How to share the Alert Program® program with others…
After three decades teaching about self-regulation in all types of settings with all ages of clients, we have found “it is as important or more important” to share the key concepts of the Alert Program® (with as many team members as possible) PRIOR to starting the program.
We encourage you to talk with others about the Alert Program® and share the basics of the underlying theory. This sharing of the basics with parents, teachers, therapist and other team members is an essential ingredient for successful use of the program.
Ways to Share
The Introductory Booklet was created to help provide an overview. The Take Five! book includes activities you could demonstrate or the Test Drive book has songs you could use in an Alert Program® brief overview (the “Just Right” and “Five Ways” songs are ideal to use as movement breaks for your team to learn about self-regulation as described in the Test Drive book and demonstrated in our online course).
Also, you will find free resources that you can give to team members such as our one page handout entitled, “What’s All This Talk About Engines?”, an article for parents, and another article for those supporting children with autism (additional articles found in our Info Library). For those on your team interested in evidence-based practice, you may want to print and share our “Alert Program® Literature and Research” document. Or you can share links to our radio interviews with others on your team.
Worth Finding the Time
Sometimes we feel we are all short on time, but we encourage you to find the time to share key concepts through our Alert Program® materials and through experiential learning whenever possible. What might “take time” will actually help you “save time” in that you’ll have more “buy in,” follow-through and carryover. How to do this is explained in detail in the Alert Program® Online Course.
Sensory Motor Preference Checklist
One of our most widely requested resources is the “Sensory Motor Preference Checklist (for Adults).” We strongly recommend you give this checklist to all of your team members to help heighten awareness of their own self-regulation strategies.
After they complete the checklist, plan to facilitate a discussion to share first about what you do to self-regulate, giving examples of your sensory diet (things you do daily to keep yourself in an alert state). Sharing personal stories about what you do in your daily routine to self-regulate will prime the pump for the listener(s) to share their stories.
Be sure to have self-regulation strategies available for team members to try while they are filling out the checklist and participating in the discussion (such as relaxable balls, pipe cleaners, Silly Putty®, etc.). Best to offer self-regulation strategies when team members are having difficulty attending (when they look somewhat lethargic and in a low state of alertness). Then after they fidget with the relaxable ball, pipe cleaner, or putty, help them notice how it becomes much easier to attend when in an optimal state of alertness (alert, attentive, and focused).
In fact, it’s ideal to provide self-regulation strategies in any meeting (family meeting, staff meetings, IEP meetings, etc.). When we are in an optimal state, we are likely to have more productive and efficient meetings! And the more often you help your team and family members observe self-regulation in themselves, the better they can observe and support self-regulation in others.
What’s Ok to Share?
We whole-heartedly want to encourage you to share the Alert Program® key concepts with parents, teachers, therapists, and other team members. However, the concept of “sharing” needs further clarification.
Providing an overview of the Alert Program® with other team members to support your implementation of the program is an excellent idea. Offering trainings to teach other how to implement the whole Alert Program® in their respective settings is problematic!
Lead clients and team members to learn about the Alert Program® but do not attempt to be an Alert Program® Instructor! We have no certification program for therapists to become “official” Alert Program® Instructors. This is solely the role and responsibility of TherapyWorks, Inc. Due to copyright restrictions, anyone other than TherapyWork’s staff teaching groups of individuals to implement the program through workshops or in-service trainings is inappropriate and strictly prohibited.
Prior to sharing the program with others, please read our “Copyright Guidelines” document. This document will help you identify appropriate content and outcomes when planning to share the Alert Program® with others. We are happy to support your efforts; if you have any questions after reading our “Copyright Guidelines,” please contact us.