Occupational Therapy -> Self-regulation


Self-regulation refers to the ability to monitor and/or control one’s own emotions, responses and behavior in response to events, sensory stimuli, and interactions experienced. Self-regulation is a cognitive, developmental and sensory based process. Self-regulation is required to engage appropriately in important daily routines and activities, maintain attention, respond to overwhelming, unexpected, aversive sensory stimuli (i.e., by removing stimuli, self, or using strategies), and interact with others. It is important for an individual to sense and understand how he or she is feeling, understand triggers which impact regulation, and utilize strategies and tools to maintain regulation.

Minor focus areas



Therapists who selected this major focus area as their top area of expertise.

  • Maria Roberts

    Maria Roberts

    Therapist OTR/L

    My name is Maria Roberts, and I have been practicing occupational therapy for 4.5 years. I starte...

    • Sidekick Therapy Partners Sidekick Therapy Partners

Goal Bank

  • Candelaria will demonstrate increased self-regulation and attention as evidenced by attending to an adult directed activity for 7-7 minutes with minimal cuing as seen in 7 different therapy sessions and demonstrate at least 80% decrease in meltdowns across 7 weeks per Mom's report with in 7 therapy months over a 7 week therapy period.
  • Kurtis will improve sensory processing and self regulation, independently, in 3 out of 3 attempts for increased body awareness, coordination, safety and direction following within a 3 month therapy period.

Visual Schedule Cards

Related Disorder(s)

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder - Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a complex developmental condition that involves persistent challenges in social interaction, speech and nonverbal communication, and restricted/repetitive behaviors. The effects of ASD and the severity of symptoms are different in each person.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder - Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a psychiatric disorder that may occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event such as a natural disaster, a serious accident, a terrorist act, war/combat, or rape or who have been threatened with death, sexual violence or serious injury.
  • Neurological Conditions - Types of neurological conditions may include: Alzheimer’s Disease, Dementias, Brain Cancer, Epilepsy and Other Seizure Disorders, Mental Disorders, Parkinson’s and Other Movement Disorders, and Stroke and Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA).

Reference links

  • What Is Behaviour Regulation? And What Does It Have To Do With Language Development? Author: Lauren Lowry - A child's ability to regulate his own behaviour is closely related to his language development. Studies have shown that preschool children who have better behaviour regulation skills also have better early literacy, vocabulary, and math skills. What are some of the things you can do to promote your child's behaviour regulation and support his language development?
  • Self-Regulation Archives - The OT Toolbox Author: Colleen Beck - One of the big executive functioning skills is the ability to self-monitor oneself. Self-monitoring strategies play a part in the ability to notice what is happening in the world around us and what is happening in our own body. The ability to “check” oneself and monitor actions, behaviors, and thoughts as they happen play into our ability to problem solve. Use the tips below to help kids learn how to self-monitor and problem solve. These self-monitoring strategies for kids are applicable in the classroom, home, sports field, or in social situations.
  • Self Regulation Author: Kid Sense Child Development - Occupational Therapists assist with self-regulation, which is a person's ability to adjust and control their own energy level, emotions, behaviours and attention.