity for teachers to facilitate a conversation about ways to support the child in using those skills at the child care center, and shifts the focus away from a possible delay to how to help the teacher help the child, looking to the parent for support and ideas.
Q: If a child is already getting early intervention or other services, do the ASQ-3 or ASQ:SE-2 still need to be administered?
Q: Can ASQ be completed by telephone interview?
Yes, the ASQ-3 and ASQ:SE questionnaires can be completed by telephone. When using this method, we recommend mailing a questionnaire to the family and then following up via telephone to complete the questionnaire. That gives families the opportunity to try skills with their child prior to your telephone call, and they will have the questions in front of them during your conversation. The telephone interview option is effective for families who may need some support to complete a questionnaire or when it is not possible to schedule a visit to a child’s home.
Q: When would you recommend the ASQ:SE be used by a physician who is already utilizing the ASQ-3?
Q: We have some children whose parents are aware of their child’s delays or special needs. How can ASQ-3 be used to best serve these children?
The ASQ was designed to identify children with potential delays. Parents of children with identified disabilities may be discouraged when completing ASQ-3 questionnaires because their child can do only a few of the behaviors targeted. We do not recommend that parents complete an ASQ-3 on a child with disabilities.
If you are interested in having parents experience observing and completing a screening questionnaire, the age range can be covered up on a questionnaire and parents can be asked to complete a “younger” interval for children with mild/moderate disabilities (for example, a 16 Month ASQ-3 Questionnaire for a 24-month old child).
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.
The ASQ:SE can be completed by all parents, however, as a measure of behavior and social-emotional skills. However, we do know that children with disabilities often score above the ASQ:SE cutoff points. The ASQ:SE can provide a profile of the child’s strengths and competencies and problem behaviors for parents and caregivers, but would not be used in most instances to compare the child’s profile with normative cutoff scores.
Q: Our program adjusts a child’s age if he or she is 3 weeks or more premature. Can we switch back to the child’s chronological age if the child’s scores on the ASQ-3 adjusted age interval show that he or she has developed to the chronological age?
Yes, it can be your program’s decision to switch to using that child’s chronological age. Corrections for prematurity are for the benefit of the infant and giving him or her an opportunity to catch up. If that’s already happened, it makes sense to revert to chronological age.
Q: Can the ASQ be used as a criterion-referenced tool to supplement information gained from standardized testing, which is a requirement for special education eligibility where I work?
ASQ is a standardized tool, but not criterion-referenced. It certainly can be used to add information to an eligibility evaluation—specifically adding skills the child can do and others than he or she still needs assistance with, as well as parent input. However, the items on the ASQ-3 were not designed to be teaching targets, as items on a curriculum-based assessment (CBA) are, and in most cases, the CBAs that are designed to assist with eligibility assessment contain tests that help determine the child’s programming goals and objectives.
Q: I’m a new speech therapist and I’m looking to find an assessment tool that I can use to track progress for my students with cerebral palsy. I saw that you don’t recommend that ASQ-3 be used in this way with children with moderate/severe CP. Do you have a recommendation for appropriate assessments?
Q: In the past, I have always used common sense when determining what “sometimes” meant on the ASQ-3. However, is there something in writing that explains the “sometime” option? I have been asked by a teacher that marks “sometimes” if the child is not 100% in compliance with multiple trials.
In the ASQ-3 User’s Guide, the “sometimes” answer is defined as “Sometimes indicates that your child is just beginning to perform the behavior (i.e., emerging skill) or performs the skill on occasion, but not all the time.” Emerging skills are those that the child does inconsistently or the child might miss component steps, such as needing help with making knot when tying shoes but the child can do the rest.