What is the ASQ-TRAK?

The ASQ-TRAK is a developmental screening tool for observing and monitoring the developmental progress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. In 2023, the ASQ-TRAK2 was developed and now includes all 21 age intervals between two months and 5 1/2 years.

It is based on the 21 questionnaires from the Ages & Stages Questionnaires®, 3rd edition – the ASQ®-3 – which were adapted, in partnership with community and in close collaboration with the ASQ®-3 authors,  to create a more culturally appropriate version of the tool for Aboriginal children. More information about the ASQ®-3 is available on our FAQ page.

The ASQ-TRAK is an easy-to-use, family centred tool which highlights a child’s strengths as well as catching delays early. It is designed to be administered by interview, making caregivers co-observers in the process while supporting and teaching them about child development and their own child’s skills. 

ASQ-TRAK – A Social Enterprise model  

Hosted by the University of Melbourne, ASQ-TRAK is a non-commercial endeavour, with the core mission to improve equitable access to child development support. All revenue derived from kits or educational programs is reinvested to support development and delivery and secure the future of this program. We strive to improve reach and accessibility of the program and welcome innovative community partnership models.  

We are working with our campus partner, The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne, to distribute the ASQ-TRAK developmental screening tool and ASQ-TRAK Toy Kit to communities.

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A culturally adapted resource

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Take a look inside

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Support materials



What is the ASQ®-3 ? 

The ASQ®-3 ( is a questionnaire-based developmental screening tool designed and developed in the USA for use by early childhood educators and health care professionals. It is widely used in many countries and is highly valid, reliable and accurate. 

It can be parent-completed or used as part of an in-person or phone interview. It relies on parents and caregivers as experts and enables developmental delays to be captured early while also highlighting strengths. 

“The validity of [the] ASQ®-3 has been studied more than any other screener. Psychometric studies based on a normative sample of more than 18,000 questionnaires show high reliability, internal consistency, sensitivity, and specificity. From ‘How reliable? We’ll let the data tell the story.) 

How did you develop the ASQ-TRAK? 

Language and context have always been barriers to adopting mainstream practice in Aboriginal communities – but with modifications, we found we could use the ASQ®-3 questionnaires as the base for building a more culturally appropriate version of the tool for Australian Aboriginal children. 

We selected and carefully studied seven questionnaires from the ASQ®-3 for adaptation, in collaboration with Aboriginal community members, cultural and linguistic experts, remote health practitioners and early childhood development experts in the Northern Territory.  

Findings of the study informed the development of the ASQ-TRAK. For more information see our publication ‘Adaptation of the Ages & Stages Questionnaire for Remote Aboriginal Australia’ and a talk by founder, Dr Anita D’Aprano.

The 14 new age intervals that are part of the ASQ-TRAK2 did not undergo the same rigorous concurrent validation process that the original seven ASQ-TRAK questionnaires did. This is a time and resource intensive process that is not essential to duplicate for all age intervals. We will however be exploring face validity and internal consistency through using the tool with practitioners and families.

What’s the difference between the ASQ®-3 and the ASQ-TRAK? 

The ASQ®-3 consists of 21 questionnaires developed to measure children from 1 month to 5½ years. It is designed to be parent-administered or administered by interview. 

Each questionnaire has 30 items grouped into five areas: communication, gross motor, fine motor, problem solving, and personal–social. They also include general health questions. For full details,

The ASQ-TRAK is based on the 21 ASQ®-3 questionnaires. A number of modifications were made. The ASQ-TRAK: 

  • is shorter, having excluded the general questions. 
  • is written in plain English. 
  • includes an explanation of the overall questionnaire and of each domain. 
  • has illustrations for every item. 
  • has colour-illustrated flip charts to support caregiver engagement and administration by interview. 
  • has items that have been modified to be more culturally appropriate and draw on materials that are available in remote communities. 
  • is designed to be administered by interview rather than caregivers self-completing a questionnaire. This encourages the caregiver and child to demonstrate each item. 

The screening ages – 2 months, 6 months, 12 months, 18 months, 24 months, 36 months and 48 months – align with routine ‘well-child checks’ undertaken in the Northern Territory (where the ASQ-TRAK was developed), which require developmental screening as part of the check. 

The ASQ-TRAK kit includes a flip chart with colour illustrations for each of the questionnaires, for parents or caregivers to view during the ASQ-TRAK interview. This has been found to be a very valuable modification that acts to engage parents and caregivers in the process. 

In 2023, the ASQ-TRAK2 was developed and now includes all 21 age intervals between two months and 5½ years.

Who can use the ASQ-TRAK? 

The ASQ-TRAK is designed to be used in all settings in which the ASQ®-3 can be used. It can be used by: 

  • health professionals, including Aboriginal Health Practitioners, Remote Area Nurses, Child Health Nurses, GPs, Paediatricians or Allied Health Specialists; 
  • early childhood educators, including in Families as First Teachers programs. 

It is not designed to be self-administered by parents and families, although they are encouraged to be actively involved in the interviews. 

  • What languages are available? 

The ASQ-TRAK was available in the following languages: 

  • modified English; 
  • two Yolngu Matha languages (Dhuwaya, the language of instruction at Yirrkala school, and Djambarrpuyngu); 
  • Western Arrarnta

The ASQ-TRAK2 is available in modified English.

What is the cost of the ASQ-TRAK? 

The ASQ-TRAK developmental screening tool is sold through the Royal Children's Hospital Shop. Prices of the ASQ-TRAK and the ASQ-TRAK Toy Kit can be found at the RCH Shop.

Where is the ASQ-TRAK being used? 

The ASQ-TRAK is being used in health services and education settings across Australia. 

An example of implementation in early education 

The Northern Territory Department of Education has chosen the ASQ-TRAK as the most appropriate developmental screening tool for Aboriginal children in their Families as First Teachers (FaFT) program. Following a successful trial in four remote communities — Alekerange, Numbulwar, Yirrkala and Maningrida — the Department of Education has implemented the ASQ-TRAK in all FaFT sites in the Northern Territory. 

"ASQ-TRAK developmental screening is well accepted by families who participate in the program, and provides opportunity for families and educators to celebrate child strengths. ASQ-TRAK also provides valuable information for FaFT educators to support child developmental needs through targeted program planning and early intervention." 
Amanda Docksey, Director, Families as First Teachers program 

An example of implementation in health 

The ASQ-TRAK was trialled in urban, rural and remote sites by South Australia Health’s Child and Family Health Service (CaFHS). It is now used with Aboriginal children and caregivers in all CaFHS sites and also by the CaFHS nurses providing a visiting service to the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) lands. Aboriginal Cultural Consultants, Child Health Nurses and Early Childhood Intervention Coordinators deliver the screen alongside caregivers and their children. 

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