How Does Your Engine Run? is the part of the world famous Alert Program developed by Occupational therapists with over three decades of experience – Mary Sue Williams and Sherry Shellenberger. In their book – How does your engine run? the authors discuss the Alert Program and how it can help our children with self-regulation. In essence, there are three engine speeds – Low, Just right and High. When our engines are running Low, we me have a hard time focusing and paying attention and may feel sluggish and down. When our engines are High, we may find it hard to pay attention and want to keep moving. When our engines are Just Right, we function at out optimum level and can easily focus and learn. By teaching the children to pay attention to their bodies and identify how their engine is running, we can help them stay self-regulated and advocate for themselves by seeking out the sensory diet they need to regulate their sensory systems.
In their book – Take Five! Staying Alert At Home and School, the authors suggest numerous activities to help the children learn to regulate themselves. Once they have identified how their engine is running at the moment, they can choose activities from the different categories like oral, movement, touch, visual, auditory – to help them to stay focused. Each of them is discussed in length in separate chapters with numerous activity suggestions and environmental modifications. For example, in the chapter – Put Something In The Mouth, the authors discuss about food items to help engines, Brain food, non food items and offer various activities like Bundle of straws, Sheep herding activity and many more. A very thorough and informative book for anyone interested in implementing the Alert Program.
To know more about The Alert Program, please visit their website :
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