DC: 0-3 offers a comprehensive, multi-axial framework for diagnosing emotional and developmental problems in the first three years of life. (Introduces the diagnostic category of Multisystem Developmental Disorder.)
For children who suffer from early and severe persistent disturbances such as those seen in MDI, their illness derails the processes that underlie socialization and the emergence of personal autonomy resulting in severe social disability.
The literature supports the creation of a new diagnostic label to describe a population of children whose symptoms are currently subsumed under the labels borderline or multiple complex developmental disorder.
The main difference between MSDD and PDD (pervasive developmental disorder) is that MSDD is assumed to be a secondary impairment, linked to difficulties with sensory integration.
MSDD is one of the newer terms to describe a group of children with communication, social, and sensory processing problems who do not fit into other categories such as autism.
Although MSDD is similar to other disorders of communicating and relating such as autism and pervasive developmental disorder, the difficulty in relating may be due to motor and sensory processing difficulties in contrast with ASD.
The present article comments on the format and use of the diagnostic classification recently developed by Zero to Three/National Center for Clinical Infant Programs (1994).
The impaired responses to psychosocial stress found in MCDD children may be the result of their limited abilities to react adequately to their (social) environment.