How To Help Navigate Emotions: Emotional Balance Communication Boards


As parents, caregivers, teachers, therapists, humans, we strive to help children navigate the complex world of emotions. Emotions are a fundamental part of our daily lives, influencing how we think, feel, and behave. For children, understanding and managing emotions can be especially challenging. Understanding and managing these feelings are  crucial for their well-being. Learning how to effectively and clearly express emotions can be challenging for children and adults alike.  A powerful tool that can assist in this process is emotional balance communication boards. These boards not only assist with effective communication but provide clear options for dealing with these big emotions. 

Understanding Emotional Balance/Regulation: 

Being able to clearly explain to adults and children alike how being emotionally balanced or regulated involves recognizing and managing one’s emotions in a healthy and constructive way.

Organizing and naming emotions:

Giving children and adults the exact words to name specific emotions is extremely powerful. When emotions run high (or low) having the tools to either give a child a voice by using a communication board or provide a visual reminder is imperative. 

Grouping emotions is a common way to organize  a communication board specific for emotional balance/regulation. For example: 

  • Sad, Tired, Sick, Bored: Low states of alertness and down feelings.
  • Happy, Calm, Focused: The optimal state for learning and socializing.
  • Frustrated, Anxious, Nervous: Elevated states of alertness and intense feelings.
  • Angry, Terrified, Jealous: Extremely heightened states of alertness and intense feelings.

Providing visual reminders

Once an emotion is communicated, providing options to support the child or adult as they manage validates their feelings and teaches life long skills for maintaining emotional balance. 

For each group of emotions identified above are specific techniques that are easy to incorporate in any situation. For example: 

  • Sad, Tired, Sick, Bored: eating or drinking something, asking for a break, talking to a trusted person
  • Happy, Calm, Focused: ready to work, ready to learn, listen for instructions
  • Frustrated, Anxious, Nervous: counting to 10, taking deep breaths, asking for a break
  • Angry, Terrified, Jealous: asking for space, taking a walk, getting a drink of water


Benefits to Children and Adults

  • Increased Independence: Using emotional balance communication boards empower children and adults to express their emotions independently, leading to increased confidence and self-esteem.
  • Improved Emotional Literacy: Consistent use of emotional balance communication boards can improve an individual’s emotional literacy, helping them better understand and manage their feelings.
  • Empathy and Understanding: Using emotional balance communication boards promotes empathy and understanding by encouraging children and adults to recognize and respect others’ emotions.

Tips for Use

  • Daily Check-ins-  Use the emotional balance communication board for daily check-ins 
  •   Practice Techniques and Strategies:  practice the strategies that can help children move from one emotional group to another (e.g., deep breathing for moving from heightened state to calm state).
  • Encourage Open Communication: Create a safe space for individuals to discuss their emotions and ask for help when needed


In conclusion, incorporating emotional balance communication boards can be a powerful way to help children and adults identify, understand, and regulate their emotions. By using this framework, parents and caregivers can support individuals in developing essential emotional skills and techniques that will benefit them throughout their lives.

How To Look at  Access: Increase Playground Accessibility For Everyone

summer day playground

Access to playgrounds in more than physical. This week’s blog focuses on access for everyone.

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How to Prepare for Gift Giving and Receiving

Getting and giving gifts can be exciting but hard for some individuals. Preparing for this time of the year helps to make everyone’s celebration special.

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How to Fund Playground Communication Boards

picture of money on table

Communication boards are important for people with communication differences. Communication boards give people a voice to build relationships. Getting a playground or pool communication board can be more difficult because of the cost. Today’s blog will look at the different ways to get funding for communication boards.

Grants and Foundations

Some groups give money to projects that help people with disabilities. Look for grants from groups that help provide communication devices for people. Apply for these grants to get money for communication boards.

Corporate Sponsorship

Ask local businesses for help. Some companies like to support projects in their community. Make a plan that shows how playground communication boards can make a big difference. This might get businesses to give money to your project.

Crowdfunding Campaigns

Use websites like Kickstarter or GoFundMe to ask for small amounts of money from many people. Share stories about why playground/pool communication boards are important. Your friends and others might give money to help out.

Community Events and Fundraisers

Do things in your town to get people excited about helping. Maybe have a walk or a fun run to get money. Work with local schools and businesses to make events that bring in money for playground communication boards.

Government Grants and Programs

Sometimes, the government gives money for projects that help people with disabilities. Look into these grants and ask for help. Tell them how playground communication boards can make a positive change.

Partnerships with Educational Institutions

Work with schools and colleges that have programs for special education. They might help with resources and money. Partnering with them can make it easier to get playground communication boards.


Getting money for playground communication boards may require you to try different ways to find funding, but you can make it happen. By using these ideas, you can get the help to change the lives of many. As more people understand why playground/pool communication boards matter, it will be easier to get support and provide everyone a voice.

funding ideas for communication boards
funding ideas of communication boards

9 Easy Ways to Create Sensory Friendly Holiday Decor

string of holiday white lights

The holiday season is a time of joy, celebration, and togetherness. We’ll explore how to create a sensory-friendly holiday environment by making thoughtful choices in your decorations.

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National Audiology Awareness Month!

October celebrates many worthy causes and organizations.  Our brothers and sisters in Audiology are recognized in October as it is National Audiology Awareness month!

Hearing is something taken for granted too often.  While it is a true fact that hearing acuity decreases with age, taking steps to preserve hearing is important at all ages.  The National Department of Human Services “It’s a Noisy Planet Protect Their Hearing” Campaign shares important information and reminders for parents of child of all ages.

Sound that is 85 decibels or higher may cause hearing loss.  The volume and length of time spent listening to sound at an elevated level as well as the proximity to the source,  the more damage can occur to your hearing. Our environment is filled with sounds that are well over 85 decibels (dB), some you probably have never considered.  

  • Normal conversation: 60 dB
  • Dishwasher: 75 dB
  • School cafeteria: 85 dB
  • Gas lawn mower: 90 dB
  • Snowmobile: 100  dB
  • Music player at maximum volume: 105 dB
  • Music concert: 110 dB
  • Ambulance siren: 120 dB
  • Jet engine taking off: 140 dB
  • Firecracker: 140–165 dB

We all need to be mindful of what and how long we are exposing our children and ourselves to damaging sounds.  Damage can build up over time. Simple ways to decrease the risk of hearing loss are move away from the sound source, wear hearing protectors (earmuffs, earplugs, etc) and turn the volume down, especially when wearing headphones/earbuds.

Take time this month to pay attention and make positive changes to preserve your hearing that of those you love.  More information can be found at the “It’s a Noisy Planet” website.

Yours in Speech,

Lakeshore Speech Therapy, LLC.

Down Syndrome Awareness Month

October celebrates National Down Syndrome Awareness month.  During the month of October, take time to put aside the candy corn and pumpkins and learn more about how you and your family can celebrate the abilities and accomplishments of individuals with Down Syndrome.

Some basics about Down Syndrome.  

  • A person with Down Syndrome rocks an extra pair of chromosomes, resulting in individuals with Down syndrome have 47 instead of the usual 46 chromosomes.
  • Approximately 400,000 Americans have Down Syndrome.
  • One in 700 babies are born with Down Syndrome.
  • Down syndrome was first studied and described by a doctor named John Langdon Down.

Organizations that work to ensure an individual with Down Syndrome has the services, therapies and help they (and their families) need to be successful can be found throughout the greater Cleveland area.  

Gigi’s Playhouse of Cleveland is a wonderful agency providing social, educational and support programs for individuals ages birth through adulthood.  Make the pledge and find out more about how YOU can become part of Generation G.

The Up Side of Downs of NorthEast Ohio has been supporting, educating and advocating for people with Down Syndrome (and their families) since the 1980’s.  From tennis to yoga to dances and more, this incredible organization has a calendar full of activities and resources for you to explore!

Connecting for Kids! Provides support and education to families and children throughout Northeast Ohio. Looking to better understand a diagnosis, resources and support, please take a moment to investigate this outstanding resource.

Lakeshore Speech Therapy, LLC. would like to share our most sincere well wishes, support and admiration for our friends thriving with Down Syndrome and their families.  Our world is better because of you!

Yours in Speech,

Lakeshore Speech, LLC