During infancy and early childhood, children have many experiences and learn many skills in the areas of communication, gross motor, fine motor, problem-solving and social-emotional. Development in all of these areas is interconnected in that development, or lack of it, in one area can affect development in all of the other areas as well.
Having a safe and loving home, and family members spending time together, is very important. Healthy development means having a child grow up with their social, emotional, physical and educational needs being met.
Developmental screening is a great way to check on your child’s development in a fun way. You and your child can celebrate their strengths and milestones, like walking or waving bye-bye, and areas where your child may need additional support can be identified early as well.
Parents and caregivers are the experts on their children and know them best. If there are areas where a child’s development is not on schedule, a developmental screener can help parents to access the services and support they may need, and can provide fun activities for parents to do with their children to promote healthy development.
The earlier a child’s development is assessed, the greater the chance a child has to reach their full potential.
The Ages and Stages Questionnaire, or ASQ, is a well-known screening tool that has been used for more than 20 years to ensure children are developing well. It is completed by parents or caregivers with their children by doing simple, fun activities with or without a trained screening provider.
Children develop at their own pace so they do not all learn a specific skill at exactly the same age. The ASQ asks about a range of skills in each developmental area, giving a general idea of where a child should be at that time.
Once the questionnaire is completed, the screening provider summarizes the results and shares them with the family. If the child is developing without concerns, there is nothing more they will need to do.
Families have the option of trying the next ASQ age level questionnaires as their child grows and learns new skills, from one month to 5½ years old.
If the child has trouble with some skills, the screening provider will help with next steps, connecting families with any resources they need to support them and their child. Finding delays or problems as early as possible supports young children’s healthy development.
Parents and caregivers are active partners in their children’s learning and development. Completing ASQs helps to ensure your child is off to the best possible start.
For more information on the Ages and Stages Questionnaire and learning activities, or to book a screening, contact:
Crowsnest Pass — Darcy Makin (firstname.lastname@example.org, 403-563-1237).
Pincher Creek — Jacqui Bruns (email@example.com, 403-627-5569).
Or, check out the Ages and Stages website at agesandstages.com.