The Alert Program®/Zones of Regulation®

The Alert Program® (also known as the “How Does Your Engine Run?” ® or Alert Program® for Self-Regulation) was created by occupational therapists, Mary Sue Williams and Sherry Shellenberger. The program was developed to teach children- how to change how alert they feel and to teach adults how to support learning, attending, and positive behaviors.

alert programme zones of regulation

The Alert Program teaches children a wide range of simple strategies and activities that can be incorporated easily into home and school routines.
Calming, alerting and organizing sensory activities are recommended most often in the program to help shift the engines in high or low gear.

Through this program, your child will learn to:

  • Identify mood levels on themselves and on others.
  • Maintain an optimal state of alertness for when the situation demands.
  • Independently calm themselves, when feeling strong emotions.
  • Express their feelings with confidence.
  • Sustain attention, engagement and participation in the environment.
  • Ask for help when they need it.

Your child might benefit from this program if they:

  • Struggle to remain alert, attentive and focused for longer periods of time than others.
  • Frequently need a movement break in the middle of a task.
  • Easily or quickly dip into a low state of arousal level (lethargic and droopy), when engaged in an activity.
the alert programme zones of regulation