Free Printable Zones of Regulation poster at the end of this post.
In Autism sometimes we talk about Zones of regulation.
What does that mean ?
The zones of regulation are used to talk about the level of an emotion that an individual with Autism could be feeling.
It’s a scale used to measure the level of severity of a particular feeling ranging from calm through to agitated and triggered.
At each zone there are explanations and recommended strategies for coping within that zone.
Have a look at the zones of regulation.com for more details.
For example in the green zone , the individual may be feeling happy. There will be a range of tools within that zone to support that feeling.
In the red zone there may be a feeling of anger. In that zone will be a range of tools to alleviate or support that emotion.
The zones of regulation chart is a visual aid which enables the individual to understand at which emotional point they are currently at.
By understanding which zone a child is currently sitting, we can learn tools to help support them in that zone and stop escalation.
Available on Amazon there are a wide variety of zones of regulation posters available .
We recently purchased this one on the advice of my sons teacher.
We pinned this to my sons wall and came up with some coping mechanisms for each zone.
Typically the charts are made up of Blue , Green, Yellow and Red zones.
Let’s break this down ……
The Blue Zone
In this zone an individual would typically feel unhappy. Emotions can range from sad, tired , feeling tearful or withdrawn from the world.
Typical behaviours in the blue zone would be wanting to spend time alone and not wanting to mix with people.
There may be a lack of motivation and even depression.
Tools for the Blue Zone
All children/adults with autism are unique and what works for one may not work for another.
Below are some ideas for you to try when your child is sitting in the blue zone:
- Listen to music
- Talk to a family member or friend
- Take a walk in the fresh air
- Do something creative like arts and crafts
- Exercise such as yoga, playing games outside, riding a scooter or bike.
The Green Zone
This zone is a little easier to navigate.
In this zone the individual will typically be feeling happy and content.
In the green zone the individual may feel calm and safe.
Tools for the Green Zone
Below are some tools for coping within the green zone.
- Help others that may be struggling
- Use this time to focus on something positive like my school work
- Think positive thoughts
The Yellow Zone
In the yellow zone feelings are starting to become a little heightened.
There may be feelings of frustration at this point.
The individual may be feeling excited or nervous.
In the yellow zone we exercise caution as this is when things can escalate and start to enter the red zone.
Tools for the Yellow Zone
This is the zone where Sensory Toys are very useful.
Below are some tools for coping within the yellow zone:
- Play with my Sensory Toy
- Time in the Sensory Room
- Talk it through with a trusted person
- Have a fresh air break
- Sensory breaks using my body board, stability ball or body sock ( whatever sensory activity works for that individual)
The Red Zone
In this zone the individual may be feeling very agitated, frustrated and angry.
Typical behaviours in this zone could be aggression, shouting or throwing things.
Tools for the Red Zone
Below are some strategies that can be tried within the red zone, for calming and regulation:
- Take some deep breaths while counting to 10
- Breathing exercises
- Calming activities such as Yoga
- Squeeze a Sensory Toy
- Talk through the feelings with a trusted adult
Each person with Autism will have different coping strategies at each zone so my post is just a general outline.
You can make your own zones of regulation for your child and I have attached one that I have designed and you can print it off and add your own tools to suit your child/adult on the spectrum.
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