Language for Behaviour and Emotions


Developed by Anna Branagan, Melanie Cross and Stephen Parsons

LFBE front coverThis practical, interactive resource is designed to be used by professionals who work with children and young people who have Social, Emotional and Mental Health needs and Speech,Language and Communication needs.

Gaps in language and emotional skills can have a negative impact on behaviour as well as mental health and self- esteem. Language for Behaviour and Emotions provides a systematic approach to developing these skills so that young people can understand and work through social interaction difficulties.

Key features include:

  • A focus on specific skills that are linked to behaviour, such as understanding meaning, verbal reasoning and emotional literacy skills.
  • A framework for assessment, as well as a range of downloadable activities, worksheets and resources for supporting students.
  • Sixty illustrated scenarios that can be used flexibly with a wide range of ages and abilities to promote language skills, emotional skills and self- awareness.

This invaluable resource is suitable for use with young people with a range of abilities in one to one, small group or whole class settings. It is particularly applicable to children and young people who are aiming to develop wider language, social and emotional skills including those with Developmental Language Disorder and Autism Spectrum Disorder.


Melanie Cross is a Speech and Language Therapist who has spent a 25 or so years working with looked after children and those who have social emotional and mental health needs (SEMH).

Right from the beginning she’s wondered why these children and young people (CYP) have the strengths and skills gaps that they experience. She has pondered about what the implications of these issues might be for them and has worked hard to find ways to engage CYP and help them learn the skills they need.

She is the author of ‘Children with Social, Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties and Communication Problems’ (JKP 2011), 2nd edition. She is also an Advisor on child mental health and she was lead author of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists Clinical Guidelines on Social Emotional and Mental Health and their mental health learning journey.  Melanie is also a trainer, supervisor and Video Interaction Guider and Supervisor

View Melanie’s page on LinkedIn