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Self-advocacy is the ability to share your likes, dislikes and goals with others. Some people refer to self-advocacy as speaking up for yourself.
Building self-advocacy skills starts with realizing your opinions and questions are important. Learning to talk about your ideas or share your point of view is what self-advocacy is about!
For some, speaking up is easier than others. Some people are naturally outgoing and some are shy.
The good news is self-advocacy is a skill that can be learned. Did you know some adults pay 'life coaches' to help them practice for important meetings? Really!
The main take away here is, your opinion counts. It is important for you to be able to share your preferences so you can achieve your future goals.
Find your voice, remember you have important things to say!
YHT Mini Activity: A way to practice self-advocacy is to take the lead at your health care visits
Remember, speaking up is awkward for many teens, you are so not alone. The easiest way to practice speaking up is to start with persons you already know. Give yourself a little mental push! Take the lead and begin the conversation. Next try starting up a conversation with someone you've just met. The more you practice general conversation, the easier speaking up will get.
Speak up, your opinions are important!
Supporting the Healthcare Transition from Adolescence to Adulthood in the Medical Home. 2011, American Academy of Pediatrics.
The Cost of Shyness. PsychologyToday.com. Bernardo Carducci, Philip G. Zimbardo, published on November 1995 - last reviewed June 2013
Youth in Action: Becoming a Stronger Self-Advocate. National Collaborative on Workforce Disability www.ncwd-youth.info
Six Elements of Transition. GOTTRANSITION.ORG
Have some fun and learn just what self-advocacy is all about. Speak Up is an interactive tool for building self-advocacy skills created by the National Clearinghouse on Families and Youth.
Becoming a Stronger Self-Advocate
A fact-sheet on building advocacy skills from the National Collaborative on Workforce Disabilit.y
the Illinois Chapter of the American Academy
of Pediatrics. It includes a practice script if you need help getting started...
Excellent transition workbook from the Waisman Center in Wisconsin. Covers a wide range of YHT topics including healthy lifestyle habits, how to plan for an appointment, adulthood/age 18, advocacy, and oral health.
Step by step workbook for planning the transition from high school to adulthood developed by the Rural Institute at the University of Montana.
A teen transition workbook with great info on health and nutrition from the US National Institute of Health (AKA the NIH)
Paper Emergency Health form from the American Academy of Pediatrics. This form is a good way to organize your health history
Find Your Voice