Early detection of autism: comparison of two screening tools

Sachin Darne


Background: The aim of the study was comparison of a newly developed test called Trivandrum Autism Behavioural Checklist (TABC) with gold standard test; Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (CHAT).  

Methods: The study was done on 200 children over a period of three months between age group of 24 to 36 months.  All the children were briefly evaluated for history and then the two tests were administered by two doctors.

Results: It was found that out of total 200 children only 3 children were suspected to have autism by the CHAT test and they failed in the scores by having more number of “no” answers.  It was also observed that the same 3 children were also detected to have autism by the TABC scores in which one girl was suspected to have severe autism while two boys seemed to have mild to moderate autism. The prevalence of autism as per this study was seen to be around 1.5%.

Conclusions: Thus it can be inferred from this study that TABC test is an equally good option for screening children for autism.



CHAT test, TABC test, Autism

Full Text:



Raina SK, Kashyap V, Bhardwaj AK, Kumar D, Chander V. Prevalence of autism spectrum disorders among children (1-10 years of age) - Findings of a mid-term report from Northwest India. J Postgrad Med. 2015;61:243-6.

Kopetz PB, Endowed ED. Autism worldwide: Prevalence, perceptions, acceptance, action. J Soc Sci. 2012;8:196-201.

Newschaffer CJ, Croen LA, Daniels J, Giarelli E, Grether JK, Levy SE et al. The epidemiology of autism spectrum disorders. Annu Rev Public Health. 2007;28:235-58.

Brasic JR, Holland JA. Reliable classification of case-control studies of autistic disorder and obstetric complications. J Developm Physical Disabilities. 2006;18:355-81.

Brasic JR, Holland JA. A qualitative and quantitative review of obstetric complications and autistic disorder. J Developmental Physical Disabilities. 2007;19:337-64.

Brasic JR, Holland JA, Alexander M. The increased likelihood of obstetric complications in autistic disorder. Southern Med J. 2003;96(10 supplement):S34.

Fatemi SH, Earle J, Kanodia R, Kist D, Emamian ES, Patterson PH et al. Prenatal viral infection leads to pyramidal cell atrophy and macrocephaly in adulthood: implications for genesis of autism and schizophrenia. Cell Mol Neurobiol. 2002;22(1):25-33.

Christensen J, Grønborg TK, Sørensen MJ, Schendel D, Parner ET, Pedersen LH, Vestergaard M. Prenatal valproate exposure and risk of autism spectrum disorders and childhood autism. JAMA. 2013;309(16):1696-703.

Strömland K, Nordin V, Miller M, Akerström B, Gillberg C. Autism in thalidomide embryopathy: a population study. Dev Med Child Neurol. 1994;36(4):351-6.

Durkin MS, Maenner MJ, Newschaffer CJ, Lee LC, Cunniff CM, Daniels JL, Kirby RS, Leavitt L, Miller L, Zahorodny W, Schieve LA. Advanced parental age and the risk of autism spectrum disorder. Am J Epidemiol. 2008;168(11):1268-76.

Freitag CM. The genetics of autistic disorders and its clinical relevance: a review of the literature. Mol Psychiatry. 2007;12(1):2-22.