Kit - includes Manual, Record Booklets (10), Milestone Sheets
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Scale of Emotional Development - Short (SED-S)

Tanja Sappok, Sabine Zepperitz, Filip Morisse, Brian Fergus Barrett, Anton Došen

Downloads (PDF)

Paper and Pencil
Paper and Pencil
Kit - includes Manual, Record Booklets (10), Milestone Sheets
product number: 5582001
Excluding VAT
product number: 5582002
Excluding VAT
Record Books (10)
product number: 5582003
Excluding VAT
Complete SED-S kit plus a copy of Meeting Emotional Needs in Intellectual Disability book
product number: 5582006
Excluding VAT
Kit - includes Manual, Record Booklets (10), Milestone Sheets


The Scale of Emotional Development – Short (SED-S) is an instrument for the assessment of Emotional Development (ED) in individuals with an Intellectual Disability (ID).

Download the SED-S flyer here.

Suitable for

The SED-S should be administered by a professional in with expert knowledge in the field of developmental psychology. For example, psychologists, psychiatrists, special needs teachers, occupational therapists, and other health professionals.

It is suited to professionals working in support services and care or clinical settings to help them determine and plan appropriate therapeutic interventions for individuals with ID.

Language Versions

English and German

Product Description

The SED-S can help gain a better understanding of how challenging behaviours and psychiatric disorders relate to different emotional needs and adaptive capabilities at various levels of ED.

It offers professional teams a reference framework that facilitates diagnostic evaluation and enables them to better attune settings and interactions to the specific needs of individuals with an ID.

How it works:

The level of emotional development is assessed with a semi-structured, questionnaire-based interview, based on behaviours observed over the last two, six or twelve weeks and conducted by at least two informants who know the respective person well and can provide first-hand information on the behaviours individuals characteristically display in various areas of life.

The questionnaire contains 200 items describing different kinds of behaviour in eight domains of development, with five items that can be answered with “yes” or “no” for each of the five ED levels.

The SED-S allows results to be compared with other experts in the field. The scale’s results may be supportive in the case of suspected autism spectrum disorders, as an algorithm provides additional information for or against the diagnosis.

Why use SED-S?

The SED-S can provide better insight into specific needs of the individual with ID, who may not be able to communicate this verbally. Helping to understand their behaviour can enable caregivers, family members doctors and therapists to plan tailored measures to best suit their emotional needs and ultimately improve well-being.

Other advantages of the SED-S compared to other measures, is that it extends the assessment of emotional development to age 12, whereas other measures typically focus on the early years.

The authors of the SED-S take the view that using this assessment can contribute to improving psychiatric care and the mental health of individuals with intellectual development disorders. The SED-S is the result of in-depth research. Discover more from their book Meeting Emotional Needs in Intellectual Disability – The Developmental Approach (edited by Sappok, Zepperitz Hudson, 2021)

Included in the kit:

Materials in the kit come in a card wallet and include:

A Manual which includes the background to the development of the SED-S, its psychometric properties, and a selection of case studies to demonstrate the applicability of SED-S in health and social care.

10 Record forms for the Assessment of Emotional Development Level including the Basic Data, Questionnaire and Profile sheet.

A Milestones of Emotional Development information sheet.

What does the SED-S measure?

The SED-S includes a total of 200 items in all, i.e., five binary items for each of the five ED levels in each of the following eight domains:

1. Relating to His/Her Own Body

2. Relating to Significant Others

3. Dealing with Change – Object Permanence

4. Differentiating Emotions

5. Relating to Peers

6. Engaging with the Material World

7. Communicating with Others

8. Regulating Affect


Inter-rater reliability = 1.0. Internal consistency = .99 in typically developing children, .94 in 118 children with ID, and .92 in 83 adults with ID without mental health problems.

Test Validity

An exploratory factor analysis provided a one-factor model with a good model fit. Divergent validity was found for chronological age in children with ID and in healthy adults with ID. Convergent validity with the Vineland Adaptive Behaviour Scale (r = .642). Strong negative associations with adults with ID and mental health problems (r = –.654) and in adults with ID without mental health problems (r = –.753), in 118 children with ID (G = –.69).


The questionnaire can be completed in approximately 30 to 60 minutes.
The ED level is determined based on behaviours which informants consider typical for the individual within each domain.
The scoring algorithm is simple and easy to handle with paper/pencil version.
Scoring takes around 5 to 10 minutes.


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