The Alert Program for Self Regulation
How does your engine run?
The Alert Program is an experiential, cognitive based approach to sensory modulation based on the principles of sensory integration. It was developed by two occupational therapists, Mary Sue Williams and Sherry Shellenberger. It teaches students to recognize or identify their own "arousal" states and to act accordingly to regulate how alert they need to be for a given task or environment. By "arousal" we mean the state of the nervous system that describes how alert one feels. For example, we need to maintain a different state of alertness to watch a sunset on the beach as compared to walking a dark street in New York City at 2:00AM. We need different levels of alertness to attend a class as compared to attending a basketball game. Our levels of alertness also change throughout the day.
When our sensory systems function well we automatically adjust ourselves to the time and tasks. We also instinctively know what we need to get ourselves "going" or to calm ourselves down. This course is designed to help students who have difficulty with sensory integration to identify those arousal states and strategies which we label as car engine states – running on high gear, running in low gear, or running "just right." The course is divided into six or more sessions, depending on the needs of the group. The concepts and strategies for modifying alertness are introduced and explored on an on-going basis. Each week the students are introduced to a new concept with homework to try for the week. It is hoped that by the end of the sessions, students will have a greater awareness of their personal levels of alertness and ways to modify their behavior using sensory strategies. Parents are given a short overview of the sessions and are expected to follow through on assignments to help their children better integrate the learning experience. Follow up classes are scheduled as needed. Individual Alert Program sessions are also available.
For more information regarding The Alert Program for Self Regulation, please visit www.alertprogram.com on the web, or call TherapyWorks, Inc. at (505)897-3478 to order the parent booklet.