Screening of children attending well baby clinic for risk of autism using modified checklist for autism in toddlers in a pediatric tertiary care Centre in Chennai

Authors

  • Savitha Arunachalam Department of Paediatrics, Dr. Kamakshi Memorial Hospital, Pallikaranai, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2533-1127
  • Rajeshwari Narayanan Department of Paediatrics, Dr. Kamakshi Memorial Hospital, Pallikaranai, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
  • Prahada Jagannathan Department of Paediatrics, Dr. Kamakshi Memorial Hospital, Pallikaranai, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.18203/2349-3291.ijcp20240014

Keywords:

Autism spectrum disorder, Screening, MCHAT, Diagnosis, Early intervention

Abstract

Background: Autism spectrum disorder is a common neurodevelopmental disorder with core deficits in social communication, interaction, and restrictive/repetitive behavior. Early intervention provides opportunity for good functional outcome. The study aimed to screen children attending well baby clinic for risk of autism using modified checklist for autism in toddlers (MCHAT) questionnaire.

Methods: This descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted on 302 children attending the pediatric well baby clinic. The children aged 16-30 months who met the inclusion criteria were screened for risk of autism using MCHAT.

Results: 20 out of 302 children failed the MCHAT screening, 6.6% of the children were found to be at risk of autism. Boys: girls’ ratio was 2:1. Advanced parental age and higher socioeconomic status were found to have significant association with the risk of autism. 70% of children in the at-risk group were first born, 70% of children who failed the MCHAT screen were from a nuclear family.

Conclusions: All toddlers attending the well-baby clinic should be screened for autism by pediatricians. MCHAT is a simple easy to use validated tool to screen for autism in a busy pediatric OPD. Timely referral for comprehensive assessment and intervention can help to improve the outcome in children with autism.




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Published

2024-01-11

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Original Research Articles