Seattle Course #17 The Zones of Regulation®

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Thursday- March 8, 2018      8:00am-4:00pm

Course #17 -The Zones of Regulation®: Self-Regulation for Students who Struggle with Managing Their Emotions and Sensory Needs

by Leah Kuypers, MEd, OTR/L

About the Speaker

Leah Kuypers, OTR/L, earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Occupational Therapy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a Graduate Certificate in Autism and a Master of Arts in Education from Hamline University in St. Paul, MN. She has practiced as an OT/autism specialist in school and clinical settings, specializing in self-regulation and social learning, and has worked with students of all ages and challenges, including anxiety, ADHD, and ASD. Leah created The Zones of Regulation® (, a frame- work designed to teach self-regulation, and is author of the book and two apps by same name (2011, Social Thinking Publishing; 2013, 2016 Selosoft, Inc). In addition to working with students, she provides trainings and consultation to parents and professionals on self-regulation and challenging behavior, and she conducts workshops on the Zones to groups around the world. She resides in Minneapolis, MN. Disclosures: Financial- Leah is the owner of Kuypers Consulting and she receives royalties for her publications from Social Thinking and Selosoft Inc. There are no nonfinancial relationships to disclose.

Target Audience (who should attend):  Speech & Language Pathologists, Occupational Therapists, General and Special Education Teachers, School Counselors, Case Managers, Autism Specialists, Social Workers, Psychologists, Principals/Administrators, Behavior Specialists and Paraprofessionals

Target Age Range: Pre-kindergarten through 21 years


Course Description: 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 Zone 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, 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 (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, 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.

 What You Will Learn
Course Objectives– Participants will be able to:

• 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

• Describe 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 citing 2 strategies to identify level of alertness in self and others

• Demonstrate insight into the Zones of Regulation’s systematic way to teach students to self-regulate by describing how social and contextual cues are used to decipher expected display of emotions

• Demonstrate insight into the Zones of Regulation’s systematic way to teach students to self-regulate describing strategies to adjust level of alertness/emotional display to match the demands of the environment

• Identify 2 examples of how to integrate the Zones into your practice and how to generalize skills across settings