The Alert Program helps to teach students, parents and teachers to recognise arousal states as they relate to attention, learning and behaviour. Overtime students begin to recognise how they are feeling and presenting. They can then expand the number of self-regulation strategies they use in a variety of tasks and settings and begin to self-manage to improve their readiness to learn.
Students are encouraged to use the analogy of an engine to introduce its concepts i.e. "If your body is like a car engine, sometime it runs on high, sometimes it runs on low, and sometime it runs just right". Students will begin the program by showing preferences for items which they enjoy to explore and things which calm them. Students then use these items at times throughout the day once they have identified how their own ‘engine’ is running.