131: Self and Social Regulation Using the Zones of Regulation, with Elizabeth Sautter, MA, CCC

Picture of hosted by Penny Williams

hosted by Penny Williams

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Teaching self-regulation can be tricky, especially with impulsive kids with ADHD who are often lagging in skills like social and emotional intelligence and self-awareness. In this episode, I’m talking with Elizabeth Sautter about the Zones of Regulation, a tool and curriculum designed to teach kids of all ages to reflect on how their body is feeling and then use strategies to help regulate, when needed. Listen in to learn all about the Zones of Regulation program and how to use it with your child to build self-awareness and self-regulation. 


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My Guest

Elizabeth Sautter, M.A. CCC

Elizabeth Sautter is a licensed speech and language pathologist and co-director as well as co-founder/owner of Communication Works and Make Learning Stick.  This San Francisco Bay Area private practice offers speech, language, social and self-regulation therapy, consultation, and training. Since 1996, Elizabeth has worked with preschool to adult clients and their families in private practice, schools, and hospitals. 



Elizabeth Sautter (00:03): That's a lot of blame and shame around emotions, and it's really working towards changing that and just noticing, and then figuring out if it is a little bit uncomfortable for yourself or others around you, what can you do to regulate? And that's what the zones pathway and deeper curriculum is all about.

Intro (00:27): Welcome to the parenting ADHD podcast, where I share insights and strategies on raising kids with ADHD straight from the trenches. I'm your host, Penny Williams. I'm a parenting coach, author ADHD, a highlight and mindset. Mama honored to guide you on the journey of raising your atypical kid. Let's get started. Welcome back to the parenting ADHD podcast. I am super excited to have Elizabeth Sautter back with us again on the show.

Penny Williams (01:04): And we're going to talk about self and social regulation all within the framework of the zones of regulation, which is a really powerful tool that we're going to talk about, how to sort of implement that with your kids and be able to use it, to help them grow their social, emotional intelligence and their self-regulation skills as well. Thanks for being here again, Elizabeth, I always love our chats. Will you start just by introducing yourself to everyone listening? Sure.

Elizabeth Sautter (01:34): Hi Penny. Thanks for having me back again with a different hat on this time. Talking about that sounds of regulation as a collaborative Sones of regulation, trainer and coauthor with Leah Kuypers, who's developed a curriculum, so I'm a speech and language pathologist by trade. And I've, back in grad school and many, many, many years ago, I became very interested in autism and behavior and and that's just been my path ever since I've been in the field part of speech and language pathology is, pragmatic language and social communication. And that's just what I've dove into over the many, many years I've been in the field. And that's taken me down the path of opening a private center. I started out of the trunk of my car and had collaborative trainers working with me. And it was an interdisciplinary group of educational therapist, speech pathologists, occupational therapists.

Elizabeth Sautter (02:31): And one of them happened to be Leah Kuypers, who at the time was moved to California. And she had just finished up her master's program and had written her capstone on this curriculum that she came up with an idea and framework called the zones of regulation. And she was actually coming out to just talk to me and check in about a school that she was thinking about working at that I had worked at and we had lunch and she humbly showed me the binder, which she had created, and I just glanced at it. And I said, can I take this over night? And she said, sure. And I called my business partner. I said, I think we need to hire an OT. The missing piece of the social groups that we're doing is this self-regulation piece. And the rest is kind of history. She came on board as an OT and did you know, lots of intervention both individually and in small groups. And while she was writing the curriculum that was, is now published by social thinking. And then it's just developed over the years, we've written curriculum together. And, and now I present on her behalf because it's just gone worldwide and there's so many requests for a deeper knowledge of the zones of regulation. So I'm thrilled to be able to share it with your community today.

Penny Williams (03:48): I'm really excited about it at something that we were introduced to at occupational therapy with my son. And when he did a second course of OT, when he was around 10 or 11, they were using the zones with all of their clients. And so every day when they walked in, they looked at the zones poster first, before they started their appointment and talked about what zone they were in, how they were feeling and if they needed to do a regulation activity. And so we started incorporating it at home too, to be really consistent. And I found it really easy to use as a parent, but I also know that there's so much more depth to it that we weren't really using. We were just pretty much using the poster in the four zones and we were going through different regulation strategies and figuring out what different activities and tools for working for him in different zones and putting them on there and, using it that way. But I know we're going to talk about more of a deeper dive into the zones and how it can be used for a lot more than that today, too. So I'm excited to do that.

Elizabeth Sautter (05:02): Great.

Penny Williams (05:03): Where do you want to start? What, what makes the most sense you want to kind of introduce the zones in general and then we'll talk about maybe some deeper stuff.

Elizabeth Sautter (05:13): Yeah, I think so, because I think as you're talking about the check-ins and the poster and whatnot, there might be some people listening who haven't heard of the zones of regulation and, and it is, I think the reason why it's gotten so widespread is because it has this, basic framework that provides a common language to talk about something that is so abstract and complex. So Lee has come up with these four colors, which are the zones, the four zones, and there's the blue zone, the green zone, the yellow zone and the red zone. And they represent the, your levels of alertness or energy, or don't use this with teenagers, but arousal. And it's what we feel on the inside. And that is something that is just really difficult to teach practice, to talk about, to learn. And so by having the four-color to represent those levels, it makes it much more simple.

Elizabeth Sautter (06:13): So the blue zone is the lower level of alertness. It's sad, sad, sick, tired, bored, just kind of that low energy. The green zone is more neutral, happy content focused. We do associated with like ready to learn in the classroom, whatnot. But it could be, dinner time as well. If we're talking about home reading or, whatnot, focus time. And then there's the yellow zone, which is a little bit more heightened level of alertness. So that could be excited, wiggly, anxious, just a little bit more elevated. And, and then there's the red zone, which is the biggest. So that could be fight flight freeze or not common, but faint. It could be, devastated, angry. It could be elated and ecstatic. So none of the zones are good or bad. They're just what we feel.

Elizabeth Sautter (07:10): And we all have feelings that are innate. They come and go just like the clouds in the sky. And what we want to do is try to help our children and people in general, not just kids, all people become more aware of how we're feeling on the inside. So then we can pair that with an emotion and understand that, build that emotional intelligence and awareness in ourselves and others. And then also pair that with the zone. So this is more complex than it's just stated, but for simplicity too, for the younger population are those that are willing to do this. It's paired with the traffic science as well. If you want, if you don't, if you have two cool first school, older elementary and teens then bag the stop sign or the, all the different signs, but it can be paired with, the rest area good to go caution sign and the stop sign, just to have some representation visually to be paired with that.

Elizabeth Sautter (08:08): So that's probably the poster that you were looking at. So that's the basics of the zones knows zone is bad or good. We're not punishing for being in the red zone or praising for being in the green zone. It's been misused like that in the field. And so we want to make sure that it's not being used that way. It's not a behavioral or approach disciplinary approach. It's not for blame shame, it's all supportive universal language. And just really simply put in these four colors to then expand in a lot of different ways that I can explain as well. But that is what's made it so easy to teach, practice and learn is by having this categorized into a systematic visual representation of our internal states of alertness,

Penny Williams (08:54): I love you brought up that no's zone is good or bad. It is just how we feel. You know, our culture really pushes us to have positive emotions and to think that more negative or difficult emotions are bad and they're not, they just are, it's how we perceive the world around us and what we do with that. And it's super important. I think for parents to understand that we're not saying that one zone is good or bad, that one zone may need, we need, I mean, we need to regulate or, work on how we communicate our feelings maybe. But that it's okay to be in the red zone. It's okay to be angry. That's natural. I really appreciate that. You made sure to bring that up as well, because I think it's so important in these conversations about emotions and feelings.

Penny Williams (09:50): And in, we don't talk enough with kids about how their body feels, especially in relation to their emotions. And, and it can be really challenging for kids who are wired differently to kind of build that sense of interoception, which Carol start creating a web. So the auto-sync child was just on the last episode and talked a little bit about that. So we're, we're really dovetailing one with the next here in these conversations, which is awesome. But yeah, I think it's really, really important that we sort of stay neutral as a parent with, with what our kids are feeling and just helping them with it rather than trying to fix it right. At different minds. Exactly.

Elizabeth Sautter (10:37): Yeah. No, it's, it's so it's such an important conversation to have, and we talk a lot about this a lot when we're, when we do, we do webinars as the trainers and we go into this in more depth, but it's so important and Leah's actually written an article called all zones are okay. So I dunno if you can put that in the show notes, but they were really great really important to be talking about that and just, we, we have a tendency to just, it's uncomfortable. Sometimes those feelings create pits in our stomachs and knots in our throats and whatever, it just doesn't feel good. And so, we're constantly like, get back to the green zone or, trying to calm down don't be this or that or whatever. And there's a lot of blame and shame around emotions and it's, we're really working toward changing that and just noticing, and then figuring out if it is a little bit uncomfortable for yourself or others around you, what can you do to regulate? And that's what the zones pathway and deeper curriculum is all about. And, and that's what Leah's life work has been, is to go deep in being able to provide simple lessons and resources to help parents and educators support students in this way.

Penny Williams (11:52): Yeah. So let's go, let's talk about, I guess, what's next, what you do when you, so you work with your child, you're using the zones and you've identified that they're in a particular zone. What happens then? What do you do to help them to build that awareness and also communicate it in an appropriate way and learn how to regulate?

Elizabeth Sautter (12:13): Absolutely. So, as you mentioned, there's the interoceptive piece and understanding how you feel is just a huge part of that. And so basically for those who haven't listened to your other podcast interoception is understanding how our is, how our body tells us how we're feeling. So it's like on the inside. So as part of sensory processing, and I'm not an occupational therapist, so those of you who are out there, forgive me are definitely checking with an OT about this. And Leah is an OT by trade and an autism specialist. So I learned a lot about this from her and also the work of Kelly Mueller, who has a whole curriculum on this as well. But anyway, it's like how, understanding how we're feeling like, we have to go to the bathroom or if we, if we're feeling hot or cold or tired, all of those kinds of hungry, all of that.

Elizabeth Sautter (13:01): And so, that also has to do with our emotions. And so we they're in the curriculum of the zones of regulation. There is a little bit of work on being able to understand how you're feeling internally. We make actually a little booklet, so the kids can know what the different zones feel like. And then they can have more awareness of this, but the first step on the pathway of the zones of regulation pathway is noticing. And that's where you figure out how you're feeling, what the situation is. What's going on around you, the people and the setting and the context, and then there's triggers in those situations where, the bell rings and it's time to line up, or you get a text and your, boyfriend dumps you or, whatever it might be, or it's the smell of the, the cafeteria food coming in or the dog barking, whatever it might be.

Elizabeth Sautter (13:57): It's, it's, it's something that happens. And then, your feelings manifest around that and, and noticing what that feels like as a huge piece of that, the sensation, so that then you can label, oh, I'm feeling a little bit anxious. And I, right now, if the dog were to bark for me at home, I would feel a little bit in the yellow zone because I know we're recording and I've told the family to keep it quiet. So that would be a, for me, it's okay, take a deep breath. Everybody understands the self-talk, all the tools that I would use for that situation. So noticing what's going on based on your internal state and what's happening around you. And then we moved to identifying the zone, which is the second step. What zone am I in? So the zone relates to your feelings on the inside and then emotions that you might be feeling that you can label and then the zone.

Elizabeth Sautter (14:49): And then the third step is deciding if and which tool you might need. So, if you're feeling comfortable or if you're feeling a little yellow zone and you're out at recess and you're playing kickball and you don't need a tool, you just go with it, right. That's what's needed. And that's fine. If you start getting into the red zone and freaking out, because you're in line and you're not going to get your turn to kick and you know, the ball, because the Bell's about to ring, like you might need a tool to regulate. But sometimes you don't, and it's just a matter of figuring out if you do, based on the situation and people around you and how you're feeling internally in that situation. And then picking which tool would it be helpful and also expected for the social situation. Then step four is to use the tool that's the regulate, the action, or potentially carry on. And then the last step is to reflect on how it went, how are you doing? Do you need to use the tool again? Did that tool not work? Do you need another tool or I'm good to go?

Penny Williams (15:56): Yeah. So kind of, it's continuous process of checking in with yourself

Elizabeth Sautter (16:00): And rinse and repeat, and then, there's in the, this is the pathway, but then in the curriculum that Lee has developed and with all the tools that we've put to support people using the zones with the cards and the story, books, posters, and apps and whatnot, and game there's a there's lessons and a curriculum that supports these four colors in the pathway.

Penny Williams (16:21): Yeah. I love this whole self check-in idea for kids, especially with ADHD, because they're so impulsive and it's so hard to stop and to consider anything and check in with yourself. And we really need to do that with our kids really build that skill from a much younger age, which I didn't know to do when my kid was little, a lot of information that we have now readily available wasn't necessarily available, or wasn't linked in a way that I would have known as a parent. Like I wouldn't have known to pick up a book on social, emotional learning yet. Right. I just wasn't there, or I didn't have that information. And so to kind of pull all this into one system for parents is so powerful. And I, I hope that it's never too late, right? It's never too late to start using this with a teen or a young adult, but I really hope that parents of young kids start on this kind of skill building and awareness with their kids, because it will affect so much as far as behavior is concerned and then really their success out in the world and in school.

Penny Williams (17:36): And, it just is going to sort of have this domino effect. The more that kids are aware and able to regulate the better they're going to do. Right. Just in general. Yeah. Yeah.

Elizabeth Sautter (17:50): And then evidence is really showing this as well. And it's becoming more mainstream for social emotional learning, not just for differently wired children or diverse children, but for all children. And the pandemic has really brought that out as a silver lining of the pandemic. And so there, everybody is talking about SEL social, emotional learning, and how we can, what can we do to help our kids, be able to be social, again, reduce their anxiety. Cause it's all about the uncertainty, this has just been so awful. So it's really brought the wellbeing of children to the forefront and, there's been research on it over the years of and what we've been trying to say, cause everybody always pushes academics and whatnot, and that's been the focus. And so we, there's a lot of research on that.

Elizabeth Sautter (18:37): Social, emotional learning actually is the foundation of achievement and academics as well. And so there's, research that shows that 11% point in gains for standardized achievement and test scores and whatnot. So that's been kind of the focus over the years is to, talk to educators about how this really does help. And you do have time for this. And if you, because if you, if you lay the foundation of social, emotional learning, then the academics will flourish. You know, cause a lot of teachers they're just busy, there's just so much to do. And they say, I don't have time for that. But we say like, if you do this, you'll have more time for that. And you'll have your attention and focus children and being able to work in small groups and regulate themselves to be able to get all the things that you want to teach them. So we've been talking about that a lot.

Penny Williams (19:23): Yeah. That kind of, that really reminds me of when we feel good. We do good. So when kids feel comfortable in the classroom, when they feel connected with their peers or their teacher, when they feel capable and competent, then they do well academically. Right. When it's, it's just such a basic, I think of human nature when we feel good, we do good. And that reminded me of that.

Elizabeth Sautter (19:51): Yeah, no, I a hundred percent. And I think that, feel good, do good, so much of it as part of the relationship with the the teachers and with the parents, right? It's like the foundation, the rapport building and, and thinking about, having the viewpoint of, of a compassionate, supportive, connected relationship with children. And that starts with us as adults and educators. And th there is research also that shows that there's less, we know when you teach this SEL skills, there's less burnout and greater job satisfaction for the teachers. And I've found that too, as an educator and as a parent, and I've found that I've learned so much and gained greater emotional awareness and intelligence by learning about the zones and teaching zones. And so there's benefit on both sides. You know, you really can't pour from an empty cup is what we say, right? So being able to learn about this and learn about own tools and your own triggers and problem solve and learn on the pathway, along with the children that you love so much and support can help us as adults and educators too. So it's definitely a win-win and whatever curriculum you're using or tools and strategies is great. And just it's nice to have something to lean on that simple and easy to teach and talk about.

Penny Williams (21:09): Yeah. Does it make sense now to talk about some regulation, activities or strategies? I know they're different for every kid and every adult, we all have different things that help us to regulate, but maybe just giving some general ideas would be helpful for parents to know kind of what we're talking about when we say, okay, if, if you need to regulate from one zone, what do you do? Yeah,

Elizabeth Sautter (21:35): Absolutely. So these are things that you're probably already doing parents as your kids so well, and you're the experts here, but just so you know, the things that help them with feeling more comfortable and achieving their goals in various situations. And so there's different ways to look at it. So you can look at it like bottom up approach, like in terms of sensory, that would be the more of like a bottom up approach where you're doing things like getting those sensory feel, good tools that you need maybe like a wall pushup or using a fidget or using headphones to block out noise. If your child gets overwhelmed with a lot of stimulation, those are all like the, the sensory based tools that you might use that might be helpful. And then there's also top-down approaches like cognitive based approaches, like thinking tools like self-talk in the curriculum.

Elizabeth Sautter (22:30): There's some cognitive based tools that we teach about self-talk and it's called inner coach versus inner critic. Trying to build up your inner coach yet it boosts you up saying, it's going to be okay, you got this, done this before. I can have a turn next, all those, but, and then also being aware of your inner critic, because a lot of our kiddos, including mine at home have really strong inner critic in terms of I suck at this. I'm never going to get a turn, like all the different things that they say, and we say to ourselves, so just being more aware of that, or some of the top-down approaches that we can work on, and then there's, we all need breathing tools. So, there's all kinds of breathing tools that we suggest within the curriculum and teach the webinars that we provide.

Elizabeth Sautter (23:19): A lot of people probably know about the square breathing or box breathing, breathe in hold readout. Oh, well, he has changed that one of our students that she, when she was developing the curriculum. So I think it should be the six sides of breathing following the lead and the interest of our students, which we know is the way to go for building. Buy-In because we always talk about doing a trial, but they have to, build that rapport and follow their interest to get that, buy that true. Make, turn it into a hexagon. And so it's the six sides of breathing within the zones of regulation. Breathe in, hold, breathe out, hold following the, the shape around by success.

Penny Williams (23:56): Right? Yeah. And I read somewhere that box breathing, there was a study that showed that, that particular pattern of breathing with the holes in it really impacts our autonomic nervous system and calming it. I found that really interesting when we, we deal with anxiety in our house quite a bit. And as soon as I saw that, I said, okay, this is the breathing you need to do. Like, let's try this one and see, and I've also found to changing it up helps. Cause if you get in the same pattern, then you're not very mindful anymore. You're just kind of going through the motions of it. So, trying different breathing techniques can really help too.

Elizabeth Sautter (24:34): I love take five breathing for any IEP meeting or any, just even meeting that you're having with your kiddo. It's like, you take your fingers and just raise them up. You have them in a fist and then you raised them up 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, breathing in, and then breathing out 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 with them coming back into a fist. It's also visual. So I love that too. Yeah. Another hack for the, I like the box breathing or the six sides because you can do it anywhere, design your pant leg or your desk or wherever. But another fun fact that I teach also is that the, we always heard that in breathing, the exhale should be longer. Well, the reason why that is, is because it's actually kind of a hack because when you're in a state of fight flight or freeze or overwhelm, your exhale is shorter.

Elizabeth Sautter (25:20): And so when you intentionally breathe in like for three and breathe out for five, it's like your, your nervous system is saying, I'm calm. I'm fine. I'm not in a state of overwhelm or fight flight or freeze. And so that's the way to just say like, okay, I'm fine. So if you try it with me now, breathe in for three and breathe out for five, your nervous system is now saying I'm fine. Everything's okay. And so then, yeah. But the other thing about tools and what we, how we teach them is there's tools for different zones. So for instance, there's blue zone tools that help you when you might be feeling in that lower state of arousal. So those tools help you increase alertness and maybe you're falling asleep during a, a school assignment or you're tired. You don't want to do your homework, but what, what is, what's a blue zone tool like drinking water, or, doing some jumping jacks or a chair, pushup, whatever that might bring alertness and energy to you for that situation.

Elizabeth Sautter (26:26): And then there's green zone tools, which people say like, why do you need green zone tools? You know, you're fine. You're good to go. Your focus, but green zone tools are the proactive tools that we can be using all the time to make ourselves feel comfortable and alert and ready to go. So are the things like getting enough sleep drinking water and getting, the right foods, exercise, connection, all of those things to just feel in general, more able to regulate and be social. So that's extremely important. And I talk about those, the foundational tools, because if, if your kid is hungry, forget all the rest of it, it doesn't even matter, just get them a cheese stick and like a drink of water, whatever it might be. If they haven't had an asleep, it might not be the right day for that, challenging lesson, whatever.

Elizabeth Sautter (27:17): And then there's yellow zone tools that you're more aware. So you're in that caution state and maybe just check out what's going on, but you can use a yellow zone tool, whatever that might be for you, you test them out and you try them out within the zones curriculum. There's a whole worksheet and you can do a tool of the week to see how it's going to take that data. We talk about being little scientists to have hypothesis. I think this will work for me. And then you try it out. You're like, actually I really don't like yoga or whatever it might be. Right. Actually, you know what that chair pushup really does it for me. And it doesn't have to be, a whole bunch of tools, but a few tools for each of these situations that might be challenging.

Elizabeth Sautter (27:55): So what we're looking for here, and then there's we want to talk a little bit about red zone because red zone is not a time for teaching and meltdown is never a teachable moment, but it's a time to get safe and calm. And then potentially you can talk about it later. We can also be proactive with red zone moments. So this is when you can practice by doing, video modeling or you doing a social story. If you know something that's challenging for a student to prepare them for how to get into that safe place and how to calm down and, and proactively, how to maybe use the yellow zone tool so that you, if it's an overwhelming negative red zone, then you, what happens is looking at that proactively like, oh, if we could just catch it before it gets to that big state, what the day would look like or what the situation would look like and how it would be different.

Elizabeth Sautter (28:49): So that's part, it's all part of the deeper knowledge and lessons of the zones that I really want to emphasize because you know, there's data collection, techniques and lessons, and in the, within the zones that you can see where your children are, are struggling and where they might need a little extra support and so many different tools, more so than just, the four colors that people are downloading from the internet and thinking that they're doing the zones of regulation. So there's 18 lessons and so much more. And if you want to learn more about that, we have half and full day trainings that you can come to. But just want to emphasize that it's more than just the four colors, there's a pathway and lessons, and it's a full curriculum to be able to make this easier to teach and learn and practice.

Penny Williams (29:35): Yeah. Let's talk about teens for a minute. The zones is very younger friendly, and I, I think that you guys have come out with a new product to help to use it with teens.

Elizabeth Sautter (29:49): Yeah, for sure. And I, I know you're passionate about the teenage teenagers as well as I am. I have a 14 and 17 year old here, both nerd neuro-diverse boys in my household with IDPs. And I work with a lot of teens and young adults. And you know, this isn't, this work is not just for, I mean, we definitely want to do early intervention and start young, like you mentioned, and there's a lot out there for that, but I, the teens need it really bad. Even typically developing teens, we all need this. And so we, as we, we're making these new resources, there's two children's books that have just come out and two card decks and we decided to make a car deck that's specifically for teenagers. And so it has images. So the car decks are basically tools that you can try.

Elizabeth Sautter (30:37): We just wanted to make them visual and easy for educators and parents to just pull out and try here and there for the week or however you want to do it, just to give them what is this, you know? And so they can pull them out and they're categorized into five different categories there. Feel it think it, do it, move it and connect. So they're divided into those kinds of categories for regulation, strategies and tools. And then the teen deck has these great illustrations that we hired an amazing illustrator to help with. And and then on the back, there's an explanation and kind of more of why to try these tools, which teenagers say, well, I don't want to do this. Why should I do that? So we have the rationale on these and then a check-in as well on how to, how did it make you feel so they can have that? Actually I really do like that cognitive based tool, or I do really like that pressure points. I'm looking at some of the tools right now, or so they're mixed in with all the different kinds of things that you can do within the zones with great images for teenagers, rationales and a check-in.

Penny Williams (31:51): That's awesome. Yeah. It's much harder to find these kind of tools for teens. You know, we think about teaching these skills and working on this stuff for younger kids, and then, the teens don't connect with it. If it's made for a seven year old for eight, and then they're not going to engage. And if they don't engage, if we don't have their buy-in, then we might as well not bother it, right. Everything's about buy-in with, with your teens. And so I love that now there's a tool specific to them that they can really connect with and feel good about using at their age and really the zones and the work of regulation is applicable to all of us at any age, we all need skills. And I think most of us could continue to build those skills. We could benefit from that, right. And that awareness Eva, and we get so busy and so kind of on the wheel of life and we lose awareness as adults, I think. And it's so, so important and so powerful to keep working on that awareness and keep using it to our benefit

Elizabeth Sautter (33:04): All throughout our life, till the day we're gone, I 100% exclamation point there. Agree. And yeah, and then, like I mentioned before too, with the, some people think that the zones is for the younger population, cause it's maybe has the traffic signs with it. But I, when I'm working with my teens and young adults, they are fine to have the four colors and, the images that are geared towards, all ages and they just get rid of the signs, the traffic signs, you don't, you, they're fun to use if you want, but you don't need them. And then you can simplify it to just relate to their life. And, I'm working with a, a young man right now, who's been working on regulation, he's OCD and been really challenged with his regulation. And he was like, light bulb went off when he saw, wow, I've never really thought about it or a visual been able to visualize it like this with, the four colors and it going up in terms of my levels of regulation, this really just helps me. And we actually, I introduced the zones of regulation game with him, which is called navigating the zones. And then there's an advanced pack if you want to play with the group. That is also great for teenagers. So on the website of social thinking where all the products and resources are sold, there's a teen bundle. So we put together that tip for working with teens specifically.

Penny Williams (34:24): Yeah. And we'll link everything up in the show notes for everybody listening to you go to that. And anything else that we've talked about, we've, we've mentioned several resources and products and other concepts to learn more about like interoception. So all of that will be linked up in the show notes as well. And everyone listening can find [email protected] slash 1, 3, 1 for episode 131, and we're out of time, we can talk about this forever. Right. But we're out of time. So I just want to thank you again for, for coming back on the show a second time and really sharing your wisdom. And it's so fun to listen to you talk about these things because you're so engaged with it and so passionate about it. And so passionate about the work you do, and it's really infectious.

Elizabeth Sautter (35:16): Oh, thank you, Penny. I am. And, and people say that and I just, I feel it. I got tingles when you said that, it's just, I feel like it is the number one most important thing for us to be talking about teaching and practicing. So thank you so much for this platform and I'm sharing it with your audience. And, I'm speaking on behalf of Leah Kuypers, who's developed a zones of regulation know I've been fortunate enough to work with her in developing some of these products to support her curriculum, the zones, and then also social thinking and Michelle Garcia winner, who is the publisher of all of this. So thank you all for making this accessible. And I'm honored to be here.

Penny Williams (35:55): Love it, love to share all the tools is my, one of my number one goals in the work I do because for us starting out 12 years ago, it was a nightmare to try to find a, to all, it just, it just wasn't accessible. So it's, that's a big deal for me to be able to share as much as we can so that parents can find what works for their kids and really feel confident that they can help, right. That they can really have an impact and make life with challenges, navigable. So good stuff, good stuff. We'll link it all up. And I will see everyone on the next episode. Thanks for joining me on the parenting ADHD podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe and share, and don't forget to check out my online courses, parent coaching and mama retreats at parentingadhdandautism.com.

Thank you!

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it. Have something to say, or a question to ask? Leave a comment below. I promise to answer every single one. **Also, please leave an honest review for the Beautifully Complex Podcast on iTunes. Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and appreciated! That’s what helps me reach and help more families like yours.

I'm Penny Williams.

I help stuck and struggling parents (educators, too) make the pivots necessary to unlock success and joy for neurodivergent kids and teens, themselves, and their families. I'm honored to be part of your journey!

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Join me as I help parents, caregivers, and educators like you harness the realization that we are all beautifully complex and marvelously imperfect. Each week I deliver insights and actionable strategies on parenting neurodivergent kids — those with ADHD, autism, anxiety, learning disabilities…

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