• autism;
  • pediatric screening;
  • early identification;
  • early intervention


The literature on the importance of early identification and early intervention for children with developmental disabilities such as autism continues to grow. The increased prevalence of autistic spectrum disorders has fostered research efforts on the development and validation of autism-specific screening instruments for use with young children. There are currently several such autism-specific screening tools meant to be used with young children in various stages of development. Data from a few of these screening instruments have been published, and they include the Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (CHAT), Pervasive Developmental Disorders Screening Test (PDDST), Screening Tool for Autism in Two year olds (STAT), Checklist for Autism in Toddlers-23 (CHAT-23), and the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (M-CHAT). In this review, these five tools designed for use with children under three years old will be highlighted. In particular, the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (M-CHAT) will be discussed. © 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc. MRDD Research Reviews 2005;11:253–262.