Sherry Boschert, reported for Clinical Psychiatry News Digital Network that the revised version of a popular autism screening tool is helping to identify low-risk toddlers. It is the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers, Revised with Follow-Up (M-CHAT-R/F).
The first of the two-stage autism screening tool is completed by parents. It takes less than five minutes, with 20 yes-or-no-questions. For the second stage, those with scores of 3 – 7, indicating medium risk for autism, receive a structured follow up phone call with a health professional. This stage of the screening provides additional information to help determine whether formal evaluation and interventions are warranted.
Those with scores 8 – 20 on the first stage of the screening tool are advised to skip the second stage and seek a formal evaluation for autism.
The revised screening tool allows toddlers to be evaluated at approximately two years of age. This is two years earlier than typically occurs, and as a result needed intervention can begin very early.
Download the screening tool for free
The M-CHAT-R/F can be downloaded for free in many languages from www.mchatscreen.com.
The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health.