Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 31, Issue 2, pp 131-144

First online:

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

  • Diana L. RobinsAffiliated withUniversity of Connecticut
  • , Deborah FeinAffiliated withUniversity of Connecticut
  • , Marianne L. BartonAffiliated withUniversity of Connecticut
  • , James A. GreenAffiliated withUniversity of Connecticut

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


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.

Autism modified checklist toddlers