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Toddlers at risk for autism in a semi-urban community of North India: A cross-sectional study


1 Department of Psychiatric Nursing, College of Nursing, Pt. B. D. Sharma University of Health Sciences, Rohtak, Haryana, India
2 Department of Pediatrics, College of Nursing, Pt. B. D. Sharma University of Health Sciences, Rohtak, Haryana, India

Correspondence Address:
Jaison Joseph,
College of Nursing, Pt. B. D. Sharma University of Health Sciences, Rohtak - 124 001, Haryana
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/mjdrdypu.mjdrdypu_193_20

Background: The symptoms of autism manifest at an early age in children and are likely to results in lifelong disability. Early identification and institution of early intervention remain the mainstay in the management of autism. However, related community surveillance studies are limited in the literature. Methods: The present study was designed to assess the prevalence of “at risk for autism” among children aged 18–36 months in a semi-urban community of Rohtak, Haryana, India. This cross-sectional study was conducted among 548 children. The eligible children were screened using the Hindi version of the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers-Revised (M-CHAT-R). Results: The prevalence of at-risk symptoms of autism was 0.55% and 6.57% as per M-CHAT-R score of >7 and >3–7, respectively. Most of the cases in the moderate-risk category were having M-CHAT-R score of 3–5 (n = 32, 82%). Conclusion: The study provides preliminary data on the prevalence of caregiver-reported autism using the Hindi version of M-CHAT-R in a semi-urban community of North India. The Hindi version of M-CHAT-R could be a viable community surveillance tool for identifying toddlers at risk for autism in this setting.


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