Healthcare professionals use the guidelines in The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Fifth edition (DSM-5) to help diagnose mental health disorders in adults and children.
Early Childhood Mental Health professionals use the guidelines in Diagnostic Classification of Mental Health and Developmental Disorder of Infancy and Early Childhood (DC:0-5) during the diagnosis process in young children from newborn to 5 years old and 11 months.
Children with emotional and behavioral difficulties can have other health or developmental conditions at the same time. Sometimes the difficulties from having a chronic health condition or disability increase the risk for developing mental health problems. Careful diagnosis to guide treatment is important.
Other conditions and concerns that affect children’s learning, behavior, and emotions include learning and developmental disabilities, autism, and risk factors like substance use and self-harm.