What's the deal with the ASQSE?
August 19, 2014 5:10 PM   Subscribe

My 21 month old's daughter just sent home with her a questionnaire called the ASQSE, which from what I gather is intended to help diagnose ASD. Her answers on the questionnaire would indicate that she doesn't have a problem. BUT. They sent this thing home with me for a reason, right?

She only has a handful of adults with whom she interacts normally: me, her dad, her grandma and "uncle" (who live with us), and her aunt. She plays with some kids at school, but frequently goes off to play by herself (and seems okay with this). She interacts little to not at all with her teachers, even though she's been seeing them four days a week for 2 months now. She is generally shy with her doctor or other strangers. At home or in public with her family, she is generally happy, noisy, and playful. She says upwards of 50 words, likes to sing and play (including playing with me or other family members), follows directions (well, most of the time), etc.

Prior to them sending home this assessment, I had begun to worry because she refuses to talk to strangers or to me when strangers are involved in the conversation. But I wasn't too worried because she seems fine otherwise, and her dad and I are both generally quiet individuals. But now I'm freaking out. The doctor knows she's quiet with strangers, but didn't express any concerns about it. What are my next steps? I know YANMD, but do you think I have something to worry about?
posted by Night_owl to Health & Fitness (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Fill out the questionnaire, because the consensus seems to be that if a kid is on the spectrum, early intervention is best begun as early as possible. She may just be a shy kid or a late bloomer. She may benefit from occupational therapy (for example) even if she isn't on the spectrum.
posted by rtha at 5:16 PM on August 19, 2014 [3 favorites]

The daycare sent it home? They probably send it home with everyone. Don't freak out. Fill it out and return it to whoever and don't worry any more about it until you actually have a reason to. Your daughter sounds lovely.
posted by fancyoats at 5:21 PM on August 19, 2014 [6 favorites]

Your daughter has only been at this daycare for two months? They might just give the questionnaire to everyone!

I did this questionnaire several times through the daycare my daughter attended from age 3-12 months, maybe on three-month cycles, like at 3, 6, 9, 12 months? They definitely sent it home with everyone.
posted by kittydelsol at 5:26 PM on August 19, 2014 [3 favorites]

I am an administrator at a daycare. The ASQ is a developmental and behavioral assessment tool that we use to, well, assess a child. It's sent home at certain ages, 21 months being one of them. Your daughter's teacher should have explained exactly what this is for, and it is not solely for an ASD screening. I mean, if there's a problem, the ASQ could certainly zero in onto, but we do. It send home ASQs with the sole intent of screening for ASDisorders.

Talk to the teachers. I bet they'll say it's a standard thing they do with all the 21 month olds.
posted by cooker girl at 5:27 PM on August 19, 2014 [8 favorites]

I have worked with/for early intervention type programs. Many people believe that every child should be evaluated in this way, for lots of reasons. It can be easy to not notice that some children are behind on some milestones.

Feel free to discuss this questionnaire with your pediatrician if you remain concerned.
posted by bilabial at 5:37 PM on August 19, 2014

Our family pediatrician wanted it filled out before some yearly checkups. I gather it's standard but delivered through school to make sure it gets to as many families as possible, much like hearing/vision tests sometimes go through school and sometimes through ped.
posted by rabidsegue at 5:53 PM on August 19, 2014

Just an additional reassurance: our pediatrician gives it to every child. I specifically remember filling it out at 9, 12, and 24 months, and I've done it a few other times I can't remember the timing of. It's not exclusively an autism screen, my son had a brief hearing check at 9 months because he was friendly but not talking at that point. (He caught up later.)

I would talk to the teachers to check this, though, it's worth your peace of mind to see if they have any concerns.
posted by tchemgrrl at 6:05 PM on August 19, 2014

The sentence above should read;

I mean, if there's a problem the ASQ could certainly zero in on it, but we don't send home ASQs with the sole intent of screening for Autism Spectrum Disorders.
posted by cooker girl at 6:51 PM on August 19, 2014

We go to a medical school pediatric practice, so we're always getting the latest screenings about a year before anybody else ... and yeah, they basically give this to all kids between 18 and 24 months now. We had autism screenings at maybe 6 months, then 18 months, then 3 years?, I think was the progression.

Schools and daycares are also mandated to participate in "Child Find" which is a federal program to identify children in need of disability support services or early intervention services. A lot of preschools and daycares rely on parent-completed screeners.

Talk about it with your pediatrician, but really you're fine. It's not personal; it's best practice. They want to be as universal as possible, since a lot of early interventions can completely eradicate a developmental delay if picked up early enough (particularly speech delays).
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:56 PM on August 19, 2014

Our pediatrician gives it to everyone at the 18-month well visit.
posted by amro at 6:58 PM on August 19, 2014

I research child language development. This is totally a standard questionnaire and is used for the purposes of normal evaluation, not just (and not mainly) autism spectrum disorders. Don't worry.
posted by forza at 7:08 PM on August 19, 2014

Director of a preschool here.

Where I work and we try really hard to assess all children using the ASQ-SE within the first 10 days. It gives us a nice idea of where the child is, what some things the teacher can focus on with the child in one-on-one time as far as skill building and it opens a dialogue between us and parents. (After sending it home I'd say 1 out of 3 parents come back and say, "This asked about sleep, I've been worried about her sleep" or "Wait, should she know people's names now?" and it gives us a chance to get some insight.)

We like it because it's broad and respects the development is a continuum. You should fill it out and then when you return ask what they are doing with the info and when the next time they'll assess her is. Their assessment policy SHOULD be given to you at enrollment or in the parent handbook (or both ideally).
posted by Saminal at 8:35 PM on August 19, 2014 [1 favorite]

Both daycares I have used have sent this home with every child, so the reason they sent it home with your child is likely that they sent it home with every child.
posted by freezer cake at 2:00 PM on August 21, 2014

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