The Impact of Emotional Intelligence among Children with Disabilities and the Role of Professional Educators and Caregivers: A Literature Review


  • Peri Munday
  • Christan Horton


Throughout the process of child development, emotions evidence a vital role. This conceptual analysis focuses on the significant position of emotional intelligence and children with disabilities and other special needs. Emotional Intelligence (EI) is a concept that describes the ability to recognize personal emotions and how emotions trigger behaviors. Many educational settings, including kindergarten through 8th grade and post-secondary institutions, and health care facilities remain as the forerunners of 1) providing age-appropriate learning, highlighting child development, 2) training the next generation of professionals to work with individuals with disabilities, and 3) promoting continuity of care in facilities tailored to guide and promote effective growth and development for persons with disabilities. Many post-secondary academic programs involve foundational EI techniques that focus on quality-based service delivery and preparing graduates for practice in diverse settings. In addition, an increasing number of graduates advance into alternative therapies such as physical or occupational therapy, speech therapy, and respiratory therapy to implement their acquired skillset to further support persons with disabilities. This premise assumes that a degree from a program that places emphasis on the foundations of EI instills graduates with an increased capacity for empathic relationships, a broad spectrum of understanding mental connections to physical conditions, and an insightful understanding of the world and how significant issues may be affecting individuals through an EI lens.