How to share the Alert 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.
What’s Ok to Share?
We encourage you to share the basic underlying theory and key concepts of the Alert Program® with parents, teachers, therapists, and other team members. This is an essential ingredient for successful use of the program. 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!
Encourage 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.
Ways to Share
The Introductory Booklet was created to help provide an overview. The Take Five! book includes activities you can demonstrate and the Test Drive (book and CD) has songs you can 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 CD) 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 Blog). 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 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 (for Adults)
One of our most widely requested resources is the Sensory Motor Preference Checklist (for Adults). How to use this checklist is described in the Alert Program® Online Course (contact us to receive copyright permission). Our shorter course, Your Best Self: The Alert Program® For All, covers this checklist in detail as well as providing countless alerting and calming self-regulation strategies. In this engaging course, viewers learn how to observe and support self-regulation in themselves. Then, they are better able to observe and support others. Viewers can watch the short video segments (less than 10 minutes each), even while multi-tasking when cooking dinner, doing chores, or exercising. Watch a bit, try some things out, and watch some more.
Be sure to have self-regulation strategies available for team members when you are sharing the Alert Program® concepts with others (such as relaxable balls, pipe cleaners, Silly Putty®, etc.). It is 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.