Questions That Reveal Signs Of Autism, Based On The M-CHAT Test

The M-CHAT-R checklist for Autism in Toddlers is a battery of screening questions used to assess possible risks for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This screening tool is designed for children as young as 6 months all the way up to 6 years old. It can be completed as a part of a well-child care visit as well as online. After completing the 25 questions in the screening, the M-CHAT-R is able to tell you if you should seek out professional assistance for a more thorough assessment for your child.

According to the Autism Speaks and M-Chat websites, it is recommended that all children receive autism-specific screenings at 18 and 24 months of age. If an assessment is recommended, they may involve a physical and cognitive exam and a hearing and speech assessment. You may also consider looking into genetic testing which could be completed by a medical geneticist, clinical psychologist, a developmental pediatrician, a pediatric psychiatrist or a pediatric neurologist.

When looking at the scoring, there are options of low-risk, medium-risk and high-risk. Low-risk is a total score of 0-2 and mentions if a child is younger than 24 months then they should wait until their next birthday to be tested again and no further action is required. Medium-risk is a total score of 3-7 and if your total is in this range then it is recommended that the second stage of the M-CHAT-R/F is administered. If the M-CHAT-R/F remains at 2 or higher after the follow-up test then further action is required, and if the score is 0-1 after the follow-up test is administered then no further action is required. High-risk is a total score of 8-20 and action is recommended immediately for a diagnostic evaluation. Below is a list of all of the questions included in the M-CHAT-R for your reference.

This resource does the serve the purpose for at-home evaluations of ASD. Only a professional, such as your child’s pediatrician, can effectively evaluate your child. The questions believe helps parents to understand the type of information a specialist will inquire about and behaviors to look for at home.


The Following Questions Are From The M-CHAT-R:

  1. If you point at something across the room, does your child look at it?
    (For Example, if you point at a toy or an animal, does your child look at the toy or animal?)
    YES OR NO
  2. Have you ever wondered if your child might be deaf?
    YES OR NO
  3. Does your child play pretend or make-believe?
    (For Example, pretend to drink from an empty cup, pretend to talk on a phone, or pretend to feed a doll or stuffed animal?)
    YES OR NO
  4. Does your child like climbing on things?
    (For Example, furniture, playground equipment, or stairs)
    YES OR NO
  5. Does your child like climbing on things?
    (For Example, furniture, playground equipment, or stairs)
    YES OR NO
  6. Does your child point with one finger to ask for something or to get help?
    (For Example, pointing to a snack or toy that is out of reach)
    YES OR NO
  7. Does your child point with one finger to show you something interesting?
    (For Example, pointing to an airplane in the sky or a big truck in the road)
    YES OR NO
  8. Is your child interested in other children?
    (For Example, does your child watch other children, smile at them, or go to them?)
    YES OR NO
  9. Does your child show you things by bringing them to you or holding them up for you to see — not to get help, but just to share?
    (For Example, showing you a flower, a stuffed animal, or a toy truck)
    YES OR NO
  10. Does your child respond when you call his or her name?
    (For Example, does he or she look up, talk or babble, or stop what he or she is doing when you call his or her name?)
    YES OR NO
  11. When you smile at your child, does he or she smile back at you?
    YES OR NO
  12. Does your child get upset by everyday noises?
    (For Example, does your child scream or cry to noise such as a vacuum cleaner or loud music?)
    YES OR NO
  13. Does your child walk?
    YES OR NO
  14. Does your child look you in the eye when you are talking to him or her, playing with him or her, or dressing him or her?
    YES OR NO
  15. Does your child try to copy what you do?
    (For Example, wave bye-bye, clap, or make a funny noise when you do)
    YES OR NO
  16. If you turn your head to look at something, does your child look around to see what you are looking at?
    YES OR NO
  17. Does your child try to get you to watch him or her?
    (For Example, does your child look at you for praise, or say “look” or “watch me”?)
    YES OR NO
  18. Does your child understand when you tell him or her to do something?
    (For Example, if you don’t point, can your child understand “put the book on the chair” or “bring me the blanket”?)
    YES OR NO
  19. If something new happens, does your child look at your face to see how you feel about it?
    (For Example, if he or she hears a strange or funny noise, or sees a new toy, will he or she look at your face?)
    YES OR NO
  20. Does your child like movement activities?
    (For Example, being swung or bounced on your knee)
    YES OR NO

For local resources in your area, please feel free to visit Autism Treatment Network clinics and state-by-state Resource Guide. The M-CHAT-R screening questions can be found at www.mchatscreen.com. This questionnaire is designed to screen for autism, not other developmental issues. If you have concerns about any area of your child’s development or behavior, please discuss these concerns with your child’s doctor.

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