By Karen Wolf-Branigin
Director, Autism NOW Center
The November 2013 Autism NOW Center Prism newsletter is about safety. Safety is a broad topic including personal issues such as physical, social, financial, emotional, and occupational safety as well as community issues including how to prepare for or be safe if a disaster occurs.
Unfortunately, we’re learning though a number of reports and studies that people living with autism and other intellectual/developmental disabilities face more unsafe situations compared with their non-disabled peers. Ignoring discussions about safety issues will not serve us well. Taking the time and gaining the courage to share personal experiences with each other can assist us in shining a light on this important issue and attract individuals and organizations able to support us in identifying practical solutions.
We are delighted to highlight many of those solutions in this issue of Prism. Stay safe and thank you for using this issue today and in the future.
Safety: Autism Now Resources
The Autism NOW Center has a number of resources related to safety written by people on the spectrum. We are confident that these resources will expand your knowledge about safety issues.
We invite you to take a look at our section on safety that includes information and resources for individuals with autism and other disabilities.
Autism NOW Center Co-director Amy Goodman wrote Safety Tips to Avoid Victimization of a Crime in April 2012 and her recommendations for staying safe are still relevant today.
Safety: What are we learning from others?
Independence, Productivity, Self Determination, Integration & Inclusion (IPSII) was formed by a group of Minnesota Partners in Policy Making® graduates who have children with developmental disabilities. Their program, Being Prepared: MN Preparedness Center, funded by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Administration on Developmental Disabilities coordinates a number of learning events including teaching people with disabilities how to take on leadership roles in emergency preparedness activities.
Safe Kids USA includes a group of organizations focused on preventing unintentional childhood injuries. They provide information to the general public about medication, sports, baby and water safety. Visit their website at http://www.safekids.org/ .
The National Autism Association has a series that provides information on wandering, restraint and seclusion, bully, and suicide prevention.
Learn more about the Autism Walk and Safety Fair in Champaign, IL. Their success may inspire you to host a similar event in your own community.