Infant-Toddler Checklist (ITC)

The Infant-Toddler Checklist (ITC) is a screening tool designed to evaluate communication skills in young children, particularly those between the ages of 6 and 24 months. Developed as part of the Communication and Symbolic Behavior Scales Developmental Profile (CSBS DP), the ITC serves to identify children who may be at risk for developmental delays in communication, including language, social, and symbolic abilities. The checklist is intended for use by parents, caregivers, and professionals who are in regular contact with the child, providing a user-friendly method for assessing early communication milestones.

The structure of the ITC encompasses questions that cover a broad range of communication skills, including the child’s use of gestures, sounds, words, understanding of language, and use of objects and toys. Each item on the checklist is carefully designed to capture key behaviors that are indicative of a child’s communication abilities. Upon completion, the checklist offers a score that helps in determining whether a child may benefit from further evaluation or intervention services. This scoring system allows for early detection of potential developmental issues, which is paramount for initiating timely and appropriate support or intervention.

Moreover, the ITC is valued for its ease of use and accessibility. It can be completed without the need for specialized training, making it a practical choice for early screening in diverse settings, from pediatric clinics to community centers and homes. The checklist not only serves as a preliminary assessment tool but also raises awareness among parents and caregivers about the developmental milestones related to communication. By facilitating early identification of children who may require additional support, the ITC plays a supportive role in the broader context of early childhood development, aiming to ensure that all children have the opportunity to reach their full potential in communication and related developmental areas.

The Infant Toddler Checklist (ITC) is a designed to be completed by a parent of 6 to 24 month old children, or children of age who exhibit communication delays, including Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

It is designed to identify different aspects of development in infants and toddlers. Many behaviors that develop before children talk may indicate whether or not a child will have difficulty learning to talk. This Checklist should be completed by a caregiver when the child is between 6 and 24 months of age to determine whether a referral for an evaluation is needed. The caregiver may be either a parent or another person who nurtures the child daily. Please check all the choices that best describe your child’s behavior. If you are not sure, please choose the closest response based on your experience. Children at your child’s age are not necessarily expected to use all the behaviors listed.

Emotion and Eye Gaze

  1. Do you know when your child is happy and when your child is upset?
  2. When your child plays with toys, does he/she look at you to see if you are watching?
  3. Does your child smile or laugh while looking at you?
  4. When you look at and point to a toy across the room, does your child look at it?


  1. Does your child let you know that he/she needs help or wants an object out of reach?
  2. When you are not paying attention to your child, does he/she try to get your attention?
  3. Does your child do things just to get you to laugh?
  4. Does your child try to get you to notice interesting objects—just to get you to look at the objects, not to get you to do anything with them?


  1. Does your child pick up objects and give them to you?
  2. Does your child show objects to you without giving you the object?
  3. Does your child wave to greet people?
  4. Does your child point to objects?
  5. Does your child nod his/her head to indicate yes?


  1. Does your child use sounds or words to get attention or help?
  2. Does your child string sounds together, such as uh oh, mama, gaga, bye bye, dada?
  3. About how many of the following consonant sounds does your child use: ma, na, ba, da, ga, wa, la, ya, sa, sha?


  1. About how many different words does your child use meaningfully that you recognize (such as baba for bottle; gaggie for doggie)?
  2. Does your child put two words together (for example, more cookie, bye bye Daddy)?


  1. When you call your child’s name, does he/she respond by looking or turning toward you?
  2. About how many different words or phrases does your child understand without gestures? For example, if you say “where’s your tummy” “where’s Daddy,” “give me the ball,” or “come here,” without showing or pointing, your child will respond appropriately.

Object Use

  1. Does your child show interest in playing with a variety of objects?
  2. About how many of the following objects does your child use appropriately: cup, bottle, bowl, spoon, comb or brush, toothbrush, washcloth, ball, toy vehicle, toy telephone?
  3. About how many blocks (or rings) does your child stack?
  4. Does your child pretend to play with toys (for example, feed a stuffed animal, put a doll to sleep, put an animal figure in a vehicle)?
  1. AM Wetherby, S Brosnan-Maddox, V Peace, L Newton. (). . Autism, 12(5), 487-511.