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Let’s Chat: What Is the Alert Program®?

What makes a child too sluggish or hyper to learn, too wired to go to bed? Well, it all has to do with a bunch of stuff we occupational therapists have been studying for years, like alert states, sensory integration, self-regulation, automatic responses, sensory motor preferences. Jargon, jargon, jargon, right?

That’s why we wrote An Introduction to “How Does Your Engine Run?” The Alert Program® for Self-Regulation (Introductory Booklet). In 20 pages, we took all that jargon and turned it into layman’s language to explain how we are all buzzing along at various alert levels throughout the day. Adjusting those levels is what we call self-regulation. We use an engine metaphor because everybody gets it. To children, it’s a toy car; to adults, it’s the real thing.

You get out of bed, your engine’s in low. You just found out you’re getting company for the weekend, you’re running high. You just took a brisk walk with your dog and now you’re settling down to read the paper or go online, you’re in a “just right” state to focus.

The Introductory Booklet takes you through the alert states, how to identify them, how to see change coming, how to help a shift happen, even how to get your whole family or class in the same state at the same time.

You’ll even learn to play detective. Have a child who seems unreasonably touchy and volatile? You’ll come to realize that he or she gives you clues prior to the melt down – or explosion – in plenty of time to avoid it.

The Introductory Booklet gives you the “nuts and bolts” of the program so you can understand how and why it works. We’ve even included a checklist so you can reflect how you change your alert levels throughout the day. And we’ve given you questions to ponder about what self-regulation strategies you use to calm yourself or rev up. The Introductory Booklet will give you the big picture and help you see yourself clearly, so in turn you can better observe and support the children in your life.