Each year over one million children start school with unidentified disabilities or delays. These disabilities can put children far behind their peers and lead to an array of obstacles in their development. Basic standardized screening is extremely effective in catching early signs of disabilities or delays. Unfortunately, only 20% of children under five receive this screening (according to the 2007 National Survey of Children’s Health).
Thankfully, a new tool is available that will help parents be proactive in monitoring their child throughout the first five years. CVS Caremark Charitable Trust and Easter Seals (nonprofits devoted to children with disabilities and special needs) have partnered along with Brookes Publishing Co. to make the Ages and Stages Questionnaires Screening Tool free to parents. This easy-to-use standardized screening tool is easily available online. With this tool parents are able to identify any potential issues before their child starts school. The ASQ is a highly reliable screening tool often used by Head Start programs, healthcare providers and early childhood educators. By identifying potential issues, parents will have the opportunity to take action and get their child whatever help they need, as soon as possible.
Visit www.makethefirstfivecount.com to take the ASQ and make sure that your child is on track for success when he or she starts school.