Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 31, Issue 2, pp 131–144

The Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers: An Initial Study Investigating the Early Detection of Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorders


  • Diana L. Robins
    • University of Connecticut
  • Deborah Fein
    • University of Connecticut
  • Marianne L. Barton
    • University of Connecticut
  • James A. Green
    • University of Connecticut

DOI: 10.1023/A:1010738829569

Cite this article as:
Robins, D.L., Fein, D., Barton, M.L. et al. J Autism Dev Disord (2001) 31: 131. doi:10.1023/A:1010738829569


Autism, a severe disorder of development, is difficult to detect in very young children. However, children who receive early intervention have improved long-term prognoses. The Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (M-CHAT), consisting of 23 yes/no items, was used to screen 1,293 children. Of the 58 children given a diagnostic/developmental evaluation, 39 were diagnosed with a disorder on the autism spectrum. Six items pertaining to social relatedness and communication were found to have the best discriminability between children diagnosed with and without autism/PDD. Cutoff scores were created for the best items and the total checklist. Results indicate that the M-CHAT is a promising instrument for the early detection of autism.

Autismmodified checklisttoddlers

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2001