Self-regulation is the life skill of independently managing one’s own moods, behaviors, and actions. Good self-regulation is an optimal mode for living in our complex world. Poor self-regulation, sometimes called dysregulation, leads to a less productive and more chaotic approach to the world. The concept of self-regulation has recently become a new awareness for teachers and parents who are trying to help unique learners.
The occupational therapy goal in a school setting is always to help the student modulate their brain’s level of arousal in order to achieve the best outcome possible for that particular circumstance. To regulate requires maintaining the correct mood/mode to participate for as long as other students do.
To assist a child or student to better regulate (or modulate) their erratic behavior, the adult can employ strategies suggested throughout this book. For example, a brushing program can be initiated by the adult. The child is gradually encouraged to perform parts of the regimen independently in order to develop self-regulation with less dependence on external sources for their sense of calmness and well-being.