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Zones of Regulation

What are the Zones of Regulation?

The Zones of Regulation is a curriculum that your child’s therapist may use to help your child develop self-regulation skills. Self-regulation is “the ability to achieve the preferred state of alertness for the given situation.” Other terms often interchanged for self-regulation include self-control, impulse control, and self-management. The curriculum focuses on lessons and activities to help the child identify their different “Zones” and strategies to increase self-regulation. Additionally, your child will be able to increase their understanding of emotions and coping skills. 

The Zones: Self-Regulation

“The Zones of Regulation creates a system to categorize how the body feels and emotions into four colored Zones with which the students can easily identify.” 

There are four zones within the Zones of Regulation

  • Blue Zone
  • Green Zone
  • Yellow Zone
  • Red Zone

The Blue Zone is a state of low alertness. Feelings can include sad, tired, sick, or bored. 


The Green Zone is a state of ideal alertness. This includes feeling calm, happy, or focused.


The Yellow Zone is a state of heightened alertness. Feelings can include frustration, worry, excitement, silliness, or fear. 


The Red Zone is a state of extremely heightened alertness. This includes anger, rage, extreme fear, and explosive behavior. 


How are the Zones used?

Your child’s therapist will work with them to identify which Zone they are in and strategies to help them self-regulate within each Zone. They will work together to develop a “toolbox” with strategies and techniques for obtaining optimal alertness in everyday situations. It is important to understand that no zone is “bad,” and all are expected from time to time. Instead, the intention is to help your child identify tools and coping strategies to self-regulate within each Zone. 


What can Carolina Therapy Connection help?

For the Zones of Regulation to work as intended, home carryover is super important. Strategies include using the same language and talking about the Zones within the home and community environments. Applying strategies to yourself can also increase carryover. For example, you may say, “This is super frustrating, and I am starting to go into the Yellow Zone. Maybe I will take some deep breaths.” Additionally, validate the zone that the child is in and help them implement the strategies and tools to self-regulate. Your child’s therapist can share the language and strategies used with the Zones of Regulation to increase carryover at home. 


By: Carolina Zissette, OT


Winter Activities for All Ages! 

What are Some Winter Activities When the Weather is too Cold Outside?

Ever wonder what you can do to keep your Kiddo occupied and safe while providing the necessary sensory input when it’s too cold to play outside? It is recommended to take indoor breaks every 20-30 minutes when the temperature outside is between 13-30 degrees; however, some kiddos tolerate cold weather better than others. Here are some tips for activities that can be done indoors when it’s just too cold to go outside this winter!

A Fun Winter Activity: Play Board Games

This is dependent on your child’s age and skill set. If you have some board games tucked in the closet, break them out and have family fun! This will work on building your child’s reciprocal play skills, following multistep direction skills, coping skills, and emotional regulation. Check out our Amazon storefront for some of our recommended board games! 

Build a Pillow/Blanket Fort

Who didn’t love making a fort under the kitchen table as a kid? Build a fort in the kitchen and living room, then place some of their favorite books, toys, and stuffed animals inside. This can be a fun way to get your kids into critical thinking mode and build their visual perceptual and motor skills! 

Scavenger Hunt

Another fun winter activity is to hide some items in your house and have your kiddos find them! This can be graded according to skill level and age. For example, for a younger kiddo, have them locate items they would typically use. For older kiddos, give hints to the item they are looking for. “Find two things mom uses to stir within the kitchen (utensils)” or “Find something round and blue in your bedroom (ball).” This will work on their figure ground skills and get their body moving!


Have your kiddos help you bake/cook your favorite snack or dessert in the kitchen. Have your kiddos follow the directions given or help with the messy tasks. This can be great for our sensory-seeking kiddos and those resistant to messy play!

Dance Off!

GET MOVING with a fun dance-off! Put off some of your favorite music and have a contest to see who dances best to the song! This is a great way to work on gross motor skills, coordination, and auditory processing, and it’s just plain fun!

Watch your Favorite Movie and Act Out the Scenes.

Many kids like to watch movies; however, do you ever notice that they get bored halfway through and are on to the next thing? Get them involved with the movie. Have that pause button ready and have them act out a scene to see if they can recall what happened! 

Indoor “Snowball” Fight

Do you have some extra tissue paper lying around after wrapping those Christmas presents? Make snowballs and toss them at each other! This is a great way to get kiddos moving without fear of knocking things off tables/counters and breaking things! 

Keepie-uppie with Balloons

Everyone knows this one! Can we keep the balloon off of the ground? Try it! It is so much fun, works on your kiddo’s hand-eye coordination, and has less risk of damaging something in your home!

How can Carolina Therapy Help?

With winter in full swing, ask your therapist about tips/tricks to have fun indoors with adaptations specifically for your child’s sensory-related needs. A therapist at Carolina Therapy Connection can help adapt the activities listed above and give more ideas for your specific child! Also, check out our link for Amazon storefront to find fun toys/activities to make the indoors fun! Many great toy ideas and sensory-related tools can be used when your child needs to get some energy out!

I hope these tips have helped build some fun ideas for you and your family for this winter season! Stay happy, healthy, and warm!

By: Shelby Godwin, COTA/L, AC

Greenville Clinic Expansion Updates

Greenville Clinic Expansion Updates

We’ve got BIG things happening at Carolina Therapy Connection and we are so excited to be sharing them with you! After years of prayer and planning, we have been blessed with the ability to expand our Greenville clinic to serve more kiddos and families in Eastern NC. Out of the trust and kindness our community has shown to us we have been able to expand both our services and our physical clinic space from 1200 sq ft. to 15,000 sq ft. over the past 11 years! We are so grateful to our families, our community partners, and our referral sources for the overwhelming support of Carolina Therapy Connection!

Carolina Therapy Connection Greenville Clinic Expansion

Carolina Therapy Connection Greenville Clinic Expansion

Carolina Therapy Connection Greenville Clinic Expansion

What will this new expansion entail?

Everything to help our kiddos and families reach their goals by serving them more efficiently! This new space will include:

  • 3 new sensory gym spaces that vary in sensory feedback to meet the sensory needs of each child (low stimulation and high stimulation environments).
  • An interactive fiber optic sensory space for a serene and calming experience.
  • A space designated for our Interactive Metronome treatment modality. Learn more about this evidenced-based system here.
  • 2 feeding spaces to host feeding groups that develop sensory-based feeding skills for kids of all ages, and to house our feeding specialist team.
  • A separate physical therapy gym with state-of-the-art equipment to build developmental skills.
  • Collaborative workspaces and technology for all of our clinicians and staff.
  • Private treatment rooms for all disciplines.
  • An even larger lobby for caregiver comfort.
  • A space dedicated for expansion of our Educational Services.
  • A large outdoor, protected courtyard space for the option to provide services in a safe outdoor area.
  • Marketing and communications studio for improved ability to develop content for our families.
  • State-of-the-art training center for continuing education and advanced training of our staff. This will also be used for community events like our Neurodivergent Hangouts and Parent Support Groups.AND… several other spaces for future expansion of our services.. stay tuned for more information about what these will be!

Carolina Therapy Connection Greenville Clinic Expansion

Carolina Therapy Connection Greenville Clinic Expansion

Carolina Therapy Connection Greenville Clinic Expansion

How will this expansion impact our current families?

We have entrusted our amazing local contractors at WIMCO to ensure that our families and kiddos are SAFE during all of the construction. Construction will move in phases beginning on Monday, August 16th and ending sometime in April (or sooner). Each phase will allow our families to have access to parking with safety fencing and signage that will be posted. Please be sure to follow these signs! Our current building will be updated and outfitted during the process, but not until towards the later phases. In the meantime, we should see very little effects of construction inside of our current space. We will be keeping you all updated as we move throughout this process. WIMCO will have a superintendent on site daily to make sure that the needs of our families, kiddos, and staff are always being met! Safety is their #1 goal! THANK YOU for extending us grace during this time and for having patience as we navigate this exciting adventure!

Please feel free to reach out at any time with any questions or concerns you may have. 

Thank you again, from the bottom of our hearts, for making this dream a reality for all of us and allowing us to serve out our mission of informing families, enriching lives, changing futures for all of Eastern NC! 

Carolina Therapy Connection thanks WIMCO

Greenville NC Carolina Therapy Connection Expansion Updates