What is the MCHAT used for?

mchat speech therapy wildflower therapy Jul 07, 2023

The Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (M-CHAT) is a screening tool that our clinic utilizes if your child is between the ages of 16 and 30 months. It helps guide us as therapist on the risks of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in children who are communicating with delays. The speech language pathologist will ask you as the parent a series of questions. Each question is scored either 0 or 1. A score of 0 tells us the behavior is not a concern in the parents eyes while a score of a 1 shares there might be a potential issue. The total score is calculated by adding all of the scores of a 1. 

The child is then placed into risk categories for Autism Spectrum Disorder, this is not a diagnosis of Autism. A score of 0-2 is Low Risk, 3-7 is Medium Risk and 8-20 is High Risk. Each level of risk guides us as therapist for appropriate referrals in the medical community for further assessments and support for you and your child. 

At our clinic, Wildflower Therapy in Gainesville, Florida. We will use this tool at the time of evaluation or if during treatment sessions we feel there are some behaviors we begin to observe that we did not initially. Every child is different and a unique individual. Our goal is to communicate in their world. If your child scores a Medium Risk on the MCHAT we will often take the following steps:

1. Share with you what is the MCHAT and what the score means. 

2. Make a phone call to the child's primary care physician to share these findings. We make leave a message with the nurse so during your child's next follow up visit you can communicate with your provider. 

3. Set treatment goals and ensure progress is being made. 

4. Educate you on at home exercises and "homework" you can complete to connect with your child and foster communication in his or her language. 

Please don't ever hesitate to ask one of our speech language pathologist to sit down and share with you our findings. Our parents have access to all of our thoughts and their child's progress via our online portal and daily notes. We thank you for trusting us in your child's development!. 

Lauren Meffen 
Speech Language Pathologist

Florida License SA#9770

4001 W Newberry Road, Suite D1, Gainesville, FL 32607 




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