Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers: Cross-Cultural Adaptation and Validation in Spain


Early detection and treatment have been shown to be effective in reducing disability severity caused by Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASDs). As Spanish pediatricians have no detection tool, the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (M-CHAT) was first translated into and culturally adapted to Spanish. Validity and reliability studies were carried out in two different geographical areas of Spain, where M-CHAT was administered to two different samples, namely: 2,480 high- and low-risk children; and 2,055 low-risk children. The results obtained were similar to those yielded by the original M-CHAT studies. Differences were found in positive predictive value, due to the low ASD frequency observed in this study. M-CHAT is still being studied in a large population-based screening program in Spain.

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This research was supported by grants: SAN/1015/2005 from the Castile-León Regional Health Authority (Consejería de Sanidad de Castilla y León); TPY1289/05 (Carlos III Institute of Health); SEJ2006-11536 from the Spanish Ministry of Science & Innovation (Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación); SA043A06 from the Castile-León Regional Educational (Consejería de Educación de la Junta de Castilla y León), Castile-León Regional Autism Association (Federación de Autismo de Castilla-León); EDU/894/2009 Excellence Group of Research (GR197), Junta de Castilla y León (Spain) and Spanish Royal Society for the Handicapped (Real Patronato de Discapacidad de España). We should like to thank all those nurses and pediatricians in the Spanish National Health System who participated in the screening program in Salamanca, Zamora and Madrid Health Area 1. Needless to say, we should also like to express our heartfelt gratitude to all the early-intervention providers, the children, and their families, without whom this study would not have been possible.

Author information

Correspondence to Patricia García-Primo.

Additional information

On behalf of the MCHAT study (in alphabetical order by surname): Belinchón-Carmona M. (Autonomous University of Madrid); Espinosa A. (Gregorio Marañón University Teaching Hospital); Ferrari-Arroyo MJ. (Madrid Municipal Health Prevention Programs); Franco M. (Zamora Regional Hospital); Hernández J. (ASD Team—Regional Educational Authority); Mar Domingo MJ. (Gregorio Marañón University Teaching Hospital); Martínez-Velarte M. Zamora Regional Hospital); Martínez-Conejo A. (University of Salamanca); Muñoz A. (IRIDIA); Palomo R.(IRIDIA); Parra E. (Gregorio Marañón University Teaching Hospital); Velayos L. (IRIDIA).

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Canal-Bedia, R., García-Primo, P., Martín-Cilleros, M.V. et al. Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers: Cross-Cultural Adaptation and Validation in Spain. J Autism Dev Disord 41, 1342–1351 (2011).

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  • Autism
  • Screening
  • Validation
  • M-CHAT
  • Psychometric values