Developmental milestones are a set of skills that most children can do at a certain age range. Your pediatrician uses milestones to help check how your child is developing during well-child visits. Although each milestone has an age level, the actual age when a normally-developing child reaches that milestone can vary quite a bit. Every child is unique!
Are you wondering where your child is at? Check out PBS’s interactive Developmental Milestone Tool to learn more about your child’s development and what activities you can do with your child to help them progress.
While at a well-child visit or at your child’s early learning program, you may be asked to complete a developmental screening on your child called the Ages and Stages Questionnaire-3 (ASQ-3).
What is it?
The ASQ-3 is parent-completed questionnaire that is proven to reliably identify children developmental delays in children aged one month to 5½ years. It screens your child for delays in 5 different developmental areas: Communication, gross motor, fine motor, problem solving, and personal-social. Each questionnaire has approximately 30 questions asking about whether or not your child can perform certain skills. From start to finish, it takes about 10–15 minutes to complete. Rigorous research shows the ASQ-3 to be one of the most accurate developmental screening tools available.
Why should you make sure your child is screened?
It can be hard for you, your pediatrician, or your early childhood professional to know if your child is developing appropriately just by looking at your child. When you complete an ASQ-3, you are sharing very important information about how your child is learning and growing that will help your pediatrician and your early childhood program know if your child is developing as he or she should be.
After you answer the questions on the ASQ-3, your pediatrician or early childhood professional will score it and take some time to discuss the results with you. The results will provide a snapshot of where your child is developmentally.
All children are unique and every child learns and grows at different rates. Sometimes, kids need a boost to help them be the best they can be. A lower than expected score doesn’t mean anything is wrong with your child, it simply means that more information is needed. If your child needs a boost, it doesn’t mean you are a bad parent or have done anything wrong. It is common for children to need some help periodically, and the earlier we can all work together to make sure they get this help, the better.
By following through on these steps, you can help your child:
- Be ready for school
- Learn to love learning
- Have higher self-esteem