Developmentally Based Diagnosis Originally published in 1994, ZERO TO THREE’s Diagnostic Classification of Mental Health and Developmental Disorders of Infancy and Early Childhood (DC:0–3) was the first developmentally based system for diagnosing mental health and developmental disorders of infants and toddlers (i.e., 0 to 3).
The revised DC:0–3, published in 2005 (DC:0–3R) drew on empirical research and clinical practice that had occurred worldwide since the 1994 publication and extended the depth and criteria of the original DC:0–3. DC:0–5 captures new findings relevant to diagnosis in young children and addresses unresolved issues in the field since DC:0–3R was published in 2005.
DC:0–5 is designed to help mental health and other professionals:
• recognize mental health and developmental challenges in infants and young children, through 5 years old;
• understand that relationships and psychosocial stressors contribute to mental health and developmental disorders and incorporate contextual factors into the diagnostic process;
• use diagnostic criteria effectively for classification, case formulation, and intervention; and
• facilitate research on mental health disorders in infants and young children.
DC:0–5 enhances the professional’s ability to prevent, diagnose, and treat mental health problems in the earliest years by identifying and describing disorders not addressed in other classification systems and by pointing the way to effective intervention approaches. Individuals across disciplines—mental health clinicians, counselors, physicians, nurses, early interventionists, social workers, and researchers—will find DC:0–5 to be an essential guide to evaluation and treatment planning with infants, young children, and their families in a wide range of settings.
What’s New in DC:0–5™? DC:0–5 includes disorders occurring in children through 5 years old. DC:0–5 extends criteria to younger ages when appropriate, including in some cases the first year of life. DC:0–5 introduces several new disorders including: Relationship Specific Disorder of Infancy/Early Childhood, Disorder of Dysregulated Anger and Aggression of Early Childhood, and Early Atypical Autism Spectrum Disorder. DC:0–5 retains the multi-axial system allowing optimal consideration of context in assessment and diagnosis; most of the axes have been revised substantially.