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Ages & Stages Questionnaire selected as standard developmental screening tool

CareOregon and other organizations across the state now include standard developmental screening as one of the elements in their annual reviews of medical record. Oregon’s Early Learning Council has designated the Ages & Stages Questionnaire (ASQ) as the state’s standard screening tool.

Developmental screening is an ongoing process used to identify children at risk for possible developmental, behavioral or social delays. The screening tools don’t diagnose the delays or disabilities. However they can help identify children who may benefit from further evaluation.

With early identification of delays, children can be connected to the support they need at the time when it will be most beneficial. Early intervention is key to helping children with developmental delays or disabilities to be ready when they reach kindergarten. Without formal screening, only about 20-30 percent of children with developmental, behavioral or social delays are identified before school age.

In adopting the Ages & Stages Questionnaire, the Oregon’s Early Learning Council chose the tool that was already most in use in Oregon health care. It is available in several languages (see http://agesandstages.com/what-is-asq/languages/), and it meets the criteria for standard screening:

  • Proof of reliability
  • Evidence of validity
  • Ability to determine level of risk for delay

CareOregon’s guidelines for screening are:

  • Administer the ASQ for all visits at 9, 18, and 24-30 months.
  • Screening may be delegated to medical assistant, nurse or other staff.
  • Physician reviews: the complete screening and documents which screening tool was used; the total score and interpretation of results (pass/fail); and the action taken.
  • When screening is complete, physician discusses screening results with family.

If your clinic is interested learning best practices or how to implement a standard developmental screening, please email friasn@careoregon.org.

  • Information on the ASQ in Oregon is available online in English or Spanish.
  • Information specifically for health care providers is also available.