Autism (Autism Spectrum Disorder), refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication.
Many people with autism also have sensory issues, which can include aversions to certain sights, sounds and other sensations.
Autism’s hallmark signs usually appear by age 2 to 3. Often, it can be diagnosed as early as 18 months. Some associated development delays can appear even earlier.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all children be screened for autism at their 18 and 24-month well-child checkup.
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The Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (M-CHAT) is a validated developmental screening tool for toddlers between 16 and 30 months of age. It is designed to identify children who may benefit from a more thorough developmental and autism evaluation.