The Early Development of Emotional Competence Profile: A Means to Share Information About Emotional Status and Expression by Children With Complex Communication Needs

Am J Speech Lang Pathol. 2021 Mar 26;30(2):551-565. doi: 10.1044/2020_AJSLP-20-00209. Epub 2021 Mar 24.


Purpose This clinical focus article introduces a summary profile template, called the Early Development of Emotional Competence Profile (EDEC-P). This profile distills information from a longer interview tool that solicits a detailed case history (the EDEC), but in a format that is readily accessible for communication partners of children with complex communication needs, including parents, educators, and other professionals. Method In this clinical focus article, we will (a) introduce the EDEC-P structure, (b) illustrate via case examples the types of information that can be shared, and (c) offer preliminary feedback from parents and other professionals on its usefulness. We will review literature that supports the importance of scaffolding communication about emotions by specialists who work with children with complex communication needs and by parents and other communication partners. Results An EDEC-P was generated for two participants as an illustration of the process. Feedback was solicited from these children's parents and other communication partners. The feedback demonstrated that the EDEC-P was viewed as a positive tool and identified some of the ways that it might be used. Conclusions The EDEC-P may be useful for professionals who are interested in approaching communication about emotions in children with complex communication needs. Guidelines are proposed to present and discuss the results from the interview to support the decision-making process in the clinical practice and next steps in research. Supplemental Material

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Communication*
  • Emotions
  • Humans
  • Parents*