The Ages & Stages Questionnaires, Third Edition (ASQ-3; Squires, Bricker, & Potter, 2009) is a series of standardized parent-completed screening instruments useful for documenting developmental progress for children between 1 month and 5 years, 6 months. One 30-item questionnaire is given to parents depending on a child’s age, which include different age-appropriate developmental indicators for children within a specific age range. Five developmental areas are covered by the ASQ-3: communication, gross motor, fine motor, problem solving, and personal-social. Parents engage in guided activities in each domain, then respond to questions with “yes”, “sometimes”, or “not yet”; open-ended questions are also included. Summed scores are compared with cutoff scores that indicate whether a child’s development is on schedule. Scores on any domain below the two standard deviation (SD) cutoff indicates a need for further assessment, while scores within the 1SD and 2SD cutoff point are flagged for monitoring. A separate Ages & Stages Questionnaire- Social Emotional, Second Edition (ASQ:SE-2) is also available for ages 3 -66 months that addresses self-regulation, compliance, communication, adaptive behaviors, autonomy, affect, and interaction with people. The ASQ-3 is designed for use by early educators and health care professionals, and it is useful for capturing parents’ in-depth knowledge about their children, highlighting strengths as well as concerns, teaching parents about child’s development and skills, and identifies concerns that require ongoing monitoring. The ASQ-3 is available in Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, French, and Vietnamese.
Age: 1 month to 5 years 6 months
Time to Administer: 10-15 minutes
Method of Administration: Parent-completed developmental screening instrument; often used by healthcare providers and early educators.
Yields raw scores that are compared with pre-determined cutoffs; exceeding 2SD from cutoff indicates need for evaluation, while those between 1 and 2 SD warrant monitoring.
Subscales: Area Scores: Communication, Gross Motor, Fine Motor, Problem Solving, Personal-Social
Autism Related Research
Williams et al (2018)
Age Range: 2-60 months
Sample Size: 608
Accuracy of the ASQ-3 as a broadband screener and additive value of the ASQ:SE
Outcome:Williams et al (2018)
In this primarily low-income sample, 14% screened positive for social-emotional problems on the ASQ:2E, a rate similar to other studies in this age group. More than half of children who screened positive on ASQ:SE did not demonstrate any developmental concern on any domain of the ASQ-3.
Conclusion: the ASQ-3 alone appears to be insufficient for adequately identifying children at risk for social-emotional problems and should not be considered a first-line screener for such concerns, including concerns about the need for autism evaluation. Use of both the ASQ-3 and the ASQ:SE are more likely to accurately identify subtle early concerns that may indicate autism concern.
Hardy, Haisley, Manning, & Fein (2015)
Age Range: 16-30 months
Sample Size: 2,848
Utility of the ASQ-3 to identify children at-risk for autism, via comparison with M-CHAT-R
Outcome:Hardy, Haisley, Manning, & Fein (2015)
Using the “monitor or fail” cutoff on any domain, the ASQ-3 identified 87% of the children who screened positive on the M-CHAT-R with follow-up and 95% of those diagnosed with an ASD. Monitor and/or fail on the Communication domain alone also identified 95% of the diagnosed children.
Conclusion: Scores below the “monitor” cutoff on the Communication domain of the ASQ-3 can indicate initial concern requiring autism-specific follow-up.