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August 24, 2022

Self-Advocacy for Young Adults: Overcoming Fears

Is your teen able to advocate for themselves? Learn how young adults can overcome the fear of self-advocating in this two minute video.

Jaleesa Doucet Alexander, M.Ed.

Is your teen able to advocate for themselves? Learn how young adults can overcome the fear of self-advocating in this two minute video.

Self-Advocacy for Young Adults: Overcoming Fears
Jaleesa Doucet Alexander, M.Ed.
Instructor, Program for Successful Employment
Baton Rouge Community College

[Jaleesa] Hi everyone, the one quick question I have for you today, dealing with self advocacy, is how do young adults, teens, get over the fear of self-advocating?

The first suggestion that I wanna make is that we have to get them comfortable with the idea of self advocacy and speaking up for themselves. Once they are comfortable, we have to make sure that we are encouraging and helping them to understand their ability and their rights to self-advocating.

So once they feel involved, the first step then I would say is to definitely include them in the transition meetings that they have with your schools, allowing them to make decisions regarding their preferences, whether it’s for extracurricular activities, things they like to eat, places they want to go, helping them weigh the pros and cons of those actions and consequences that may come with things that they decide to do or say.

The other solution that I have is to encourage and support small decisions. Again, like I mentioned in the last example, small decisions could be anything like picking something to eat for lunch, whether you want to pack a lunch, buy a lunch, are you gonna spend money, save money? Those types of things are the bridge to making bigger and larger decisions as they transition into adulthood and independence.

More self-advocacy, negotiating, speaking up, addressing issues and confronting things that bother them, allows students to get over their fear.

The more practice they do, the more they become willing to self-advocate and practice choice-making.

Thank you.

For more information on how to support teens and young adults with disabilities as they transition to adulthood, please visit Adult Transition Hub Page

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