3 Ways ASQ Data Can Support a Successful School Year
If you’re like the thousands of early educators worldwide who use ASQ, you administer ASQ-3 and ASQ:SE-2 questionnaires each school year to check young children’s development. But did you know that the data produced by ASQ screenings can be used all year long to support young children and their families? Keep reading to learn about three important ways ASQ data can help you promote healthy development year-round and set the stage for the long-term success of young children.
Get to know each child better
Think of ASQ as not just a screener to check children’s development, but a resource that expands users’ knowledge of each child. Data gleaned from ASQ questionnaires efficiently highlight a child’s strongest skill areas. The data also show where a child’s development is age-appropriate and pinpoints domains where the child might benefit from targeted or individualized support. At the beginning of the school year, teachers can use this information to better understand the new children in their classroom.
How can you make sense of the large volume of data produced when you’re tasked with managing and monitoring screening results for an entire classroom or school? For many ASQ users, the answer is a subscription to ASQ Online, the comprehensive data management system for ASQ-3 and ASQ:SE-2. With more than a dozen different reporting options to choose from, ASQ Online can help you track child development trends and shape decision-making for children across classrooms and programs.
A great place to start are the ASQ-3 Screening Results, by Child and ASQ:SE-2 Screening Results, by Child reports, which give you a quick snapshot of each child’s development. These reports are an easy way to see each child’s strengths (ASQ-3 areas with scores above the cutoff or an ASQ:SE-2 score below the cutoff) and areas where additional support might be helpful (an ASQ-3 area score or ASQ:SE-2 score in the monitoring or referral area). Teachers can choose to filter the reports to show only children who scored in the referral or monitoring areas if they want to see children who may benefit from more targeted support. See a sample report.
Partner with families
One of the many benefits of the ASQ system is that it can help strengthen relationships with families. By reviewing questionnaire data, you can learn about any concerns that a family may have about their child. Teachers can also use the data to help families understand their child’s developmental strengths.
“Ideally the early childhood professional and family will discuss ASQ after it has been completed, and family members can contribute their concerns as well as pride in what their child is doing,” says Jane Squires, Ph.D., co-developer of ASQ-3 and ASQ:SE-2. “Completing ASQ often makes family members feel that they know their child better and can advocate for them.”
ASQ:SE-2 co-developer Liz Twombly, M.S., recommends, “if the parent has noted concerns, ask them to elaborate and listen carefully. While you may be able to address some concerns, be prepared with information about resources in your community for concerns that are out of your area of expertise.”
Here are a few guidelines to remember when reviewing ASQ questionnaire results with families:
- Build positive rapport with parents (and increase their confidence!) by highlighting areas where a child’s skills meet expectations for their developmental age.
- If a child’s score in any area of ASQ lands in the monitoring area (ASQ-3 scores that are above but close to the cutoff and an ASQ:SE-2 score that is below but close to the cutoff), talk with the family about any circumstantial factors that might have influenced their child’s score, such as health, cultural differences, or lack of opportunities to practice skills.
- Take the opportunity to gather more information about any concerns that families may have marked on ASQ:SE-2 questionnaire items or indicated in their answers to the ASQ-3 or ASQ:SE-2 Overall questions.
- Provide parents and caregivers with ideas for follow-up activities that will allow the child to practice skills throughout their daily schedule. For dozens of simple, fun, and low-cost activity ideas to help families promote development between screenings, consider investing in ASQ-3 and ASQ:SE-2 Learning Activities.
ASQ data can also be used to strengthen the connection between school and home by helping you plan topics for parent or family nights. Reviewing these two reports—ASQ-3 Screenings Below Cutoff by Area and ASQ:SE-2 Screenings Above Cutoff—will allow you to see any areas of development where multiple children might need more focused intervention. For example, if several children in your class could benefit from additional support with communication skills, you could hold an information night for families where you share tips and resources for supporting communication development.
Plan effective instruction and a supportive environment
With the data from the ASQ-3 Screening Results, by Child and ASQ:SE-2 Screening Results, by Child reports, you can begin to weave additional supports into your daily instruction to target developmental areas where multiple children scored in the monitoring or referral areas. For example, if you have several children who would benefit from additional support with fine motor skills, you might place various items of clothing with large buttons in your classroom’s play area so children can build dexterity in their hands and wrists by buttoning and unbuttoning.
Ms. Twombly shares another example of embedding support into daily routines: “When children arrive at school, teachers could have a sign-in sheet. For preschoolers, this may be a sheet that has a child’s picture with their name printed underneath in capital letters. Children can make a mark, scribble, write the first letter of their name, or even more to sign in for the day. For the children with fine motor scores in the monitor or below cutoff areas, the teacher can make sure to provide extra support, modeling how to hold a marker, drawing the child’s attention to the letters in their name, modeling how to draw a particular letter, or supporting the child wherever their skill level is at. Small practice sessions in daily routines can make a big difference!”
You might also consider organizing children into groups to more efficiently boost different skills for the entire class. “Using ASQ data, a teacher can group children according to their strengths and needs,” says Dr. Squires. “One small group can explore building with blocks and Legos, while another group can play in the dress-up corner with costumes and acting out stories.”
You can further support the young learners in your program by using ASQ data to inform your classroom’s physical layout. For children who would benefit from additional support with fine motor skills, you might increase the size of your writing center and add additional materials. If ASQ data reveals that multiple children would benefit from additional support with their gross motor skills, consider rearranging classroom elements to create a space where children can play catch with a soft, medium-sized ball, or toss beanbags into a small box.
When you harness the power of ASQ data, you maximize every child’s potential by getting to know each of your learners, fine-tuning your classroom, and building mutually supportive relationships with parents and families. Use the guidelines in this article to support a successful school year and give every young learner the best possible start in life!
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Originally published: October 2023