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Tuesday, 23 July 2013 16:00

National Trust

Web Based Intervention Resource Centre

Screening instruments available free on the net


Autism (and its broader category Autism Spectrum Disorders) is a disability manifesting in early childhood. It is a disorder of the brain due to which the affected person’s ability to communicate, interact socially, and play reciprocally  with others, are affected. All over the world more and more children, especially boys, are being recognized as having autistic features. Autism is part of the category ‘Pervasive Developmental Disorders’.

It is important to recognize the disorder early. If recognized early, then interventions (available at the National Trusts website at http://www.thenationaltrust.co.in) can help the child achieve better functioning.

The National Trust for the Welfare of Persons with Autism and Other Disabilities was established under an Act passed by Parliament of India. The NT has undertaken a pioneering initiative to educate and inform citizens and parents in all parts of India on issues about Autism and ASD.  It is hoped that these initiatives will help parents and health professionals recognize autism and ASD, and seek help for the child as early as possible.

To this end, free instruments which were developed for professionals but are available free online, are being listed below so that parents/health care professionals can understand the different features of autism, and recognize children showing features of these disorders. These children should then be referred to an expert at the earliest. Early intervention can help the child and his family lead a better life. Some questionnaires and websites to help people recognize features characteristic of autism are listed below.

The first is the Indian Scale for Assessment of Autism (ISAA) which was developed to help professionals assess the seriousness of autistic features in a given child, and then grade his symptoms to evaluate the degree of disability for issuing a certificate. This Scale was tested on a very large group of children from different parts of India, its reliability and validity has been tested and proven. However in its present form it can be used only by trained professionals. The ISAA is available in several Indian languages. A ‘screening version’ which can be used by everyone is being developed.

Further details as well as the ISAA manual are available click here to see.

Go to ISAA - reports and manual for a pdf download. The Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (M-CHAT) (© 1999 Diana Robins, Deborah Fein, & Marianne Barton) is available online. The English version of M-Chat is available free online with its scoring sheet at  https://www.m-chat.org.  It has been translated into Hindi.

The Communication and Symbolic Behavior Scales Developmental Profile Infant/Toddler Checklist (available free online in English click to download) is part of the Communication and Symbolic Behavior Scales - Developmental Profile (CSBS-DP) developed by Wetherby and Prizant (2001). This subscale evaluates language, communication and behaviours  in children between the ages of 6-24 months. Though the checklist can be filled by the parent the scoring must be done by a professional.

Many Indian scales have been developed for children but are not available online. They have also not been tested all over the country and are not available in other Indian languages. Hence they are not listed here as they need further evaluation and testing on larger samples.

Free online Screening tools for Autism symptoms

Screening Tool / Rating Scale

For Ages (Years)

Who Completes Checklist: Number of Items

Time to Complete (Minutes)

Online address

Indian Scale for Assessment of Autism (ISAA)


Trained professional


Click here

Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (M-CHAT)

16-30 months

Parent: 23


Click here

Autism Research Institute's Form E-2 Checklist


Parent: 109


Click here for pdf and; Click here for online

Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (CHAT)


Parent: 9 Clinician: 5


Click here

Good Intervention Practices in Autism Spectrum Disorders - Guidelines for Parents

Click here for more details

Last Updated on Monday, 09 June 2014 16:37