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Revised Autism Screening Tool Deemed Effective

Date Published: 
January 2, 2014

A revised tool to help pediatricians screen for autism risk in young children is more reliable than previous versions, according to a new study. The tool, the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers, Revised with Follow-up, was tested with a low-risk population of one- and two-year-old children. Parents answer 20 "yes or no" questions. If the child screened positive, a health care professional asked parents follow-up questions over the telephone. The goal of the tool is to allow doctors to refer children at risk for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to early intervention at younger ages. "Widespread implementation of universal screening can lower the age of ASD diagnosis by 2 years compared with recent surveillance findings, increasing time available for early intervention," the study said.1