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Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers


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M-CHAT

Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers


The M-CHAT is designed to screen for Autism Spectrum Disorders in toddlers (i.e., over the age of 12 months, and ideally over the age of 18 months). A parent can complete the items independently. The M-CHAT does not allow a clinician to make a diagnosis of an Autism Spectrum Disorder, but is a very useful clinical tool that has excellent sensitivity and specificity. Positive results suggest a high risk for an Autism Spectrum Disorder, and may necessitate referral.
The M-CHAT does not require clinician observation. The CHAT, however, does require clinician observation, and has poor sensitivity, but excellent specificity.
INSTRUCTIONS:
Please fill out the following about how your child usually is. Please try to answer every question. If the behavior is rare (e.g., you’ve seen it once or twice), please answer as if the child does not do it.

1. Does your child enjoy being swung, bounced on your knee, etc.? YES NO



  1. Does your child take an interest in other children? YES NO

  2. Does your child like climbing on things, such as up stairs? YES NO

  3. Does your child enjoy playing peek-a-boo/hide-and-seek? YES NO

  4. Does your child ever pretend, for example, to talk on the phone or YES NO

take care of a doll or pretend other things?

  1. Does your child ever use his or her index finger to point, to ask YES NO

for something?

  1. Does your child ever use his/her index finger to point, to indicate YES NO

interest in something?

  1. Can your child play properly with toys (e.g., cars or bricks) without YES NO

just mouthing, fiddling or dropping them?

  1. Does your child ever bring objects over to you (parent) to show you YES NO

something?

  1. Does your child look you in the eye for more than a second or two? YES NO

  2. Does your child ever seem oversensitive to noise (e.g., plugging ears)? YES NO

  3. Does your child smile in response to your face or your smile? YES NO

  4. Does your child imitate you (e.g., you make a face – will your YES NO

child imitate it)?

  1. Does your child respond to his/her name when you call? YES NO

  2. If you point at a toy across the room, does your child look at it? YES NO

  3. Does your child walk? YES NO

  4. Does your child look at things you are looking at? YES NO

  5. Does your child make unusual finger movements near his/her face? YES NO

  6. Does your child try to attract your attention to his/her own activity? YES NO

  7. Have you ever wondered if your child is deaf? YES NO

  8. Does your child understand what people say? YES NO

  9. Does your child sometimes stare at nothing or wander with no purpose? YES NO

  10. Does your child look at your face to check your reaction when faced YES NO

with something unfamiliar?

Have you ever filled out this form for this child before? YES NO



SCORING THE M-CHAT
A child fails the M-CHAT when 2 or more CRITICAL ITEMS are failed or when any 3 items are failed. Yes/No answers convert to Pass/Fail responses. Below are listed the failed responses for each item on the M-CHAT. Bold capitalized items are CRITICAL ITEMS.
Not all children who fail the checklist will meet criteria for a diagnosis on the autism spectrum. However, children who fail the checklist should first be evaluated in more depth by the physician or referred for a developmental evaluation with a specialist.
1. No 6. No 11. Yes 16. No 21. No

2. NO 7. NO 12. No 17. No 22. Yes

3. No 8. No 13. NO 18. Yes 23. No

4. No 9. NO 14. NO 19. No



5. No 10. No 15. NO 20. Yes


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