Summary of the Systematic Review

Article Citation

Toddler Screening for Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Meta-Analysis of Diagnostic Accuracy

Sánchez-García, A. B., Galindo-Villardón, P., et al. (2019).
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 49(5), 1837-1852.
Go to Article

Sponsoring Body

Ministry of Education, Spain; Fulbright Commission Spain

Article Quality Ratings

Read about Our Rating Process

Indicators of Review Quality

  • Yes The review states a clearly focused question/aim.
  • Yes Criteria for inclusion of studies are provided.
  • Yes Search strategy described in sufficient detail for replication.
  • Yes Included studies are assessed for study quality.
  • No Quality assessments are reproducible.
  • Yes Characteristics of the included studies are provided.

Quality Rating Notes

Study Quality: Only aggregate results were provided.

Article Details


This is a meta-analysis of diagnostic studies investigating Level 1 screening tools for autism spectrum disorder in toddlers.

Questions/Aims Addressed

The following objectives were addressed:
  1. evaluate the accuracy of different tools to screen for autism spectrum disorder in toddlers; and
  2. calculate the pooled psychometric properties of the different tools to evaluate the tools' effectiveness.


Toddlers, aged 14 months to 36 months


Level 1 screening tools

Number of Studies Included


Years Included

January 1992 to April 2015

Conclusions from This Systematic Review

What are Conclusions?

Go to Map


Results of the meta-analysis demonstrated that level 1 screening tools for autism spectrum disorder (ASD), had a pooled sensitivity of 0.72 (95% CI 0.61–0.81) and pooled specificity of 0.98 (95% CI 0.97–0.99). These results indicated that level 1 ASD screening tools, such as the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (M-CHAT), Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (CHAT), and Screening Tool for Autism in Toddlers and Young Children (STAT), were accurate at detecting the presence of ASD (sensitivity) and highly accurate at detecting a lack of presence of ASD (specificity). 

Keywords: Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (CHAT), Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (M-CHAT), Screening Test for ASD in Toddlers (STAT)

Our Partners