The ALERT Programme

Since 2009 the NBSS Occupational Therapists have worked in partner schools, across all three levels of NBSS support, introducing the international evidence-based ALERT programme ‘How Does Your Engine Run’. The programme aims to help students monitor, maintain and change their level of alertness so that it is appropriate to the situation or task. The programme identifies students’ sensory needs and preferences and encourages student use of sensory motor strategies to support self regulation so that their engines are running ‘just right’. The strategies and activities taught can be incorporated into home and school routines.

In 2012 the NBSS offered training to partner schools in the ALERT programme. Over the course of two days the NBSS Occupational Therapists trained 28 teachers in the programme. Teachers were taken through the underlying theory behind the programme as well as the aims, objectives and activities of each ALERT session. The ALERT programme was implemented with individual students, small groups of students and whole class groups.