A Comparison Between Two Screening Approaches for ASD Among Toddlers in Israel
Systematic screening of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can improve early diagnosis of ASD. We compared the efficacy of two ASD screening methods, the Global Developmental Screening (GDS), and the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers-Revised, with Follow-Up (M-CHAT/F) in 1591 toddlers of ages 18–36 months from 35 government-funded clinics in south Israel. The M-CHAT/F performed better than the GDS in detecting toddlers with ASD (sensitivity: 70.0% vs. 50.0%, and specificity: 98.2% vs. 96.6% respectively). Both methods had an equivalent performance in detecting other forms of developmental delays (sensitivity = 63%; and specificity ~ 98%). In addition, remarkable inter-nurse variation was observed in the GDS referral decisions. Thus, employment of the M-CHAT/F in the Israeli health system may improve early detection of ASD among toddlers.
KeywordsAutism spectrum disorder Screening Toddlers M-CHAT
We would like to thank to all the nurses at the maternal child health centers that participated in this study. This research was supported by Grant No. 527/15 from the Israeli Science Foundation (ISF).
OK conceived of the study, participated in its design and coordination, performed the statistical analysis, and drafted the manuscript; EJH helped in the interpretation of the data and drafted the manuscript; GM participated in the design and coordination of the study and made all patient diagnoses; ND conceived of the study and participated in the design and coordination of the study; IM conceived of the study, participated in its design and coordination, oversaw the statistical analysis and draft the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
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