an overdose survivor’s message on group rejection needs saving permanently

This comes from mental health rather than autism, but the parts of mental health that most often have a bearing on autism: anxiety, self-worth, dealing with groups. Particularly, social anxiety.

The “Icarus Project” you find from a google, describes itself as: “a support network and education project by and for people who experience the world in ways that are often diagnosed as mental illness. We advance social justice by fostering mutual aid practices that reconnect healing and collective liberation. ” – Surely logically, that sounds like an ethic against rejection ! It even has a logo containing the words “You are not alone.”

But a review on its Facebook page, posted 30 Dec 2018 so is very recent, told of having strong social anxiety and actually getting rejected on a first visit, to an Icarus Project group in New York, and immediately as a result, attempting suicide by overdose.

The reviewer, the survivor of that story of exactly what this site is about preventing, writes an ethical call to all readers and a clearly wished wide audience. So it is clearly not a breach of her privacy, it is clearly in the spirit of what she writes, to pass it on and give it wider reach. All who are ever tempted to be cynical about social welcome and inclusion need to hear this. It needs saving onto permanent record.

It may not permanently be there on the fb page. Sympathetic critics of Icarus Project have posted arguing against the page’s existence and point. While that is supportive of her experience, it risks loss of her words from the record. So record them here.

Always remember this, all be impressed by this:

” If I could get them advice I’d say to make a policy to never turn anyone away because you never know what people are going through even if they are smiling because they need you and want you to like them. Also if you are in a group setting and you seeing someone being turned away please say something, be someone’s hero, they need you more than you’ll ever know. “

19 Jan 2019


“a special immunity to making mistakes”

This blog on Applied Behaviour Analysis, by Lauren Smith-Donohoe a parent writing in the US,
well sums up the sheer personal liberty case against it. She quotes anonymously from a former practiser of it, a thought that applies outstandingly to all traditional schoolteachers !!! and child psychiatrists too.

” I thought that because I cared about the kids’ well-being, because I had a strong desire to help them, everything I did must therefore be in their best interest. In my mind, it gave me a special immunity to making mistakes. Caring meant there was no way I could be hurting them. I now realize how dangerous this idea really is. I’ve hurt many people I care deeply about. Just because you care about someone or have good intentions does not guarantee you’re doing the best thing for them. ”

download (1) The school reformer John Holt, who lived before autism awareness, wrote on the attractiveness of being able to behave like tyrants but feel like saints. These invaluable words coming directly from autism practice need sharing around and framing in gold. They are part of why this site exists. They evidence and prove for ever, that in all work for us and all organising of us, it is utterly always a dangerous abuse for anyone ever to have an authority of final question-stopping decision. Over anything, ever.

This quote can be the foundation of a law responsibility against abuse and against exploitation traps, throughout the autism scene and other needs scenes: that nobody shall ever have, accept, give themself, or give others, any last-word final power over anything ever, and that a basic level of not being abused is never to have any cause to fear declaring when a practice is harming you. That includes fear just of rejection from a group, because harm includes that: a known culpable injury to both emotional and physical health and throughout history a source of control traps over lives. So this quote can also help to ban the abuse and horrific cultlike trap of ever deciding that a person must silently accept a rejection or else get more rejection.

These are all the great reforming standards of fairness that instantly leap out of this quote, that it gives a basis for already laying claim to under emotional abuse prevention laws in every country that has them.

Maurice Frank
16 Jan 2019