Why Is This Case Important?

A boy playing with blocks

Early identification of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other developmental disorders often allows access to interventions, which may lead to improved outcomes. Formal screening of every child for ASD during pediatric visits has been recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) at 18 and 24 months. This case highlights important issues surrounding screening for ASD.

In this video, parents describe the preliminary screening results of their son via the M-CHAT and subsequent autism diagnosis. They discuss difficulties interpreting due to their son’s positive performance in all areas except language. The film was made before the M-CHAT Revised with Follow-Up (M-CHAT-R/F) was available.


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A little girl in a red shirt

Key Learning Objectives

  1. Perform autism-specific screening as recommended by the AAP
    • Review the AAP guidelines on ASD screening
    • Discuss the importance of ASD screening as part of developmental surveillance
    • Choose an appropriate screening tool
    • Administer and score a screening tool correctly
  2. Develop an appropriate management plan based on autism screening results
    • Interpret screening results correctly
    • Explain the results of screening to parents
    • Formulate an appropriate plan of care based on screening results

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