Implementation of Web-Based Autism Screening in an Urban Clinic

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Screening toddlers for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) with the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers, Revised (M-CHAT-R) has been shown to lower age of diagnosis by 2 years. In order to streamline ASD screening, research is exploring the use of web-based screening during well-child checkups. The current study examined implementation of the web-based M-CHAT-R in an urban pediatric clinic in Atlanta, Georgia. Toddlers (N = 2557; 87% African American) were screened during well-child visits (Mage = 22.43 months, SD = 3.65). Using the web-based version resulted in a 58.5% increase in the number of cases screened per month. A similar proportion of toddlers in each modality screened positive (P = .43), but significantly fewer children were missing “Follow-up” in the web-based administration (P < .001). These results suggest that it is feasible to implement web-based screening in underserved populations. Future research is necessary to understand factors that facilitate successful implementation of web-based ASD screening.

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