Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (M-CHAT)

The M-CHAT, a 23-item yes/no checklist for parents was adapted from the Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (CHAT). The checklist is quick and easy to fill out by many parents, with a literacy level cited at the 6th grade, and the scoring is straightforward. The M-CHAT is available in many different languages including English, Spanish, Turkish, Chinese, and Japanese. There are other languages available, but not all have been validated.

This tool has been shown sometimes to miss more subtle cases of autism spectrum disorders. Also, it is more accurate to interpret the M-CHAT according to its Positive Predictive Value (patients with positive test results who are correctly diagnosed) as the sensitivity and specificity may show the tool to be more accurate than it is. For high risk patients, PPV = .60, for low risk patients, PPV = .11, and when combined, PPV = .36. When a failed M-CHAT is followed up by a phone interview, the PPV values are much higher, with PPV values = High: .76, Low: .65, and Combined: .74. (Kleinman JM, et al. J Autism Dev Disord. 2008;38:827-839).

  • Uses parental information
  • Cost: Free
  • Time: 5-10 minutes for parent, 2 minutes for provider
  • Languages: English, Spanish, Turkish, Chinese, Japanese
  • Age Range: 16-48 months
  • Website