Recommended Tools*

The use of widely used, well-validated developmental screening tools are recommended for primary care, such as the ASQ-3 and PEDS for general developmental screening and the M-CHAT for autism specific screening. 15

These tools were chosen for their relatively high sensitivity/specificity for identifying children with developmental delays, and their relatively low cost and ease of use and scoring.

These tools are parent-report questionnaires. Research has shown parents to be reliable reporters of their child’s development. This format is ideal for use in busy pediatric settings. 16

For a more comprehensive list of validated tools, please see the AAP Screening Tools.

Developmental Screening Tools Autism Tool
Ages and Stages – 3rd  Edition  (ASQ-3) Parents’ Evaluation of Developmental Status (PEDS) Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers, Revised


Cost $275 per language, unlimited download $132 for first 50 then $0.39 each Free
Number of Questions 30 (6 each area) 10 20
Parent Completion Time 10-20 minutes 5 minutes 2-5 minutes
Provider Score &

Interpret Time

1-5 minutes 2 minutes 5-10 minutes
Sensitivity 86% 91 – 97% 87%
Specificity 85% 73 – 86% 99%
Age Range 2 months – 5 years 0-8 years 16-30 months
Year of validation 2002-2009 1997 Revised 2009
Variety of survey forms 21 age-based forms Single form, all ages Single form all ages
Languages English, Spanish, French, Somali, & Hmong English, Spanish, & Vietnamese

Others with license

English, Spanish, Chinese, & Korean

Others with license

Web site


Note: Screening that indicates a concern is not diagnostic. For example, failure on the M-CHAT screening does not indicate the presence of autism. Atypical screening results require referral for further assessment.



*Content and format adapted from Help Me Grow Ventura County/First 5 Ventura County.