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J Pediatr. 2009 Apr;154(4):535-540.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2008.10.011. Epub 2009 Jan 29.

Positive screening on the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (M-CHAT) in extremely low gestational age newborns.

Author information

  • 1Division of Pediatric Neurology, Department of Pediatrics, Boston Medical Center, Boston University, Boston, MA 02118, USA. karl.kuban@bmc.org

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To test the hypothesis that children born preterm are more likely to screen positive on the M-CHAT for an autism spectrum disorder.

STUDY DESIGN:

We compared the M-CHAT positive rate of those with cerebral palsy, cognitive impairment, and vision and hearing impairments to those without such deficits.

RESULTS:

Relative to children who could walk, the odds for screening positive on the M-CHAT were increased 23-fold for those unable to sit or stand independently and more than 7-fold for those requiring assistance to walk. Compared with children without a diagnosis of cerebral palsy, those with quadriparesis were 13 times more likely to screen positive, and those with hemiparesis were 4 times more likely to screen positive. Children with major vision or hearing impairments were 8 times more likely to screen positive than those without such impairments. Relative to those with a Mental Development Index (MDI) of >70, the odds for screening positive were increased 13-fold for those with an MDI of <55 and more than 4-fold for those with an MDI of 55 to 69.

CONCLUSIONS:

Major motor, cognitive, visual, and hearing impairments appear to account for more than half of the positive M-CHAT screens in extremely low gestational age newborns. Even after those with such impairments were eliminated, 10% of children--nearly double the expected rate--screened positive.

Comment in

PMID:
19185317
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2693887
Free PMC Article

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