NEW! ASQ-3 is now available through Phreesia, the nation’s leading patient intake platform. Pediatricians can use Phreesia to automatically administer, score, and store the ASQ-3 in the electronic medical record for physicians and staff to review. Learn More

ASQ makes it simple to incorporate screening.

Developmental screening doesn’t have to be overly time consuming. Simple strategies can be incorporated into office visits to help identify children at risk—much like routinely checking a child’s height and weight. Pediatricians are the professionals most likely to see a child on a regular basis. You have the opportunity to play a crucial role in identifying children with developmental delays at a young age.

Many pediatricians use clinical judgment alone to identify potential developmental problems. But studies have shown that while clinical judgment is undoubtably valuable, when used alone, it detects fewer than 30% of children who have developmental disabilities.1, 2

Why Not Denver-II?
Of those pediatricians who do use a formal developmental screening instrument, most use the Denver-II. However, as reported by the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) and the Child Neurology Society (CNS), “research has found that [the Denver-II] is insensitive and lacks specificity.” (In other words, it does not do a good job of identifying which children have developmental problems and which do not.) For that reason, neither AAN nor CNS recommends use of the Denver-II.5

Using ASQ to catch more delays.

When pediatricians complement their clinical judgment with the use of a standardized screening tool, they identify 70% to 80% of children with developmental disabilities.3 The percentage rises when screening is conducted at periodic intervals (rather than at a single point in time or only as problems are suspected).

Pediatricians—for web-based ASQ options that meet your specific needs, discover the benefits of ASQ-PTI and CHADIS! Also, get information on options for integrating ASQ into electronic health records (EHRs).

AAP Recommendations

Given the critical role pediatricians can play in the early identification of children at risk, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends in its policy statement on screening that pediatricians and primary care providers:

  • screen all infants and young children for developmental delays during preventive care visits
  • present the results of the screening to the family using a culturally sensitive, family-centered approach
  • maintain links with community-based resources, such as early intervention, school, and other programs, and coordinate care with them
  • increase parents’ awareness of developmental delays and disabilities and resources for intervention
Overcome Screening Barriers with Parent-Report Tools

Of the screening tools available, parent-report tools such as Ages & Stages Questionnaires® (ASQ®) are the most time- and cost-efficient—time and cost being the two biggest barriers pediatricians face when implementing screening.

With a secure, customizable website through ASQ® Family Access, parents can easily fill out the questionnaires online, saving your program time and money. Or choose the paper format—mail the questionnaires or give them to parents to fill out in a waiting area, and you’ll get the information you need about a child in advance of a visit.

Concerned about overidentifying children with delays? Though screening does result in occasional referrals of children later found not to qualitfy for services, most overreferrals are shown to be for children with below average development who would benefit from extra attention.4

Learn how pediatricians in Illinois successfully screen with ASQ

Discover how ASQ helped identify delays in pre-term children


1 Hix-Small, H., Marks, Kevin, Nickel, R. (2007, August). Impact of Implementing Developmental Screening at 12 Months and 24 Months in a Pediatric Practice, Pediatrics,120(2), 381–389.
2 Glascoe, F. P. (2000). Early detection of developmental and behavioral problems. Pediatrics in Review,21(8), 272–280.
3 Squires, J. Nickel, R. E., Eisert, D. (1996). Early detection of developmental problems: strategies for monitoring young children in the practice setting. Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, 17, 420–427.
4 Glascoe, F. P. (2001, January). Are overreferrals on developmental screening tests really a problem? Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine, 155(1), 54–59.
5American Academy of Neurology and the Child Neurology Society, (2000, August). Practice parameter: Screening and diagnosis of autism, Neurology, 468

Developmental screening/testing coding fact sheet for primary care pediatricians

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See how pediatric practices can successfully incorporate screening in a medical home setting, in this fun presentation by Kevin Marks, MD, FAAP

Why Become a Screening and Surveillance Champion or Superhero?

Tips for setting up a developmental screening program in your pediatric practice

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Implementing the ASQ-3 and ASQ:SE in a Primary Healthcare Clinic

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  • Children with Hands in the Air

    What ASQ Users are Saying

    “I like the ASQ:SE, which is an easy non-threatening tool to use to assess important social-emotional developmental milestones of the baby…. This tool lends itself well to developing educational activities to foster a healthy parenting relationship.”

    Cynthia Suire, MSN, RN, Nurse–Family Partnership Program Louisiana Office of Public Health