The M-CHAT is an expanded American version of the original CHAT from the U.K (Baron-Cohen et al., 1992; 1996). The M-CHAT has 23 questions using the original nine from the CHAT as its basis. The goal of the ongoing M-CHAT research is to demonstrate adequate psychometric properties of the M-CHAT (sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive power).
The M-CHAT is available for clinical and research use, withthe following caveats:
1. Clinical use should proceed with caution, given that the current scoring system is designed to maximize sensitivity (i.e., identify as many children with autism spectrum disorders as possible), which results in a number of false positive cases (i.e., children who will not be diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, although they fail the M-CHAT). Once cross-validation of the M-CHAT iscomplete, the scoring may be revised.
2. The M-CHAT is not designed to detect all possible developmental disorders. Any parents who have concerns about their child should see their child’s physician, regardless on the child’s score on the M-CHAT.
Please fill out the following about how your child usually is. Please try to answer every question. If the behavior is rare (e.g., you've seen it once or twice), please answer as if the child does not do it.
1. Does your child enjoy being swung, bounced on your knee, etc.? Yes____ No____
2. Does your child take an interest in other children? Yes____ No____
3. Does your child like climbing on things, such as up stairs? Yes____ No____
4. Does your child enjoy playing peek-a-boo/hide-and-seek? Yes____ No____
5. Does your child ever pretend, for example, to talk on the phone or take care of dolls, or pretend other things? Yes____ No____
6. Does your child ever use his/her index finger to point, to ask for something? Yes____ No____
7. Does your child ever use his/her index finger to point, to indicate interest in something? Yes____ No____
8. Can your child play properly with small toys (e.g. cars or bricks) without just mouthing, fiddling, or dropping them? Yes____ No____
9. Does your child ever bring objects over to you (parent) to show you something? Yes____ No____
10. Does your child look you in the eye for more than a second or two? Yes____ No____
11. Does your child ever seem oversensitive to noise? (e.g., plugging ears) Yes____ No____
12. Does your child smile in response to your face or your smile? Yes____ No____
13. Does your child imitate you? (e.g., you make a face-will your child imitate it?) Yes____ No____
14. Does your child respond to his/her name when you call? Yes____ No____
15. If you point at a toy across the room, does your child look at it? Yes____ No____
16. Does your child walk? Yes____ No____
17. Does your child look at things you are looking at? Yes____ No____
18. Does your child make unusual finger movements near his/her face? Yes____ No____
19. Does your child try to attract your attention to his/her own activity? Yes____ No____
20. Have you ever wondered if your child is deaf? Yes____ No____
21. Does your child understand what people say? Yes____ No____
22. Does your child sometimes stare at nothing or wander with no purpose? Yes____ No____
23. Does your child look at your face to check your reaction when faced with something unfamiliar? Yes____ No____
M-CHAT Scoring Instructions
A child fails the checklist when 2 or more critical items are failed OR when any three items are failed. Yes/no answers convert to pass/fail responses. Below are listed the failed responses for each item on the M-CHAT. Bold capitalized items are CRITICAL items.
Not all children who fail the checklist will meet criteria for a diagnosis on the autism spectrum. However, children who fail the checklist should be evaluated in more depth by the physician or referred for a developmental evaluation with a specialist.
© 1999 Diana Robins, Deborah Fein, & Marianne Barton
Please refer to: Robins, D., Fein, D., Barton, M., & Green, J. (2001). The Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers: An initialstudy investigating the early detection of autism and pervasive developmental disorders. Journal of Autism andDevelopmental Disorders, 31 (2), 131-144.
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