Our visit with the pediatrician today did not include any vaccinations, which was a nice break for both of us. While we waited for the doctor to see us I was given the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ) as well as a screening questionnaire for tuberculosis, lead poisoning and domestic violence. I did not know that a domestic violence screen is routine at pediatrician visits but I think it is a wonderful thing. It provides women (and men) an opportunity to ask for help. I am positive this has helped women who were in an abusive relationship since their abuser is likely not expecting them to be given this opportunity at their child’s appointment. The benefits to children and women alike are the reason why the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that this screening be done. In my mind even if just one out of every few hundred women are helped as a result, it is well worth it.
The ASQ focuses on the following areas: communication, gross motor skills, fine motor skills, problem solving, and personal-social. Each area is evaluated based on six questions for which you must answer, yes, sometimes, or not yet. The purpose of the ASQ is to screen for developmental delays. The Ages and Stages website states, “Because developmental and social-emotional delays can be subtle and can occur in children who appear to be developing typically, most children who would benefit from early intervention are not identified until after they start school. Even pediatricians, the child health specialists, fail to detect delays more than 70% of the time when they rely on clinical judgment alone.” This alone is plenty of reason to screen. The earlier any potential delays are identified, the sooner that child can receive treatment. For more information about this screening you can visit their website by clicking here.
Here are Diego’s stats at 18 months:
Weight: 26 lbs
Height: 30 3/4 inches
Head circumference: 19.5 inches
Our next appointment is after his second birthday.