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Help Improve Self-Regulation Skills With The Zones of Regulation ®

Some days we may feel down in the dumps. Some days we may feel a little bit silly. Some days we may feel angry. Some days we feel just right and content. These emotions are natural to feel throughout life’s processes, however what is important about emotions is knowing how to react to them. Self-regulation is the ability to recognize our emotions and manage our feelings. Some individuals have more difficulty than others learning how to regulate their emotions. The Zones of Regulation® is an excellent tool to use with children when learning how to recognize and manage emotions. The Zones are used to teach children self-regulation by categorizing the ways we feel into four colored zones. This framework was created by a school-based occupational therapist who needed a new way to help a student gain skills in the area of self-regulation.

The four zones each have a coordinating color to represent different emotions.

The blue zone is used to describe low states of alertness and down feelings. For example, an individual is considered to be in the blue zone when they feel sad, tired, disappointed, bored, sick, shy, or just moving slowly. The green zone is used to describe a calm state of alertness. An individual is considered to be in the green zone when they feel happy, proud, ready to learn, content, focused, or calm. The yellow zone is used to describe a heightened state of alertness and elevated emotions. An individual is considered to be in the yellow zone when they feel frustrated, worried, silly, wiggly, excited, or losing some control. Lastly, the red zone is used to describe extremely heightened state of alertness and intense emotion. An individual is considered to be in the red zone when they feel elated, aggressive, mean, angry, terrified, or out of control.

It is important to remember that there are no “bad zones” within this framework. The green zone can be considered the “target zone” but all zones are expected at one time or another.

Once a child understands the concept of the zones, it can become part of their everyday language and incorporated into their daily lives. The zones can be implemented in the home or school setting. In the home, a family can utilize a chart or a reward system for remaining in appropriate zones throughout the day. It is important in the home for the parents or caregivers to really show interest in learning what triggers a child and discuss different tools that can be used to change what zone a child is in (count to ten, take a break, deep breaths, go for a walk, drink some water, draw a picture, listen to music, etc.).

In the school setting, teachers can also utilize a chart for their students to report on which zone they are in through different times of the day. Teachers can also talk about what zones are expected with different activities throughout the school environment. For example, at recess, students can be in the yellow zone but need to be back in the green zone what listening to the teacher. These zones are a simple and fun, yet effective way for children to learn all about their emotions!

-Rachel Guiser, MOT, OTR/L

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Patient Reviews

LLA Therapy

Patient Reviews

Crystal Scheibe

Great place, glad we found them. Been going to Medina over 2 months now and he loves Lauryn and Kyler. Wish they had more ABA therapy places available... live in Wooster and long drive everyday.

Karrie Swan LaRock

My 11 year old son has dyslexia and has made noticeable gains in working At LLA THERAPY. Katie is strong in her approach toward him and also keeps him comfortable enough to perform well. We will continue visiting both the Fairlawn and Hudson offices and recommend them highly.

Ron Monroe

My 9 year old just completed about 9 months of weekly speech sessions (due to his stuttering) with Matt Hagge at LLA and we are thrilled with the experience and results. What I thought might be a negative (what kid really wants to go to speech class?) was made very positive by Matt, and my son never hesitated or complained when we talked about class. He really enjoyed it and really took what Matt taught him to heart. His speech has been greatly improved and we definitely recommend LLA. Thank you so much!

Heather Dougherty-Pantoja

My son’s Occupational Therapist, Jess, is an amazing OT! She gives practical tips on working with my son at home and school!

Terri Apgar

I cannot say enough good things about LLA Therapy. My daughter was a client of Teal Simmons’ for approximately 2 years and was just released from speech therapy! She was diagnosed with Apraxia in 2015 and worked with Teal twice a week. Through Teal’s application of PROMPT therapy, my daughter had age-appropriate speech after one year. All of the staff we interacted with at LLA were absolutely wonderful. They really care about what they do and making sure your child achieves their goals.

Kelli Geisler Davisson

LLA Therapy has been an excellent experience for my son as well as my family! My son always asks, "When can I go see Ms. Jeannine again, is it Monday??" He has also made huge gains in only 5 months! I would highly recommend LLA and have already shared my experience with friends looking for services!

Victoria Hansford-Price

We are so grateful for our Speech Therapist Ms.Teal. We have seen a great improvement with our sons confidence and communication abilities since we have started "Prompt" therapy. What we love the most about LLA and Ms. Teal is that Kohl feels comfortable and relaxed which has played a critical role in his progress. Thank you Ms. Teal for all you have done.

Laura Lee Hogsett

They have helped in numerous ways. Speech, OT and behavioral. I've had numerous compliments on my son's progress thanks in very large part to LLA. I would recommend LLA before I recommend our local children's hospitals, though they are good, they don't have the staff that LLA does.

Amy Furukawa

We had a great experience with Matt Hagge at LLA! Our Middle School age son was becoming very conscious of his voice, which is nasal due to a cleft palate. Matt helped him to better form his sounds and project his voice in a way that makes the unavoidable nasality less noticeable.Our son is more confident and outgoing & even took on a speaking role in the church play. Matt has the perfect personality to relate with our son, and we would recommend him to anyone needing speech therapy services!

Jessica Havalotti

LLA Therapy has been an excellent experience for our daughter. I would highly recommend LLA. Miss Grace was so amazing and I can't believe how quickly our daughter showed improvement. Thank you!
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