The Zones of Regulation A Framework to Foster Self-Regulation and Emotional Control®

Course Description:

 Education Resources inc

The Zones of Regulation is a framework and curriculum designed to foster skills in self-regulation, including emotional control, sensory regulation, and executive functions. It is a systematic, cognitive behavior approach that uses four colors to help students visually and verbally self-identify how they are functioning in the moment given their emotions and state of alertness. The model incorporates Social Thinking® concepts to help students use perspective taking, to identify how they are thinking and feeling, and understand how their thoughts and behavior impact those around them. Through using the curriculum individuals become more self-aware and learn tools they can use to regulate to a more expected state. It can be used effectively in home, school, and clinical settings, as well as in conjunction with previously taught regulation strategies.

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 brains involvement, typical development, sensory processing, emotional regulation, and executive functioning. Audience participants will learn an explicit, stair-stepped method and tools to guide students in utilizing The Zones framework across situations and environments to regulate sensory needs, impulses, and emotional states to social demands.

Visuals and student work samples are highlighted to illustrate numerous learning activities. A variety of tools (i.e. 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 to self-regulate within zones. Participants explore ideas on how to teach, and when, why, and how to use tools effectively. 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.


  • Identify the sensory systems that impact regulation
  • Describe sensory integration and its impact on modulation and regulation
  • Outline executive functions that frequently impact self-regulation
  • Define emotional regulation to include social cognition’s role in emotional expression
  • Discuss the importance of using individual strategies to self-regulate
  • Demonstrate insight into the Zones of Regulation’s systematic way to teach students to self-regulate by:
    o Citing strategies to identify level of alertness in self and others
    o Describing how social and contextual cues are used to decipher expected display of emotions
    o Describe strategies to adjust level of alertness/emotional display to match the demands of the environment
  • Develop ways to integrate the Zones into practice and generalize skills across settings


Leah Kuypers

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Session 1 November 29, 2018
Rockford, IL (Map)

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Session 2 April 5, 2019
Englewood, NJ (Map)

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