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A Pediatric Perspective

Revised MCHAT Screening Tool for Autism

Published January 16, 2014 11:29 AM by Wendy Spoor-Hof
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all children receive autism screening when they are 18 months and again when they are 24 months old. Healthcare professionals have been using the MCHAT to do this screening and although it was a good screening tool there was concern that it too often flagged children as being at risk for Autism. No screening tool is perfect but this one helped to identifiy children who might qualify for more intensive early intervention services due to being at risk for Autism. 

This past December the MCHAT was revised to improve it's accuracy. The tool is now called MCHAT-R (Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers - Revised.)  his tool will now show whether a child is at "low", "medium", or "high" risk for Autism.  There is also a "follow-up" part to this new screenining tool.

Autism Speaks also has an elecronical version you can access on their site here and they are offering the the Follow-Up Interview part as well.

The Official MCHAT website has a free downloadable version that can be accessed in numerous languages.

Has anyone started to use this revised edition yet? What are your thoughts on it? My thoughts are that if it is going to be better at screening the risk factors I'm all for it. Even if a child may show a "low" or "medium" risk it will alert the parents to the fact that there may be something else going on with their child even if they are not at a "high" risk for Autism.  This may help get more early intervention help for the child and the delays they may be showing can be addressed.

What are your thoughts?

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