Objectives: The purpose of this study was to examine the sensitivity of screening toddlers with possible ASD using M-CHAT at 18 months by following up the same group of toddlers at 36 months at a regional health care center in Japan.
Methods: This study was a part of an entire cohort study of in a suburban city in Japan. All the 18-months toddlers (N=360) who resided in the city from October 2010 till February 2011 were screened for ASD using the Japanese Version of the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (M-CHAT) at the mandatory checkup. The same group of toddlers (N=385) came back for the 36-months mandatory checkup from April till August 2012 and were screened using the Pervasive Developmental Disorders Autism Society Japan Rating Scale (PARS: Tani et al., 2009, 2010) for ASD.
Results: Among toddlers who were identified positive for ASD at 18-months, approximately seven percent of them were negative for ASD at 36-months (i.e., false positives), whereas less toddlers were positive for ASD at 36-months for the first time (i.e., false negatives). The authors will add more data at the time of the presentation and present other findings based on the M-CHAT score as well.
Conclusions: In Japan, not many areas introduced the screening of mild disabilities at the mandatory health checkup; therefore, there are not many literatures available that followed up toddlers at risk of ASD longitudinally. The findings may encourage more areas to introduce screeners such as M-CHAT at the mandatory health checkup to intervene toddlers at risk as early as possible.