Child Development Assessments Comparison

The fundamental function of assessments is: to try to uncover weaknesses, to evaluate school readiness, to aid in structuring the curriculum and daily tasks; to evaluate the usefulness of a project; and to give parents advice (Wortham, 2008). Comparing assessments is important as it enables one to identify the most appropriate assessments to use, depending on the age and objectives of the assessment. The names of the two assessment tests that I shall compare and contrast in this paper are: Ages and Stages Questionnaire, third edition (ASQ-3) and Indicators for the Assessment of Learning, third edition (DIAL-3). I shall compare different aspects separately and finally give a conclusion that summarizes the key points discussed.

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Age Range

ASQ-3 is used among children and young infants aged from 1 month to 5 ½ years while DIAL-3 is used for children and young infants aged between 3-11 years.

Purpose

Whereas both assessments tests are aimed at ensuring fine development of children, ASQ-3 seeks to ensure fine development of young infants and children, by examining development in key aspects such as language, motor, and problem-solving skills, so as to spot fields where the child may require assistance while DIAL-3 chiefly offers early screening information on learners abilities so as to determine children’s school readiness (Salvia & Ysseldyke, 1995).

Description

ASQ-3 is a cluster of questionnaires, which are designed to be filled by parents, on young infants and children’s development. Approximately, the parent should be in a position to complete the questions in 10-15 minutes.

How ASQ-3 Works

The parent is supposed to answer every query by using the words “not yet,” or “yes,” depending on the child’s ability at that moment. The answers will help the parent in identifying the child’s abilities and weaknesses (Salvia & Ysseldyke, 1995). To aid in answering the questions, parents are encouraged to engage their children in simple but enjoyable activities that will make the child engage in recreation, move around, and carry out daily skills. After the parent completes filling the questionnaire, an expert is supposed to share the outcomes with the parent.

In case the child is developing as expected, the parent can go on with the next ASQ-3 level as the child continues to grow. In case the child has difficulties with some skills, the program is expected to assist the parent accordingly.

Normally, if a child’s score is lower than the cutoff, the expert recommends more assessment or intervention, not ignoring factors that could have interfered with the child’s scores. Such factors could be cultural, health-related, time of screening, or family-oriented. If a kid scores close to but not lower than the cutoff, the expert should evaluate the parent’s feelings. In case the parent shows extensive concern, the expert may choose to refer the child for more assessment. Alternatively, the expert can offer follow-up tasks and organize for another screening during the next visit. ASQ-3 user guide has reproducible tasks which the expert can recommend the parent to practice with their kid at home. If a kid scores well, higher than the cutoff, the expert can advise parents on how to enhance the skills and the importance of having their children frequently screened.

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On the other hand, the DIAL-3 tests basically examine children’s skills in three key areas: language, motor, and concept skills. According to Salvia & Ysseldyke (1995), “the assessment also contains a rating of the child’s intellectual abilities and the child’s social-emotional conduct” (123).

How DIAL-3 Works

The test is run individually and normally takes 15-30 minutes. The child’s utilization of communicative and receptive language, development of fine and gross motor, and comprehension of fundamental concepts such as counting and tints is assessed. Each one of these areas gives scores on the scale, which are later changed into percentile ranks. The percentile ranks, which range from 1-99, are normally employed to evaluate a child’s performance against DIAL-3’s developmental standards. These tests should be administered by specialists. According to Wortham (2008), the manager who directs this assessment must be a specialist in early childhood education, psychology, special education or any other related field

Standardization

Standardization of ASQ-3 was done on a state sample of 12,695 kids while standardization of DIAL-3 was done for Spanish and English speakers grounded on information from a sample of kids aged between 3-11 years.

Reliability and Validity for ASQ-3

Test-retest reliability for ASQ-3 was documented as 91, and inter-rater reliability was documented as 92 (Salvia & Ysseldyke, 1995). Besides, ASQ-3’s validity was documented as 82-88, an outstanding validity.

Reliability and Validity for DIAL-3

Reliability
Internal consistency Motor.66
Concepts.84
Language.77
DIAL-3 Total.87
Self-Help.78
Social.85
Speed DIAL.80
Test-retest 3-6 to 4-5
Motor:.69
Concepts:.85
Language:.85
DIAL-3 Total:.88
Self-Help:.75
Social:.77
Speed DIAL:.84
4-6 to 5-10
Motor:.67
Concepts:.74
Language:.78
DIAL-3 Total:.84
Self-Help:.79
Social:.85
Speed DIAL:.82

Reliability for DIAL-3 (Pearson, 2011).

Validity
Inter correlations Yes
Content Yes
Concurrent Yes
Predictive None reported
Factor analysis No

Validity for DIAL-3 (Pearson, 2011).

ASQ-3 Advantages

The test is very accurate; a thorough investigation with over 12,000 children indicates that ASQ-3 is consistent and valid as it owns the two key markers of accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity (Salvia & Ysseldyke, 1995). ASQ-3 can be used to detect delays that are linked to autism. Novel and unrestricted queries on conduct and meaningful language aids in educating parents’ anxieties. Since ASQ-3 questionnaires are done by the guardians, who are well acquaintances of the child, the outcomes obtained are usually very accurate, and guardians turn out to be a basic part of the screening procedure.

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ASQ-3 acts as a precious educational instrument for guardians. Since issues in the questionnaire are normally connected to developmental objectives, ASQ-3 aids in educating parents on issues linked to child development. Answering queries on ASQ-3 questionnaires uncovers a child’s abilities on top of fields of concern, making it simple to build a rapport with guardians and share outcomes. The screening is usually flexible as guardians can fill ASQ-3 questionnaires in their areas of residence, in a car, in the course of a home visit, or through a cell phone interview. Scoring ASQ-3 questionnaires after they have been filled by guardians takes approximately 2 minutes, thus making the whole process very efficient. Besides, ASQ-3 saves time since it gathers all the data required from guardians swiftly, different from DIAL-3 and other screeners that need more screening actions to elucidate outcomes.

ASQ-3 Disadvantage

The key demerit of this test is that it requires a lot of parent involvement. If the parents fail to cooperate, the test can be very difficult to administer, or else it could be lea to imprecise results.

DIAL-3 Advantages

DIAL-3 assessment tests exist in two versions, English and Spanish, making it possible to be used among different socio-cultural groups. The DIAL-3 test is very relevant since its content is derived from skills that preschool educators consider essential in usual classroom circumstances. The test evaluates skills that are identified to be prognostic of learning issues. The test also evaluates the five parts that are authorized by national law for early childhood assessment, making it very suitable for primary screening. Finally, the tasks in the assessment are easy to comprehend since illustrations and guidance items are used in order to offer children an opportunity to comprehend the necessities of every task.

DIAL-3 Disadvantages

A key disadvantage of the DIAL-3 test, being a standardized test, is on deducing the acquired information since outcomes obtained from the tests have to be interpreted in relation to analogous kids in related situations. Time and again, this relationship is comparatively hard to attain.

Strategies that can Result to Good Relationships with Parents

A good relationship with parents can be attained by maintaining continuous communication (Wolfendal, 1998). This should entail sharing the child’s developmental issues. The assessor should endeavor to meet the wants of the child and the parent by carrying out regular and continuing assessments while ensuring the parent’s participation in the whole course. Finally, the assessor should show respect and trust to the parent and the child by acknowledging the parent as the prime caregiver

My Opinion on the Value of Using these Assessments

The two assessments are important in that they both aid in evaluating the developmental levels of a child, leading to an earlier diagnosis of any development problems. I would recommend that every parent take his/her child for assessment, especially the DIAL-3 assessment before joining the school.

In conclusion, ASQ-3 and DIAL-3 can be compared in many ways. ASQ-3 is used among children and young infants aged from 1 month to 5 ½ years while DIAL-3 is used for children and young infants aged between 3-11 years. Whereas both assessments tests are aimed at ensuring the fine development of children, ASQ-3 seeks to ensure the fine development of young infants and children while DIAL-3 chiefly offers early screening information on learners’ abilities so as to determine children’s school readiness.

In ASQ-3, the parent is supposed to answer every query by using the words “not yet,” or “yes,” depending on the child’s ability at that moment. The answers will help the parent in identifying the child’s abilities and weaknesses. For the Dial-3 test, the child’s utilization of communicative and receptive language, development of fine and gross motor, and comprehension of fundamental concepts such as counting and tints is assessed. Both assessments boast high reliability and validity. ASQ-3 test key advantage is that it is usually very accurate. DIAL-3 assessment also boasts the ability to test in two versions, English and Spanish, making it possible to be used among different socio-cultural groups.

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Its content is derived from skills that preschool educators consider essential in usual classroom circumstances. The key demerit of this test is that it requires a lot of parent involvement. The key disadvantage of the DIAL-3 test is a standardized test, is realized during the interpretation of results. Finally, a good relationship with parents can be attained by maintaining continuous communication with them.

References

Pearson (2011). Clinical Assessment: DIAL-3 technical information. Web.

Salvia, J. & Ysseldyke, J. (1995). Assessment. 6th ed. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin. Web.

Wolfendal, S. (1998). Involving parents in child assessments in the United Kingdom. Childhood Education, 74(6), 355-358. Web.

Wortham, S.C. (2008). Assessment in early childhood education. 5th ed. Upper Saddle River: New Jersey. Web.

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