The Zones of Regulation
Information about The Zones of Regulation
The Zones of Regulation curriculum was devised by an OT (Leah Kuypers). It helps pupils to recognise how they are feeling and learn how to communicate this. It also develops an understanding of facial expressions, perspective about how others see and react to behaviours, insight into what triggers their behaviours, calming and alerting strategies and problem solving skills.
It also works on developing a ‘tool kit’ of strategies to help pupils move between zones or get into the expected zone for a certain situation.
Everyone experiences the zones!
There are 4:
Blue - you may feel sad, bored, sick, tired
Green - you may feel happy, content, focused, ready to learn, calm and alert
Yellow - your energy is up, emotions are elevated: frustrated, anxious, silly, wriggly, agitated
Red - Big feelings: elated, ecstatic, angry, enraged, terrified
It is important to recognise that the red and yellow zones are not the ‘bad’ or ‘naughty’ zones. All of the zones are expected in different situations. For example, being in the red zone when in danger or the yellow zone at a theme park.
The zone you are in will vary throughout the day. This is normal.
How to support your child with using the Zones
• Become familiar with the zones yourself and encourage the whole family to use the zones to describe how they are feeling at different times of the day.
• Make comments so that your child understands it is natural that we all experience the different zones and use strategies to control (or regulate) ourselves. For example, “This is really frustrating me and making me go into the Yellow Zone. I need to use a tool to calm down. I will take some deep breaths.”
• Encourage your child to use their toolkit to help manage their zones as soon as they are moving to a less regulated state. Identify for yourself what tools YOU use to support your emotional states and how you manage to get back to a calm state (green).
• Try and build on what helps you and your child stay in the green zone (e.g. regular breaks, healthy food, following a PE schedule, dancing, talking). All activities can be time limited and use a visual timer - on the phone/sandtimer so your child can see how long they have for an activity.
• The zones of regulation supports the SCERTS (Social Communication, Emotional Regulation, Transactional Supports) model that we use at Grange Park School.