We all function in one of three ways during different types of activities–low, just right or high. In the ALERT Program, it is referred to as “our engines”….and HOW they are running. We all experience a low engine, a high engine or a just right engine….but the key is being just right at the right time. If you feel low, are you up for a game of basketball or can you pay attention? If you feel high, can you listen to directions or sit down and play a board game with peers?
Three graduate students from the School of Occupational Therapy at Brenau University–Celina, Catherine and Hannah–chose The Next Stop to conduct their thesis study. Over the last eight weeks, these OT students led groups twice a week teaching our members how to be aware of when they are too low or too high and what sensory strategies they can use to be “just right”. Many opportunities to touch, look, taste, move, etc., were given to our members to see how their “engines” were affected. The goal was to support appropriate member participation and social skills in group activities.
The ALERT Program instruction came to an end this past week. Our engines were low as we said good bye to our three superb OT student leaders. We thank them for leaving us with a new understanding of the use of sensory strategies, a cart full of sensory supplies and a notebook filled with a review of all the information they taught us. We all look forward to helping our members as they work to be “just right” in each situation.