Evidence-based assessment/Instruments/Checklist for Autism in toddlers
The Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (CHAT) is a psychological questionnaire designed to evaluate risk for autism spectrum disorder in children ages 18–24 months. The 14-question test is filled out by the parent and a pediatrician or physician and takes approximately 5 minutes to complete.
Scoring and interpretation
The first 9 questions (part A) of the CHAT identify common play habits and behaviors for infants between ages 18–24 months, and the last five questions (part B) concern the child’s behavior and reaction to certain stimuli initiated by the physician. In parts A and B, the parent and physician, respectively, indicate whether or not the child displays these behavioral characteristics.
5 of the 14 questions on the CHAT are key items that factor into risk classification. The 5 key items are as follows:
- A5- Pretend play
- A7- Protodeclaractive pointing
- B2- Following a point
- B3- Pretending
- B4- Producing a point 
Questions from The Checklist for Autism in Toddlers ( CHAT ) are assessed using a scoring mechanism of key items that splits results into three groups based on risk:
- High Risk: A choice response of “no” for the key items of “pretend play” ( A5), “protodeclarative pointing” ( A7), “following a point” (B2), “pretending” ( B3), and “producing a point” ( B4), classifies the individual as being in the high risk autism group. Individuals who fall into this group should refer to a developmental clinic to discern an official diagnosis.
- Medium Risk: A choice response of “no” for the key items of “protodeclarative pointing” ( A7), and “producing a point” ( B4) classifies the individual as being in the medium risk autism group. Individuals who fall into this group should be retested a month later or refer to a developmental clinic.
- Low Risk: Children who do not fall in either medium or high risk groups are classified as low risk for autism, but should still be retested a month later for reliability.
- Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology
- EffectiveChildTherapy.Org information on autism spectrum disorder
- "CHAT (CHecklist for Autism in Toddlers): Autism Screening at 18–24 months of age" (PDF). Checklist for Autism in Toddlers. Retrieved 23 October 2015.
- "CHAT - Checklist for Autism in Toddlers". www.paains.org.uk. Retrieved 2015-10-27.