Monday, December 23, 2013

Validating an Improved Checklist for Screening Low-Risk Toddlers for Autism

Public Domain Photo via Wikimedia Commons
For many years, one of the most valid and reliable screening tools we have for the detection of a child with an autism spectrum disorder has been the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (M-CHAT). Recently however, a new version, the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers, Revised with Follow-up (M-CHAT R/F) was instituted to detect autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in children sooner and hopefully without too many false positives.

Fortunately, the revised version does appear to be quite valid in its earlier identification of children with either ASD or another type of developmental delay—at least according to data shared in a study by Robins et al. (doi: 10.1542/peds.2013-1813) that we are early releasing this week.

Are you using this checklist at 18 months and following up with it at 24 months? If so, has it helped you make a diagnosis of an ASD sooner so appropriate early intervention can be instituted? Let us know by leaving a comment below or sharing your thoughts via Facebook or Twitter, or submitting an eLetter on our website.

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