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The Zones of Regulation is a curriculum designed to foster skills in self-regulation, improving emotional control, sensory regulation and the ability to exercise executive functioning skills. The approach uses four colours (or “zones”) to help students visually and verbally self-identify how they are functioning in the moment given their emotions and state of alertness. During the workshop a variety of tools (sensory supports, calming techniques, and thinking strategies) are explored to help students recognize their internal emotions, sensory needs and thinking patterns within in each zone and when shifting from one zone to another. Most importantly it teaches students how to self-regulate within the zones. The approach can be used effectively in the home, at school, and in a range of clinical settings. Workshop participants will learn how to teach the approach as well as when, why, and how to use tools effectively.

Who Should Attend

As well as explaining the theory behind the framework, this workshop is full of practical strategies. During this full day training workshop you will learn dozens of functional, ready-to-use strategies for teaching students how to develop the skills necessary for self-regulation.

  • Schools:  Mainstream classroom teachers as well as special education teachers and support staff will benefit from attending. The strategies presented in this workshop will allow mainstream classroom teachers to use the Zones approach within their own classroom.  The workshop will be just as valuable for specialists working individually with students in schools.
  • Professionals: Professionals such as OTs, Speech Therapists, Psychologists, Autism Specialists, Nurses and Doctors will find the information presented invaluable in extending their own practice and in providing advice to schools and parents/carers.
  • Parents/Carers: Parents and carers will also benefit from this workshop.

The Zones of Regulation presentation provides teachers, therapists, and parents with hands-on knowledge on the nature of self-regulation and strategies for improving self-regulation and emotional control in individuals of all ages. The presentation addresses topics such as: the brain’s involvement, typical development, sensory processing, emotional regulation, social cognition, and executive functioning. Audience participants will learn an explicit, stair-stepped method and tools to guide students in using The Zones framework across situations and environments to regulate sensory needs, impulses, and emotional states to social demands.

Visuals, videos, and student work samples are highlighted to illustrate numerous learning activities. A variety of tools (sensory supports, calming techniques, and thinking strategies) are explored to help students recognize their internal emotions, sensory needs, and thinking patterns in each zone, when shifting from one zone to another, and then self-regulate within zones. Participants explore ideas on how to support students using tools effectively across environments. The Zones of Regulation presentation also incorporates core concepts from Michelle Garcia Winner’s Social Thinking framework to help teach students about perspective taking, so they better understand how being in the different zones impacts the thoughts and feelings of other people around them and use this insight to guide them in self-management.

What you will learn

Participants will be able to:

  1. Describe the role sensory processing/ modulation, emotional regulation, executive functioning, and social cognition play in self-regulation.
  2. State three ways in which the Zones of Regulation’s framework teaches students to self-regulate.
  3. Identify two ways to integrate The Zones into practice and support generalization of skills across settings.
  4. Explain how to teach students to individualize their own tools for self-regulation.