Safety Plan for Individuals with Autism
Safety Plans are ways to help individuals stay safe and know where to get help in the event of an emergency. A safety plan can also be used when someone is having suicidal thoughts.
Below is an example of information that can be included in a safety plan. A safety plan should be individualized to meet the needs of the person, adding images and other visuals to the plan, keeping it somewhere easy to find, and reviewing it frequently.
It is recommended that the completed safety plan be posted somewhere the individual can see and access easily. It may be helpful to upload a version of the safety plan into a cell phone or tablet. One important factor to helping individuals to use the plan successfully is to review it frequently and to role play ways to say “no,” where to go to be safe, and telling others about what happened.
Suggestions of things to include in a safety plan:
- Things that help the person to feel calm (pets, colors, objects, interests, activities)
- Warning signs they may be feeling uncomfortable or in a bad mood
- People they can talk to
- Things that make them uncomfortable
- Places they can go to feel safe or calm
- Phone numbers of friends, family or trusted adults they feel comfortable talking to
- Phone numbers for local crisis intervention, 988 for the National Suicide Prevention Hotline and 911 for Emergencies
You can download a sample safety plan below, or get creative and develop your own based on these guidelines.
This information was developed by the Autism Services, Education, Resources, and Training Collaborative (ASERT). For more information, please contact ASERT at 877-231-4244 or info@PAautism.org. ASERT is funded by the Bureau of Supports for Autism and Special Populations, PA Department of Human Services.