Self regulation is a person’s ability to adjust their attentive level, energy level, and emotions to meet the needs of the activity and environment they are participating in at any given moment during the day.
Some children subconsciously can self regulate without even realizing what they are doing; while other children require the assistance of an adult to identify that the child is not self regulating and engage the child in an activity to help the child self regulate. If a child has difficulty with self regulation, and it is not addressed by a medical professional, the child will be more likely to experience anxiety, inappropriate behavior responses to a task, difficulty focusing during instructional learning, challenges with social skills, and difficulty coping with changes in daily routines.
The following programs have been designed to teach a child self regulation: The Alert Program, Zones of Regulation, and Brain Gym.
In addition to these programs, a sensory diet, visual schedules, and customized self regulation scales integrated throughout a child’s day can help a child to self regulate. If you have any concerns regarding your child’s ability to self regulate, please consult with an Occupational Therapist that can create an individualized plan to teach your child how to self regulate so that your child can get the most out of and fully participate in every activity, learning opportunity, and social situation they come across throughout their day!