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April 21st, 2006

Early Detection of Autism

MCHATWhat are the early signs of autism?

If you have ever had concerns about a child’s development, you are not alone. Having occasional concerns is a natural part of parenting and care-giving. But when these concerns persist, it’s time to take the next step.

Whether you’re worried about a child’s language, how the child relates to the people in his life, how he plays with toys, or any other developmental concerns, young children rely on those who can help. Early detection of autism is critical to the future of young children who may be at risk for autism spectrum disorders. The M-CHAT questionnaire is a screening tool used to facilitate early detection of autism. Pediatricians and family doctors often use this questionnaire during a child’s 18 or 24-month developmental check-up.

The Checklist of Autism in Toddlers (CHAT) is a screening tool commonly used by pediatricians and family doctors during a child’s 18-month developmental check-up. The Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (M-CHAT) is a modified version of the screening questionnaire that can be used by parents and early childhood educators. These screening tools can be used to alert parents and health professionals for the potential need of a diagnostic evaluation performed by pediatric neurologists and psychologists trained in autism assessment measures.

We’ve put links to these tools on the teachtown web site at www.teachtown.com/mchat.

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