Emotional regulation is not just about expressing the emotions. It is a skill that children need to be taught and practise. Children will learn to regulate their emotion through a three- phase process which involves helping them identify what triggers those emotions, teaching them about how their behaviours impact on other people’s feelings and also understand how to use different techniques and tools to manage and control their emotions.
In High Five Children’s OT, we use “Zones of Regulation” programme. It is an approach based on cognitive Behaviour therapy (CBT), used to support the development of self-regulation and emotional control in children.
The Zones curriculum is designed for students who struggle with self-regulation. It was initially designed for children with mental health disorders, ASD, ADHD, oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), selective mutism and anxiety. However, it became more apparent that can be used for wider population.
This programme helps children to have better understanding of their emotions, sensory needs and thinking patterns. The children learn different strategies to cope and manage their emotions.
Dysregulated children can be:
- Non-compliant at school or home and have emotional outburst
- Unable to tolerate stress.