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Mitsubishi Funds Group that Opposes Preventing or Curing Autism PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Canary Party
Friday, 08 June 2012 13:43

Despite the many worthwhile autism charities desperately in need of funding, Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation (MEAF) has chosen to fund one that:

1)     opposes all efforts to cure or prevent autism, denies an increase in autism prevalence and now seeks to promote this form of “activism” among college students nationwide.

2)     blatantly violates MEAF’s own stated guideline: “We do not fund organizations or programs connected with a controversial social or political issue.” MEAF is funding a “neurodiversity” initiative by ASAN (Autism Self Advocacy Network) –  highy controversial in the autism community. According to ASAN, “The training is meant to prepare students to engage in self-advocacy and pro-neurodiversity activism on their college campuses.”

3)     promotes “self-diagnosis” of autism, causing students who may have the disorder to not qualify for college disability support services and national testing service accommodations, thus diminishing, not “enhancing” chances for academic success and future employment.  “Self-diagnosis” (without medical confirmation) of any disability, disease or disorder is an irresponsible practice and should not receive corporate funding.

4)     does not promote “full inclusion of people with disabilities alongside their peers without disabilities,” as called for in Mitsubishi guidelines, but promotes segregation of people with disabilities in extracurricular activities.

 

Please see the Canary Party Action Alert below and participate!  We’re all affected by the autism epidemic and by those who deny it exists and promote irresponsible practices.

Canary Party President Jennifer Larson contacted Mitsubishi to request the corporation rescind its funding for the Autism Campus Inclusion Summer (ACIS) Institute created by the Autism Self Advocacy Network (ASAN). She informed Mitsubishi of ASAN’s extremist and controversial “neurodiverse” ideology which denies overwhelming evidence that autism is on the rise and which views autism as part of the natural order - despite the steep increase in autism diagnoses in recent years. ASAN is led by Ari Ne’eman who vigorously opposed the Center for Disease Control’s “wandering code” - now in effect despite his efforts. Mr. Ne’man does not consider autism a tragedy, nor does he publicly acknowledge the suffering of profoundly disabled people with autism, many of whose life-long prognoses is institutionalization.  ASAN is an organization comprised of the highest-functioning individuals who “identify as autistic” (including self-diagnosis) and who advocate for their own needs, often at the expense of others with autism, as evidenced by Ne’man’s opposition to the potentially life-saving wandering code.

Kevin R. Webb, the Director of MEAF, Mitsubishi’s foundation funding the initiative, was untroubled by ASAN’s views as described above, and even acknowledged the controversial nature of the program, responding to Larson: “We also recognize that you and The Canary Party disagree with certain positions taken by ASAN; however, we believe this project is very worthwhile and will provide benefits to autistic college students.” 

Larson e-mailed Mitsubishi with the reasons for the Canary Party’s opposition to funding for the camp:

“While the Canary Party fully supports the acceptance of all people with diverse neurological conditions….it cautions that neurodiversity as promoted by ASAN is an ideology that runs counter to the primary goals of every major autism organization in the country.”

Larson described to Mr. Webb how ASAN expresses its “pro-neurodiversity activism” online: “Members of ASAN utilize the internet to aggressively target parents struggling with the exhaustive, daily needs of their children with autism. These parents often suffer from isolation and sleep deprivation due to their children’s intense challenges caused by the condition, and reach out for support online. What they often find is people who are trained by ASAN to frequent parent support websites, accuse parents of rejecting and not loving their children with autism, belittling parents as “curebies” if they seek treatments to mitigate their children’s autistic symptoms.”

Mr. Webb was unmoved. He wrote:

“MEAF and our advisors, leaders in the disability community, believe that this [ASAN’s camp program] will help to increase acceptance of people with disabilities and enhance employment opportunities. As you know, employment of people with disabilities is extremely low and increasing those opportunities needs to be a priority.”

However, no reference is made to “employment opportunities” or “acceptance” in ASAN’s literature about the program. In fact, its stated goal is for students “to return to their home college campuses and act as empowered systems change activists.”   “… to advance the principles that are meaningful to our community.”  “…to prepare students to engage in self-advocacy and pro-neurodiversity activism on their college campuses.”  An essay about “neurodiversity” is required of the applicants.

ASAN explicitly states on the application that “self-diagnosis” is acceptable for participation in the camp.  It is the position of the Canary Party that any student who believes he or she may be on the autism spectrum should make diagnosis a top priority -  including a full psychological and academic evaluation as required by the college’s disabilities department. Without diagnosis, students cannot qualify for the academic and residential accommodations offered by colleges, nor can they qualify for accommodations when taking national tests (MCAT, LSAT, GRED, etc.) as well as workplace accommodations that employers are required by law to provide for people with disabilities.

For Mitsubishi to state that this program, which does not require a medical diagnosis of autism, can lead to enhanced employment opportunities for people with autism is patently false; without diagnosis, the disability support systems of colleges and testing services cannot be utilized, which diminishes, not enhances, chances for academic success and future employment.  ASAN’s camp program is also detrimental to students who may incorrectly self-diagnose as having autism, leaving their correct diagnoses (if any) unidentified.

Would Mitsubishi fund a program for individuals self-diagnosed with cancer?

Mr. Webb also stated in his e-mail reply to the Canary Party: “MEAF does not provide grants to fund cures or prevent disabilities.”

However, Ms. Larson had provided multiple suggestions for funding initiatives that do not involve prevention or cure: “If Mitsubishi wishes to help the autism community, we’re happy to provide the names of dozens of autism organizations at the local and national level that fund research, provide direct assistance to families, help pay for unreimbursed medical expenses, provide respite, and are involved in any number of other worthwhile endeavors. Furthermore, the Canary Party supports the funding of any program that brings students with autism together on college campuses, but not for purposes that are detrimental to other members of the autism community.”

Mr. Webb inaccurately defended  ASAN’s program as being pro-inclusion: “The Autistic Self-Advocacy Network’s (ASAN) Autistic Campus Leadership Academy project will enable autistic college students to develop the skills they need for full inclusion and help prepare them for employment.”

According to MEAF’s own guidelines for grant proposals, programs should “Promote the full-inclusion of youth with disabilities alongside their peers without disabilities.” However, ASAN’s camp program clearly violates this guideline, stating that participating students will develop campus-based organizations run by and for autistic students and/or students with disabilities.”  This is not “full inclusion.” This is exclusion and segregation of students with disabilities, which typifies ASAN activities.

The Canary Party calls on its membership to contact the two Mitsubishi executives listed below, to oppose the corporation’s funding of ASAN’s “Autism Camp Inclusion Summer Institute” as well as any future initiatives of ASAN. 

We are in the midst of an autism epidemic. It is morally wrong to fund an organization that actively fights against prevention and cure while thousands of individuals suffer.  Furthermore, funding an initiative that allows participants to be “self-diagnosed” with autism is irresponsible and potentially harmful to the students involved. The goal of this and other ASAN initiatives appears to be to maximize the number of individuals promoting the neurodiversity agenda, not to help individuals medically diagnosed with autism reach their full potential.  Further, the ASAN program violates MEAF’s own “stringent criteria” for grant application, and the program’s goals have been misrepresented by MEAF’s Director.


PLEASE POST TO YOUR FACEBOOK AND OTHER SOCIAL MEDIA. WRITE 3 E-MAILS TO MITSUBISHI.  We would also appreciate a copy of your message(s). Send to: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Katsuya Takamiya, President and CEO:

http://tinyurl.com/786gdcg

 

Kevin R. Webb, Director, MEAF:

http://tinyurl.com/7vodtoe

 

Mitsubishi Electric Public Relations:

http://tinyurl.com/7mcevf9

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Comments  

 
+1 #34 Jessica 2012-08-13 04:35
Quoting Marcia:
We're against bullying and name-calling too. But there's no evidence-based anti-bullying curriculum in ASAN's program. In fact, NDs are taught to bully and harass parents of disabled autistic children. They call parents curebies and much worse things than that. Learning their brand of self-advocacy will not help you with accommodations in class.


Well, I looked at the textbook/handbook for the program, and I actually think I could do well to learn several things in it.
Quote
 
 
+1 #33 Jessica 2012-08-13 04:33
Quoting Marcia:
Jessica,
You have the accommodation in place to record your classes, but some of your professors don't want you to record on a computer? Why don't you invest in a tape-recorder?

Computers are distractions. Students use them to go on Facebook and surf the internet during class.


I use a notetaking program to match up typed notes to a recording. There's an expensive pen that does the same thing, but I have a problem writing notes that I don't have while typing them. :?

The disability office didn't write down that I was allowed to do so on my accommodation letter, but they basically said to me that I could.

The teacher who said it was distracting said it was distracting TO HER. The laptop I used last year had a driver problem and couldn't wirelessly connect to the internet, so that wasn't a problem for me anyway.
Quote
 
 
+1 #32 Jessica 2012-08-13 04:21
Quoting Theodora:
Preach it Marcia! I wish more would read my comments. Alot of the people on the spectrum who are on the higher end may have good intentions, they truly do, I use to be one of them, but with that lack of theory of mind they just can't percieve what it's like at the other end. I did not until I gained my current form of employment. That was the day my nd leanings died. I'll never forget visiting the hab center for the first time and meeting those with SEVERE autism. And I remember going in the bathroom balling, thinking over and over that they are stuck in their own bodies with no way to get out!


I've seen "the other end", as you say, those with "severe autism" and I still support neurodiversity. I'm all for ways to improve communication and such. I just don't think a cure is the way to go about it.
Quote
 
 
0 #31 Theodora 2012-06-27 11:03
Preach it Marcia! I wish more would read my comments. Alot of the people on the spectrum who are on the higher end may have good intentions, they truly do, I use to be one of them, but with that lack of theory of mind they just can't percieve what it's like at the other end. I did not until I gained my current form of employment. That was the day my nd leanings died. I'll never forget visiting the hab center for the first time and meeting those with SEVERE autism. And I remember going in the bathroom balling, thinking over and over that they are stuck in their own bodies with no way to get out!
Quote
 
 
-2 #30 Marcia 2012-06-26 14:50
Boycott Mitsubishi

Gary gets it wrong again: "And the term "evidence-based anti-bullying curriculum" is semantic jibber-jabber that you made up."

Google it Gary. You keep making false statements that could have been prevented with a simple google search.

Gary gets it wrong again: "We've just come to see that they're not defective and don't need to be fixed as much as they need to be accepted."

What makes you think you and your friends at ASAN get a vote in how any child who is not your own child is medically treated? You're not doctors and you have no business making statements about the medical care of other people's children with autism.

You say more acceptance will help this very ill young man?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qhKVJTe59F4''/

Mitsubishi is funding a group that believes severe autism should stay severe.

Boycott Mitsubishi.
Quote
 
 
+2 #29 Gary Evans 2012-06-25 23:50
Marcia-- " there's no evidence-based anti-bullying curriculum in ASAN's program."

ASAN stated goal of "community engagement to encourage inclusion and respect for neurodiversity" would necessarily include working to eliminate bullying of Autistics. Also, they don't have a "program," they're an advocacy organization. And the term "evidence-based anti-bullying curriculum" is semantic jibber-jabber that you made up.

"...NDs are taught to bully and harass parents of disabled autistic children."

Where, how, and by whom specifically? You made that up, too. Just because a few of your members have been called curebies on the internet doesn't mean there's some sort of massive neurodiversity conspiracy to target parents of kids on the spectrum. Hell, a large percentage of us *are* parents of kids on the spectrum.

We've just come to see that they're not defective and don't need to be fixed as much as they need to be accepted.
Quote
 
 
-2 #28 Marcia 2012-06-25 22:50
Jessica,
You have the accommodation in place to record your classes, but some of your professors don't want you to record on a computer? Why don't you invest in a tape-recorder?

Computers are distractions. Students use them to go on Facebook and surf the internet during class.

Buying a tape recorder seems like such an obvious solution, maybe I misunderstood your accommodation.

We're against bullying and name-calling too. But there's no evidence-based anti-bullying curriculum in ASAN's program. In fact, NDs are taught to bully and harass parents of disabled autistic children. They call parents curebies and much worse things than that. Learning their brand of self-advocacy will not help you with accommodations in class.
Quote
 
 
+3 #27 Jessica 2012-06-23 07:43
Also, "pro-neurodiversity activism" and autism rights doesn't mean what you think it means. It means autistic individuals having the same rights as neurotypicals (which, at current point, we don't). It means working to make sure we aren't looked at as weirdos, monsters, or burdens who don't understand anything and are better off not existing. Or worse, having things like that said to our face (and it DOES happen).

If you're against that, then I guess I can't level with you. To be honest, I don't think you're going to look at this and have some huge epiphany. This was probably more for my own catharsis. Still, it was worth it to post this, and I can only hope someone looks at it and understands what I mean.
Quote
 
 
+2 #26 Jessica 2012-06-23 07:42
Posting through two comments to get my entire point across:

Dear Canary Party:

Sigh. Do you not understand what this program is for?

It's for people like me. I am autistic, and I receive accommodations in class. One is notetaking; I do it on a computer and record my classes. However, teachers have told me I can't (either because it's "too distracting" for them (???) or they don't allow computers). However, I NEED it as an accommodation. But I stink at advocating for myself (or asking the disability office to help), so I go without in those classes when I really shouldn't have to. I actually wanted to go to this program, but it was too far away and too close to when my school starts for me to be able to go.

Being able to advocate for oneself will increase the opportunity of becoming employed, by the way. Being able to advocate for oneself will also help to bring forth acceptance of those on the spectrum.
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-1 #25 Theodora 2012-06-21 17:06
I have seen families have to make the difficult discision to send their child to a residential home because they no longer have the ability to handle thier child and keep everyone in the home safe anymore. And yes, this is something that is common. It isn't a rare situation I am talking about. Cases like I've mentioned is something I see everyday in my line of work.

I want you to go to your local Habilitation Center. I want you to enter the home of some of these parents and spend a day there. And after you do that, and you see the heroism it takes just to get them through each day, look them in the eyes and tell them that their child doesn't need a cure. There are two sides to everything. Not all of us need or want a cure. But we have no right to deny it to those who do. Nor do we have the right to judge parents who are doing the best they can.

Instead of judgement, how about providing a little understanding. Or at least politely agree to disagree?
Quote
 
 
-1 #24 Theodora 2012-06-21 17:01
Until you have gone into these homes and seen the bars on the windows. Until you see families that have to put padlocks and almost everything they own. Until you see them have to leave thier jobs to become prisoners in their own homes, you won't get why these parents speak and act as they have. I have seen all of these things.

I have seen parents trying to deal with their aging child on the spectrum who in meltdown has hurt them, themselves and other family members by kicking, biting, punching. I have seen them put themselves in the hospital due to self injury.

I have seen them have to put not just thiers but the lives of the rest of the family on hold to the point that all they do is stay in the house. Because the outside is to much and if they try to go out to eat or even walk in their community, the child on the spectrum acts out,by running way, hurting themsleves, or hurting others.

to be continued...
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-1 #23 Theodora 2012-06-21 16:58
Gary, once upon a time, I used to think just like you. As a fairly intelligent woman on the spectrum, I felt that I shouldn't be viewed as not only a problem but a plague on society, which was what I was told these parents thought. I was a mistake, a problem.I was some demon that came and took the real child away.

All I could see was my side of the spectrum. I was in a phase of denial where I didn't want to see that I had issues of my own that needed dealt with that didn't because I wanted to believe so badly that I was not disabled.

To be continued....
Quote
 
 
-1 #22 Jill S. 2012-06-20 16:09
Gary,
It's not boilerplate, and "cure" is used throughout the Autism Speaks website, making your claim in Comment #19 completely false.

"As always, our goal is to improve lives today as well as revolutionize the detection, prevention, treatment and cure of autism in the future."

"We are dedicated to funding global biomedical research into the causes, prevention, treatments, and cure for autism"

"Comedy for a cure in support of Autism Speaks"

"Autism Speaks will host "Lead Off for a Cure" at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City."

"Support the Cure—and Autism Speaks!
Date: Saturday, September 24, 2011"

"Fly for the Cure for Autism: Helicopter Scale Masters Fun-Fly"

etc., etc. etc.

Sadly, Mitsubishi supports ASAN's fight against a cure for autism.
Quote
 
 
-2 #21 Gary Evans 2012-06-19 23:34
re:cure

These people are repeating the same phrase from the mission statement over and over. It's boilerplate stuff. I'm done splitting semantic hairs with you.
Quote
 
 
-1 #20 Jill S. 2012-06-19 23:05
Mitsubishi's funding will bring autism parents seeking recovery of their disabled children even more of this kind of abuse:

"You--and those who think like you--are a self righteous self-serving minority whose viewpoint runs counter to the best interests of those you purport to serve. You're the Tea Party of the special needs community."

Gary is uninformed about Autism Speaks, claiming "the use of "cure" has been purged from all other materials and is no longer used within their organization and within the community at large. Good luck trying to find another instance. It's not there."

I found "cure" in the lead article on Autism Speaks' homepage about their new president, and May 1, the Chief Science Officer wrote "As always, our goal is to improve lives today as well as revolutionize the detection, prevention, treatment and cure of autism in the future."
Quote
 

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