Health and Safety

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How do I advocate for my own health and safety?

An advocate is someone who speaks up for himself or herself. Now that you are an adult, it is important to understand your rights and responsibilities, so you can be a good self-advocate in all areas of your life.  For more information about becoming an effective self-advocate, contact People First California or the Autism Self Advocacy Network. 

When it comes to health, people with disabilities may be more likely to have issues that need more medical attention. You are your own best advocate when it comes to your health, because you know how your body feels. If something hurts, or if you don’t feel right, it is important to tell your caregiver or doctor. Be as specific as possible. For example, you might tell your parent or doctor that your stomach hurts and point to the part of your stomach that is bothering you. Aside from knowing what to do when you don’t feel well, it is also important to understand what you need to do to stay healthy and happy.

Personal Hygiene – Means taking care of your body by keeping it clean and healthy. Click here for a chart of activities you can do every day.

Nutrition- Eating a balanced diet is a great way to help stay healthy. Click here for a tool to help you figure out your personal nutrition needs.

Exercise – Every person can benefit from being active. When you exercise regularly, you are less likely to be overweight and develop certain health problems. The government suggests that adults get at least two hours and thirty minutes of exercise each week. This can be walking, jogging, swimming, bike riding, or any other activity you enjoy. For more information about the benefits of exercise, Click here.

Personal Safety

When it comes to personal safety, there are steps you can take to make it less likely you will be affected by crime. Click here for a personal safety checklist. Be sure to go over this checklist with a trusted caregiver. Sometimes, bad things happen. If you or a loved one has a medical emergency or is a victim of crime, dial 911 on any phone for help.

Online Safety

Many of us use our smartphones and computers to spend time on the Internet. This can be fun and informative, but we also want it to be safe. There are important rules to follow when you are online:

  • Never give out any personal information over the Internet. This includes your password, home address, phone number, or name. It also includes credit card or debit card information or PIN numbers.
  • Never agree to meet alone with someone you met on the Internet. Ask a person you trust if he or she thinks it’s a good idea to meet this person, and if so, to go with you. Remember, not everyone you meet online is your friend. Afterwards, ask the person you invited for their opinion about the person you met.
  • Don’t upload embarrassing pictures of yourself or other people. This includes pictures of people in their underwear, without clothing, or in humiliating positions. Once something is posted, it can’t be removed from the Internet, even if you take it down from a social media site.
  • Don’t post mean things. Words can hurt. If you are  unsure if something is appropriate to post, ask someone you trust for advice.
  • Always get permission from someone before you post a picture.
  • Make sure your privacy settings for social media sites like Facebook are secure.

For more information about Internet safety, click here.

For more information about health and safety issues, click here to be connected with an LAJAC Case Manager or Intake Specialist.

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