If a child is alert, he can be more aware of the opportunities around him.

Alertness is a state of mental brightness. When you’re alert, you feel fully aware of your thinking and your perceptions.

Look at the girls in this photo. The twin on the right in particular is exhibiting a state of high alertness … as well as naughtiness (notice the ‘bunny ears’ she is flashing behind her sister’s head)!

For children on the autism spectrum, a state of alertness can at times be overwhelming. They’re often highly sensitive to things they hear, smell, see and feel around them. These sensations can be overpowering and can rob their attention. Even when considering areas of strength like visual skills, recent research showed that children with ASD often do not know what to pay attention to. The awareness of these many perceptions and sensations can lead children with ASD to become overstimulated and unable to learn.

How spark* helps children become alert

Some of the many ways spark* helps children with ASD become alert include how to:

  • Focus their attention so that only some information receives focus
  • Look for the most important information so that their attention is narrowed only to the most relevant sensations and perceptions
  • Ignore information that is not important so they can learn to deliberately block out some things
  • Use signals, clues and models around them to become alert to expectations in a situation

These help the children keep alert to things and possibilities around them without becoming overwhelmed.