The Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers: A follow-up study investigating the early detection of autism spectrum disorders

Date of Completion

January 2007


Psychology, Clinical|Psychology, Psychometrics




Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are difficult to detect in children under age three years, yet early intervention has been linked to better long-term prognosis. The Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (M-CHAT) was used to screen 3860 children 16-30 months (Study 1) and re-screen 1260 children 42-54 months (Study 2). Children who screened positive were evaluated and diagnosed. Of the 188 children evaluated at Time 1, 126 (67%) were diagnosed with an ASD. Of the 112 children re-evaluated at Time 2, 67 (60%) were diagnosed with an ASD. This includes two confirmed misses at Time 1 and four at Time 2. The M-CHAT was found to have strong concurrent and predictive validity. Results indicate it continues to be a promising instrument for the early detection of ASD. ^