Zones of Regulation is a concept designed by Leah Kuypers, licensed occupational therapist, to help a student gain skills in the area of self-regulation.
Self-regulation can go by many names, such as self-control, self-management, and impulse control. It is defined as the best state of alertness of both the body and emotions for the specific situation. For example, when a pupil plays on the playground or in a competitive game, it is beneficial to have a higher state of alertness. However, that same state would not be appropriate in the library or in the classroom when working.
The Zones help the pupils recognise their emotions and feelings and learn how to use strategies to regulate them. In addition to addressing self-regulation, the students have an increased vocabulary of emotional terms, skills in reading other people’s facial expressions, perspective about how others see and react to their behaviour, insight into events that trigger their behaviour, calming and alerting strategies, and problem solving skills.
Here is an example:
We work with pupils individually to develop their own Zones by identifying their ‘triggers’ and strategies to help recognise and regulate their emotions using a range of activities and calming techniques that work for them.
We also share this information with parents individually and through group presentations as part of our planned parent information evenings.