Autism screening accuracy varies widely across languages
Translating the English-language version of the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers, Revised (M-CHAT-R) into other languages without accounting for cultural differences leads to inflated autism screen-positive rates.
A bar chart showing the screen-positive rates for autism for various M-CHAT-R translations. Each MCHAT-R version, which includes Turkish, Korean, Indonesian, Arabic, Spanish, Mandarin and Albanian, led to wildly different screen-positive rates. The problem is worse when the survey does not account for cultural differences unique to each place.
Data are based on multiple studies that tested forward-back translations of the English M-CHAT-R in various countries, including Turkey, South Korea, Indonesia and Egypt.