ZONES for Families
Using the Zones at Home
Model the language to describe your own feelings and strategies:
o “I’m sad about the Seahawks losing. I’m in the blue zone right now”.
o “I’m in the yellow zone because I’m nervous about work. I’m going to take some deep belly breaths to get back to the green zone”.
Encourage use of zones tools during homework:
o Use calming techniques before starting homework (count to 10, deep belly breaths, physical exercise, stretches)
o Have them sit on a big workout ball or a wiggle seat
o Let them use fidgets such as stress balls, silly putty, koosh ball
o Let them eat a crunchy snack (popcorn or pretzels), or drink water from a water bottle with a straw.
o Start homework after physical activity (outside play!)
Check in with your child about his or her zone to encourage self-awareness:
o “You seem a little sad. What zone do you think you’re in?”
o “I can see you’re really frustrated and getting into the red zone. What will help you get back to the green zone?”
Suggested Web Resources:
o Search Pinterest for “Zones of Regulation”
Questions? Feel free to contact us!
o Bridget Sachse, OT: firstname.lastname@example.org
o Amy Sorenson, SpEd Teacher: email@example.com
o Amie Urlacher, Learning Center Teacher: firstname.lastname@example.org
The ZONES of Regulation ® Reproducible
The ZONES of Regulation® Glossary
Self-regulation: The ability to achieve the preferred state of alertness for the given situation. This includes regulating one's body's needs as well as one's emotions.
The Zones: A concept used to help students learn how to self-regulate. The Zones of Regulation creates a system to categorize how the body feels and emotions into four colored zones with which the students can easily identify.
Blue Zone: Used to describe a low state of alertness. The Blue Zone is used to describe when one feels sad, tired, sick, or bored.
Green Zone: Used to describe the ideal state of alertness. A person may be described as calm, happy, focused, or content when he or she is in the Green Zone. The student feels a strong sense of internal control when in the Green Zone.
Yellow Zone: Used to describe a heightened state of alertness. A person may be experiencing stress, frustration, anxiety, excitement, silliness, or fear when in the Yellow Zone. The student’s energy is elevated yet he or she feels some sense of internal control in the Yellow Zone.
Red Zone: Used to describe an extremely heightened state of alertness. A person may be experiencing anger, rage, explosive behavior, panic, extreme grief, terror, or elation when in the Red Zone and feels a loss of control.
Toolbox: A collection of calming and alerting strategies a student can pull from depending on the present need.
Tools or strategies: Used interchangeably to refer to a calming or alerting technique that aids the student in self-regulation.
Trigger: An irritant that causes a student to become less regulated and increases the likelihood of going into the Yellow or Red Zone.
Stop, Opt, and Go: A concept used to aid students in controlling impulses and problem solving better solutions. This phrase is paired with a stoplight to provide additional cues for students.
Expected behaviors1: Behaviors that give people around you good or comfortable thoughts about you.
Unexpected behaviors1: Behaviors that give people uncomfortable thoughts about you.
What is the size of the problem? and Is this a Big or Little Problem?1: Questions posed to help students measure the size of the problem they are experiencing (Big Problem, Medium Problem, or Little Problem).
Big Problems: Problems that many people share and that have no easy, quick, or pleasant solution.
Medium Problems: Problems some people share that are able to be resolved in an hour to a couple of days.
Little Problems: Problems that only affect one to two people and can be ignored or solved in a matter of minutes.
Inner critic: Used to describe negative, self-defeating thoughts.
Inner coach: Used to describe positive thoughts.
Superflex thinking2: A flexible thinking pattern in which a person is able to consider different points of view or ways to do something.
Rock Brain thinking2: A rigid thinking pattern in which a person gets stuck on an idea and has difficulty considering other options or ways to do something.
1 Social Thinking vocabulary developed by Michelle Garcia Winner, Thinking About YOU Thinking About ME (2007)
2 Social Thinking vocabulary developed by Stephanie Madrigal and Michelle Garcia Winner, Superflex: A Superhero Social Thinking Curriculum (2008)
© 2011 Think Social Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved. From The Zones of Regulation® by Leah M. Kuypers • Available at www.socialthinking.com