FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Brookes Publishing Contact:
Amy B. Perkins, Marketing Manager
Phone: 410-337-9580 x128
Free Access to Ages & Stages Questionnaires® Screening Tool Helps Parents Determine if Kids Are on Track
CVS Caremark and Easter Seals help make the first five years of life count for kids
Baltimore, MD—Every year more than one million children start school with unidentified disabilities that put them far behind their peers, according to a recent report released by Easter Seals. The critical first step to identifying these children and providing services is developmental screening; however, the 2007 National Survey of Children’s Health reports that less than 20 percent of children under the age of 5 receive a screening using a parent-reported standardized tool. Access to the highly respected developmental screening tool Ages & Stages Questionnaires®, Third Edition (ASQ-3™), published by Brookes Publishing Co., is now available through Easter Seals with the generous support of the CVS Caremark Charitable Trust.
Widely used with parents by health care providers, Head Start programs, early childhood educators, and other professionals, the ASQ-3 screening tool can be completed at no charge by parents and caregivers in only 10–15 minutes on Easter Seals’ Make the First Five Count® website (www.makethefirstfivecount.org). Parents can use the results of the screening, which are provided by Easter Seals staff, to monitor their child’s development and identify potential issues so that so that concerns are addressed as early as possible and help can begin before their child enters school.
“ASQ-3 is a highly reliable and valid tool that immensely benefits children and their families, and we are pleased to have it be a part of the influential Make the First Five Count® campaign,” says Jeffrey D. Brookes, President, Brookes Publishing Co. “Brookes Publishing applauds Easter Seals and CVS Caremark’s initiative to provide developmental screening for all children. We strongly believe that all children—regardless of ability, background, learning difference, or life challenge—deserve to meet their potential.”
The first five years of life are crucial years of learning that shape children’s futures. Unidentified delays and disabilities can have a lasting, negative effect on children’s ability to achieve their full potential. That’s why free access to this simple and reliable screening tool is such a wonderful new resource for children and families.
“We are very proud that the CVS Caremark Charitable Trust is able to support Easter Seals as they strive to get all kids screened as early as possible,” says Eileen Howard Boone, Vice President, CVS Caremark Charitable Trust. “With this online screening tool we hope every parent will take the opportunity to screen their child and take the actions needed to help him or her be the best that he or she can be.”
“The online screening tool is an effective first step toward identifying if a child could benefit from early intervention services,” says James E. Williams, Jr., president and chief executive officer, Easter Seals. “Easter Seals is thrilled to be making the industry-standard child development screening tool available to every parent, for free and online for the very first time.”
About Brookes Publishing Co. and Ages & Stages Questionnaires® (ASQ)
For more than 30 years, Brookes Publishing Co. has been a leading provider of professional resources and assessments in early childhood, literacy, and special education. An independent company, Brookes Publishing Co. is headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland. For more information, please visit www.brookespublishing.com.
The Ages & Stages Questionnaires have been trusted by early childhood professionals for more than 15 years as the most accurate, cost-effective, and parent-friendly way to screen children from one month to 51⁄2 years for developmental and social-emotional delays. The ASQ-3 and the social-emotional screener ASQ:SE were developed by early childhood experts Diane Bricker, Ph.D., and Jane Squires, Ph.D., at the University of Oregon, and the tools have been used to reliably screen hundreds of thousands of children around the world. For more information about ASQ, please visit www.agesandstages.com.
About CVS Caremark All Kids Can
CVS Caremark All Kids Can™, a program of the CVS Caremark Charitable Trust and supported by CVS Caremark, is a commitment to making life easier for children with disabilities. Through this signature program, CVS Caremark and the Trust will support non-profit organizations that provide innovative programs and services in local communities focused on helping children with disabilities learn, play and succeed in life. CVS Caremark selected Easter Seals as a national partner in All Kids Can when the program was introduced in 2006. Since that time, the company, its foundation and its associates have contributed more than $11.5 million to support Easter Seals services in local communities nationwide. To learn more about the CVS Caremark All Kids Can Program and its support of Easter Seals, visit www.cvsallkidscan.com/partners/easter-seals.
About Easter Seals
Easter Seals is the leading non-profit provider of services for individuals with autism, developmental disabilities, physical disabilities and other special needs. For more than 90 years, we have been offering help and hope to children and adults living with disabilities, and to the families who love them. Through therapy, training, education and support services, Easter Seals creates life-changing solutions so that people with disabilities can live, learn, work and play. Easter Seals’ Make the First Five Count® is designed to give children at risk of developmental delays, disabilities or autism the right support they need to be school-ready and build a foundation for a lifetime of learning. Learn more at www.makethefirstfivecount.org and www.easterseals.com.