Early screening for autism at 18 months

The ARC pioneered early screening for autism at 18 months of age, using the CHAT (Checklist for Autism in Toddlers). This focused particularly on the absence of key behaviours (pretend play and joint attention) at 18 months of age as early indicators of a later diagnosis of autism. Whilst failure on the CHAT was found to be strongly predictive of later autism, the CHAT missed many cases of later autism spectrum conditions, particularly Asperger Syndrome, reflecting the fact that the CHAT was developed in the early 1990s when Asperger Syndrome was less well known. Our current work has revised the CHAT to make it quantitative (the Q-CHAT) in an effort to improve the sensitivity of the instrument. This has involved screening a large population of toddlers age 18-24 months old using the Q-CHAT, and then following them up at age 4 years old to identify if the Q-CHAT accurately predicts an ASC diagnosis in the school years. 



Selected References

664: I Magiati, D Goh, S Lim, D Gan, J Leong, C Allison, S Baron-Cohen, A Rifkin-Graboi, B Broekman, S-M Saw, Y Chong, K Kwek, P Gluckman, S Lim, M Meaney (2015)
The psychometric properties of the Quantitative-Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (Q-CHAT) as a measure of autistic traits in a community sample of Singaporean infants and toddlers
Molecular Autism 6:40

527: C. Allison, B. Auyeung, S. Baron-Cohen (2012)
Toward Brief "Red Flags" for Autism Screening: The Short Autism Spectrum Quotient and the Short Quantitative Checklist in 1,000 Cases and 3,000 Controls
Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry 51(2):202-212

478: B. Auyeung, K. Taylor, K, G. Hackett, G, S. Baron-Cohen (2010)
Foetal testosterone and autistic traits in 18 to 24-month-old children
Molecular Autism 1:11

204: T. Charman, S. Baron-Cohen, J. Swettenham, A. Cox, G. Baird and A. Drew (2003)
Predicting language outcome in infants with autism and pervasive development disorder
International Journal of of Language and Communication Disorders 38(3):265-285

167: G. Baird, T. Charman, A. Cox, S. Baron-Cohen, J. Swettenham, S. Wheelwright and A. Drew (2001)
Screening and surveillance for autism and pervasive developmental disorders
Archives of Disease in Childhood 84:468-475

147: S. Baron-Cohen, S. Wheelwright, A. Cox, G. Baird, T. Charman, J. Swettenham, A. Drew and P. Doehring (2000)
The Early Identification of Autism: The Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (CHAT)
Journal of Developmental and Learning Disorders

82: S. Baron-Cohen, A. Cox, G. Baird, J. Swettenham, N. Nightingale, K. Morgan, A. Drew and T. Charman (1996)
Psychological Markers in the Detection of Autism in Infancy in a Large Population
The British Journal of Psychiatry 168:158-163

25: S. Baron-Cohen, J. Allen and C. Gillberg (1992)
Can Autism be Detected at 18 Months? The Needle, the Haystack, and the CHAT
The British Journal of Psychiatry 161:839-843

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