Now, another question: How many of you, who are now feeling guilty about the previously mentioned subject, would like an easy, "kill two birds with one stone" alternative to documenting your child's development? I'm raising my hand.
Some of you may not be familiar with the ASQ. Allow me to alleviate your confusion. The Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ) is a developmental screening tool that we at Help Me Grow distribute to the families that call us looking for resources. Since the overall, ultimate reason for our existence as a program is to empower parents, we are stalwart advocates of this tool. The ASQ is a questionnaire that is divided into five areas of development, with six activities in each area. This assessment is completely non-intrusive, and is actually a good way to spend time with your children. At each stage of development, the activities are designed to inform parents of "normal" or "average" development at that period of life, and to allow parents to determine if their child is developing at the same pace. If a child is not quite at the suggested level, we can supplement development in that area with activities to promote progression. If a child seems to be more noticeably behind where they should be, our office will refer the parents to a local community resource to make sure there isn't a problem; and if there is a problem we will get them to an agency that is able to help them.
So, how does this work as a baby book? After parents send in their child's completed ASQ, we score it, and contact the parents to let them know how their child is doing. If requested, we can return the completed and scored ASQ to the parent for their records. They will have that information available, and they will have documented what their child was able to do at each age as they developed. For more information about the ASQ, visit http://www.agesandstages.com/asq/asqbenefits.html