The Functional Emotional Assessment Scale (FEAS)

Profectum Foundation

  • Jun 10
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The Functional Emotional Assessment Scale (FEAS) Greenspan S.I., DeGangi G., Wieder, S (2001).

The FEAS, the functional emotional assessment scale, is a research criterion referenced tool based on the DIR® model, a dynamic systems approach to understanding the development of functional emotional capacities. This profile approach looks at all aspects of emotional development , including constitutional and maturational based challenges with self-regulation, infant and caregiver-interaction, mood, and interactional emotional challenges (anxiety, impulsivity, relational, attachment), ASD, and developmental delays/disorders. The assessment of emotional functioning integrates the individual differences in sensory and motor processing and how they function together to achieve six foundational emotional capacities such as self-regulation, shared and joint attention, engaging in relationships, using emotional signals and gestures for communication, complex problem solving and symbolic thinking and play to express a range of feelings. Each capacity is described in relation to the organization of behavior, sensory motor processing, affective themes, and clinical challenges.

The FEAS research version has established reliability and validity and is based on observing child-caregiver interactions at the six intervals below that assess the child’s functional emotional capacities and the caregiver’s support of the child’s development. It provides a rating scale on a continuum ranging from "never" to "always" or "very low" to "very high", identifying relative areas of strength and weakness, to guide intervention, and monitor progress over time. These are: 7-9 months, 10-12 months, 13-18 months, 19-24 months, 25-35, months and 3-4 years. When used clinically at older ages with children with developmental delays or ASD, the FEAS operationalizes clinical judgements and systematizes clinical thinking to guide intervention.

Citation: Research on the FEAS: Test Development, Reliability, and Validity Studies. in S. Greenspan, G DeGangi, S Wieder (Eds.), The Functional emotional assessment scale (FEAS) for infancy and early childhood. clinical and research applications (pp. 167-247). Interdisciplinary council on developmental and learning disorders (icdl), bethesda, md,

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