About the ASK

The Activities Scale for Kids (ASK©) is a child self-report measure of physical disability. It is designed for children five to 15 years of age who are experiencing limitations in physical activity due to musculoskeletal disorders. The ASK© may be used to assess a child’s status at a single point in time or to monitor changes associated with time or therapeutic interventions.

The ASK© contains 30 items that are aggregated into one overall summary score. There are 7 sub-domains represented within the ASK© (in order of appearance in the questionnaire) including: personal care (3 items), dressing (4 items), other skills (4 items), locomotion (7 items), play (2 items), standing skills (5 items), and transfers (5 items). These are useful for exploring the nature of children’s activity limitations, but have not been independently validated.

There are 2 versions of the scale: the ASK© performance (ASK©p) and the ASK© capability (ASK©c). The performance version measures what the child ‘did do’ during the previous week, whereas the capability version measures what the child ‘could do’ during the previous week. Clinicians may choose to administer either version alone or both versions concurrently, depending on the objective of the assessment.

The ASK© is presented in the form of a booklet and is usually answered by the child. Children under the age of nine often require someone to read the questions to them. However, when parents provided independent ratings for their children, the ASK© summary scores were found to be very similar to the children’s self-reported summary scores.

The ASK© should be completed at home because the questions inquire about the child’s usual abilities in activities that most often happen at home, at school, and in the playground. The questionnaire(s) should be administered in a relatively quiet setting, devoid of distractions, with adequate lighting and supervision. If the ASK© is administered more than once, the child should complete the booklet in the same setting both times.

The ASK© is unique in that it reflects the children’s perspectives of disability, provides the option of examining performance and/or capability, and requires no special training or equipment. It is also completed by child self-report and may be administered by mail. These features are intended to enhance the feasibility of using the ASK© for a variety of research and clinical practice applications.


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