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Zones of Regulation Assistive Technology Overview. Marcia Obukowicz 715-453-2141.

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zones of regulation assistive technology overview

Zones of RegulationAssistive TechnologyOverview

Marcia Obukowicz



This will be a networking meeting session with Marcia Obuckowicz from CESA 9. She will be focusing the session on the following topics:Zones of Regulation—Marcia will be doing an overview of the program, and will be referencing the book, The Zones of Regulation. Participants will have the opportunity to purchase the book through CESA 8 during the registration process.The information on Zones of Regulation will provide participants background knowledge if they are planning to attend the training on March 28th in Wausau. This is a cooperative training with CESA 9, and Leah Kuypers, author of Zones of Regulation, will be the presenter.Using AT with your students. What is new? What is working? Questions?Bring your iPad, laptop, or other devices that you may have questions about.

  • Issues at the table
  • Sensory Room Protocols
  • Streamlining Assessments
  • Impact of Social Thinking
  • Impact of Mobile Devices on access, keyboarding and …
  • Resource Building
  • Student
  • Environment
  • Task
  • Tool

http blog autismspectrumdirectory com 2011 01 05 ipad ipod touch and iphone apps for social skills
  • Social story and skills apps
par nimas protocol
PAR: NIMAS Protocol

the zones of regulation
The Zones of Regulation
  • CESA 8 and 9

are sponsoring

Author: Leah Kuypers

self regulation
Self Regulation
  • Ability to do what is needed in the optimal state for the given situation
  • Integrates
    • Sensory Processing
      • How we perceive inputs
    • Executive Function
      • Conscious Control of Action
    • Emotional regulation
      • Objectivity, motivation, perspective of others
arousal over time
Arousal Over Time


Just right


6 am




alert program
Alert Program
  • Successful when the issues are self processing
  • Doesn’t fully address how emotions and thinking patterns impact the levels of alertness
sensory processing disorders
Sensory processing disorders


I can’t focus on the combination of my locker cuz the guy on my right and left don’t leave me enough space to reach the lock. I feel like those poor bugs, just pinned there. Sometimes I just freeze until they leave. I know they think I am weird… When I walk down a crowded hallway it feels like everyone is sticking me with knives, I can hardly breath, my heart races, I try to just look straight ahead. Kids think I am stuck up because I don’t talk to them. But seriously, walking down a crowded hallway for me is torture. So I duck in the bathroom until its over and then I am late. Do you think I am crazy? Everyone else does….


The road trip:

Quiet talking in the van

Driver confusion on which way to turn, “working a cognitive task”

Girl in back starts singing a tune to friend

Driver Response:

what happened
What Happened
  • More than just sensory response
  • Poor cognitive shift: misread or misinterpreted input
  • Poor Theory of Mind: did not recognize that the whole car was shocked by reaction
  • All riders recognized the need to be quiet but after the directions were figured out, driver did not have any clue about the impact her actions had on the rest of the group….
aspberger parent
Aspberger Parent
  • Poor Cognitive Shift an innate inability to reorient attention rapidly so misread input and reaction is unexpected by others
  • Lack Theory of Mind is the inability to know (deduce) what others know and what others do not know. Mind Blindness
  • Central coherence is the ability we have to focus on both details as well as wholes of a given situation and to follow through on plans in a variety of areas. It is also the ability we have to focus on what takes priority and what is important.

would you ride with this driver again
Would you ride with this driver again?

successful self regulation
Successful Self Regulation

Sensory Processing

Executive Function

Emotional Regulation

oscar managing overwhelming sensory
Oscar: Managing Overwhelming Sensory

life s interactions
Life’s Interactions ….
  • The sensory input
  • Control our response to it to fit the needs of the situation
  • Understand others may think differently from us or think a different response is needed (there are multiple perspectives to the situation)
adam starting to get feedback and apply content control
Adam: starting to get”feedback”and apply content control

the incredible 5 point scale
The Incredible 5 point scale
  • Looks at the progression leading to explosive behavior
  • On task to on fire
  • Scale varies by student and their behavior
emily s view mrs lehman s
Emily’s view Mrs. Lehman’s

5. I blow by hitting, kicking and scratching

4. Right before I blow I run out of the room if I can

3. I start swearing/ talking back, drop my work on the floor

2. I don’t understand the homework or Roger is kicking my desk and I feel mad and tense

1. I feel ok

5. Emily is a danger to self and others

4. Needs a safe space within the room to run too

3. Often miss the under her breath words, already firing up when I here it

2. Challenging to catch

1. On task

5 point scale
5 point scale

Student works with staff to create the scale that will be used. Goal is # 1.

Student works on executive function and some emotional regulation

  • Blue: Low Alert/ Poor Body Control
  • Green: Neutral, body control
    • Calm, focused, content
  • Yellow: High alert, some body control
    • Stress, frustration, anxiety, excitement, silliness, nervousness, confusion, sensory seeking
  • Red: High Alert/intense feelings. Not in control of body
    • Anger, rage, panic, terror
using the zones
Using the Zones
  • Everyone has times when they are in each of the zones.
  • Zones are not good, bad or naughty
  • Zones tend to match circumstances
  • The goal of the curriculum is to help the students assess where they are and match the environment they are in with effective strategies.
the zone colors provide a common language for certain reactions emotions
The zone colors provide a common language for certain reactions/ emotions
  • Its important to help kids recognize when they are in the blue or green zones. Yellow and red tend to be more noticeable.
working with zone vocab
Working with Zone Vocab
  • Flashcards at
  • Build a common vocabulary and a way to talk about these concepts
  • Zones, Tool box, Triggers, Expected and unexpected behavior, problem size, inner critic inner coach, superflex thinking, Rock brain thinking
  • A base set of flashcards is at
  • (P.14 of book)
  • Drop this quiz set to your computer or device (flashboard is an app that will work)
  • Build upon the basics to make a flashcard set for your kids. ( We will share these post)
arousal over time1
Arousal Over Time


Just right


6 am




blue zone
Blue Zone
  • Body is running slow
  • Low energy
  • Not awake yet
  • Lethargic, Blue
green zone
Green Zone
  • Good to go
  • Controlled response
  • Focused energy
yellow zone
Yellow Zone
  • Starting to lose control
  • But also the source of great energy if it can be channeled
  • Body is on high alert
red zone
Red Zone
  • Extreme Emotion
  • Body and Mind may not be talking
  • Out of Control
  • Hard to make decisions
  • Need to stop but unsure how
zone for wilfred gordon mcdonald partridge
Zone for Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge

sensory input1
Sensory Input



Position, Touch and Movement

Taste and Smells

how we interpret and interact with the info experience
How we interpret and interact with the info/ experience
  • What Feels Good:
  • Motivation:
    • Frustration makes me work harder
    • hard work =‘s medals and recognition
    • Doing my assignment=‘s a smile from my teacher
  • Gets it: constant practice and experiences mold response
    • Video taping provides another view
what do you think about a person who
What do you think about a person who…
  • Doesn’t make eye contact
  • Fires off an explosive set of expletives in the middle of class
  • Runs around the classroom when the teacher is talking
  • Hides on you
  • Talks on a cellphone while instead of checking you out at the register
  • Blows big gum bubbles and pops them
  • Screams in the hall
  • Doesn’t stop when asked


when is this cultural difference
When is this cultural difference?
  • You look up and away and I look down until I am right next to you and look up
  • I point and gesture you to come and you turn away red faced
  • Touched him on his head and he cried
  • He nods and keeps saying everything is ok when its pretty clear that it is not.
  • That mother never looks me in the eye
  • Book of hand gestures
  • Told older sister that her new baby brother is cute and she reddens and denies it


expected or unexpected
Expected or Unexpected



  • Got Flowers
  • Failed an important test
  • Ran into a deer
  • Waiting for the gun to go off to start a race
  • Broke up with boyfriend
  • Found your house was ransacked


  • Thrown to the ground
  • Laughed
  • Cursed and screamed
  • Walked off track
  • Painted several pictures of him
  • Called the police
how do others feel when they are around you
How do others feel when they are around you?
  • Miss Nelson is Missing


He does realize…

You see…..

good thoughts bad thoughts
Good Thoughts/Bad Thoughts
  • How does the mother feel?
  • How does the daughter feel?
enough good will defeat
Enough good will defeat….

Enough Good thoughts

Negative Thoughts

perspectives the great pumpkin
Perspectives: The Great Pumpkin

from the social network
From The Social Network

a quick review self regulation
A Quick Review: Self Regulation
  • Ability to do what is needed in the optimal state for the given situation
  • Integrates
    • Sensory Processing
      • How we perceive inputs
    • Executive Function
      • Conscious Control of Action
    • Emotional regulation
      • Objectivity, motivation, perspective of others
why does izzy cover her ears
Why does Izzy Cover Her Ears
  • Sensory Processing Disorder
  • Suggestions for making the world better for processing
brain hq building brain skills
Brain HQ: Building Brain Skills

why nikolai popov
Why? Nikolai Popov
  • Picture Book
  • Two Perspectives
  • Unexpected action triggers…..
  • Action/ reaction
which zone am i in
Which zone am I in?
  • Pull out your zone card
  • Move your marker to the zone you would be in for each scenario
  • Think of a scenario to add
  • What triggers my move to blue, yellow, green or red?
sizing up the problem
Sizing up the problem
  • Does the perceived problem match the real situation?
how do i feel when i am in each zone
How do I feel when I am in each zone?
  • Help student gain self insight
  • Provide feedback of what you see.
  • Again videotaping can help in some cases.
this is a critical concept for kids
This is a critical concept for kids!!!
  • My perspective and your perspective.
  • Reaction to unexpected behavior
  • What do others think and say?

Erica Albright: I think we should just be friends. Mark Zuckerberg: I don't want friends. Erica Albright: I was being polite, I had no intention of being friends with you.

Mark Zuckerberg: I think that went well. That is except for that breaking up and no friends' part of course.

The Social Network

understanding where i am zone wise
Understanding where I am zone wise
  • Pick from feelings board
  • Pick from zone
  • Work with student to develop a tool kit that works for their different zones
sensory tool remedies
Sensory Tool Remedies
  • Sensory Activities:
listening with your body
Listening with Your Body
  • Body Basics
  • Whole Body Listening Larry at Home!
older students
Older Students
  • Yoga
  • Deep Breathing
  • Me Moves
  • Quiet Space
  • Working out
  • Making art
  • Music
social thinking
Social Thinking
  • Michelle Garcia Winner
  • Curriculums for working on executive function and perspective taking
  • Superflex:
  • Rock Brain: Stuck Ideas ( can’t let it go!!!!)
  • Brain Eater: Distracts us from tasks (can’t stop gaming)
the shredder
The Shredder
  • Enter the problem or the unthinkable character
  • Select and shred