Doctors twice as likely to miss girls as boys on autism screen
Pediatricians are failing to identify 80 percent of toddlers who need an evaluation for autism, and are missing nearly twice as many girls as boys. The unpublished results were presented Friday at the 2017 International Meeting for Autism Research in San Francisco, California.
The results are based on the screening of 3,171 toddlers, about half of them girls, using the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (M-CHAT) screening tool.
Parents filled out the M-CHAT in 2014 and 2015 after bringing their toddlers to Children’s Mercy Kansas City hospital for well-child visits. Using the completed questionnaires, doctors deemed only 92 of the children as needing an evaluation for autism. But after rescoring these forms, the researchers found that 467 children met the criteria.