Trainer Spotlight: Alex Letto

Q: How long have you been an Ukeru trainer?

A: 1 year

Q: What population do you work with? What inspired you to get into this field? 

A: I work with individuals with social/emotional learning difficulties, Autism, medically fragile, deaf and hard of hearing, etc. ranging in age from early childhood to our adult transition program. I have always wanted to make a positive impact on people and the world. I find that special education offers me that opportunity.

Q: What part of Ukeru do you enjoy teaching the most and why?  

A: Definition and Prevalence of Trauma – Unfortunately, there is more trauma today than ever before. When training, I really emphasize that witnessing violence, terrorism or disasters can still traumatize an individual. If we think about the world we live in, people are being traumatized every day, including children. The things our children are being exposed to via the internet is very traumatizing. Understanding what trauma is and the prevalence of it, makes this section very impactful.

Q: What would you say to someone who is unsure about using Ukeru? 

A: Give it a chance. For me, it was difficult to envision Ukeru in a school setting. Now, I can’t imagine schools without it. Ukeru is more than just the pads and blocking techniques. It’s about trauma and how it affects the brain and the person as a whole. Understanding that building positive relationships and trust with someone is the most important part of crisis de-escalation.

Q: What advice or tip would you give to a new Ukeru trainer? 

A: Just have fun with it and if you get stuck just fall back on your Trainer Manual; all the information is right there. 

Q: How has Ukeru impacted your life? 

A: Ukeru opened my eyes to the prevalence of trauma. Understanding what trauma does to the forebrain, really helped me realize that behavior is a form of communication. Before we react to a situation, we need to take a step back and remember that the individual is communicating something and it’s our job to figure out what that is.

Q: What is your favorite quote or a motto that you like to live by? 

A: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Q: What three words would you use to describe Ukeru?

A: Innovative, Unique, Effective