Peggy HallidayPeggy Halliday is a board certified associate behavior analyst who has specialized in autism education for the past ten years. She is the Director of Outreach Services at the Virginia Institute of Autism (VIA) in Charlottesville, VA. VIA is a non-profit organization which provides a day school and other resources for families, educators, and other professionals seeking services, training or information about autism and evidence-based interventions. The Institute operates a year-round school for students ages 2-22, a 700-volume library, training workshops, internships for undergraduate and graduate students and teachers, and customized trainings for schools. Peggy supervises a wide range of outreach services, including development and supervision of comprehensive, home-based early intervention programs incorporating naturalistic, incidental, and structured teaching using the principles of applied behavior analysis; training for parents and home instructors; skills assessments, functional behavior assessments and intervention plans, and consultation on Individual Education Plan goals. She has presented trainings and workshops at state and national conferences.
Host: Are there any checklists parents can fill out on their own?
Peggy Halliday: There are checklists that parents can use and some of them can be downloaded for free from the internet. There is one called the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers or the M-CHAT that was developed by the Psychology Department at the University of the Connecticut and has a lot of good research behind it to show that is a promising tool for screening children with autism.
It's designed to be used with children between the ages of 16 and 23 months of age and it asks 23 questions and parents can respond to this, in just a few minutes and has some good information about whether their child is at risk. Then they can take that checklist if their child does come out at risk and they can take that to their doctor and begin the steps of getting a more fairer evaluation.