Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 46, Issue 2, pp 514–522 | Cite as

Prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorder in Nurseries in Lebanon: A Cross Sectional Study

  • Monique Chaaya
  • Dahlia Saab
  • Fadi T. Maalouf
  • Rose-Mary Boustany
Original Paper


In Lebanon, no estimate for autism prevalence exists. This cross-sectional study examines the prevalence of Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in toddlers in nurseries in Beirut and Mount-Lebanon. The final sample included 998 toddlers (16–48 months) from 177 nurseries. We sent parents the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (M-CHAT) for screening, and a self-administered questionnaire (associated factors). We imputed missing M-CHAT data with successful answers. Since there were no follow-up interviews for the M-CHAT, we used the positive predictive value (0.058) from a large study for prevalence estimates. ASD prevalence was 1 in 66 children (comparable to US). Ratios were: male/female: 1.05; Beirut/Mount-Lebanon: 1.2. Using a more representative sample and ascertaining results are needed for better prevalence estimates in Lebanon.


Prevalence Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) Toddlers Nurseries Beirut Mount Lebanon 



Supporting Grants are Program Projects in Biomedical Research (2013–2014) (amount: $80,000) and OpenMinds (private foundation/NGO) (amount: $125,360).

Author Contributions

MC contributed to conception and design, interpretation of data and write up; DS contributed to conception, design, data acquisition, analysis and interpretation of data and write up; FM contributed to interpretation of the data and critical revision of the manuscript; RB contributed to conception and design, interpretation of data, and critical revision of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Monique Chaaya
    • 1
  • Dahlia Saab
    • 2
  • Fadi T. Maalouf
    • 3
  • Rose-Mary Boustany
    • 2
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Epidemiology and Population HealthAmerican University of BeirutBeirutLebanon
  2. 2.Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, Faculty of MedicineAmerican University of BeirutRiad El Solh BeirutLebanon
  3. 3.Department of PsychiatryAmerican University of BeirutBeirutLebanon
  4. 4.Department of Pediatrics and Adolescent MedicineAmerican University of BeirutBeirutLebanon

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