Mothers may be among the best diagnosticians of developmental and behavioral problems in young children. If not for the positive predictive power of the mother’s diagnostic ability, few kids would make it to the child and adolescent psychiatrist (‘help-seeking’) unless they really got into trouble. Mothers can sense that there is something wrong associated with a burden (‘impairment’) despite their being naı¨ve in the sense of medical diagnostic algorithms, while we, as doctors, with a more reflective and systematicanalytic approach, need to focus on what number, duration and composition of symptoms would lead to a diagnosis (‘DSM, ICD’).

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