The Clinical Utility of the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers with High Risk 18–48 Month Old Children in Singapore
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The modified checklist for autism in toddlers (M-CHAT) is a tool developed for 16–30 month old children to screen for autism spectrum disorders (ASD). It is a well-researched tool, but little is known about its utility with Singaporean toddlers and with older children referred for developmental concerns. This study investigated the M-CHAT’s performance with 18–30 month old (N = 173) and >30–48 month old (N = 407) developmentally at-risk Singaporean children, when used with three recommended scoring methods i.e., the total, critical and Best7 scoring methods. The results indicate that the critical and Best7 scoring methods detected most true cases of ASD without inflating the false positive rates in toddlers, and that only the total scoring method performed acceptably for the older children.
KeywordsAutism spectrum disorders Screening Early identification M-CHAT Level 2 screening High risk children
We acknowledge Charissa Wong who participated in data collection for the study. We would like to thank Tang Hui Nee, Yang Phey Hong, and Cheong Wan Mui, who provided valuable advice during the course of the research. Special mention also goes to Jennifer Tan, Suraya Amir, and other administrative staff of the Department of Child Development, KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital, who kindly assisted with the data collection process.
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