Comedian Says Disorder Caused In Part By 'Inattentive Mothers'
Comedian Denis Leary is under fire for comments he made about autism in his new book.
In the book, "Why We Suck: A Feel Good Guide To Staying Fat, Loud, Lazy and Stupid," Leary makes light of autism and says it's an excuse used by "inattentive mothers and competitive dads" to explain why their "kids can't compete academically." In an excerpt of the book published in the New York Post, Leary writes: "I don't give a [bleep] what these crackerjack whack jobs tell you -- yer kid is NOT autistic. He's just stupid. Or lazy. Or both."
In response to Leary's opinions, the Autism Society of America said it was "ridiculous" for the comedian to suggest that families or doctors conspire to falsely diagnose the disorder. They also said that Leary's opinions were similar to misconceptions that were held more than 50 years ago, and which have since been proved false.
Leary later released a statement clarifying his remarks. The comedian said "I not only support the current rational approaches to the diagnoses and treatment of real autism, but have witnessed it firsthand while watching very dear old friends raise a functioning autistic child."
He added that most of the chapter on autism is focused on adult men who are self-diagnosing themselves with autism as a way to explain their failed careers. Leary also said that any misunderstandings about his book can be avoided by reading it in its entirety instead of just looking at excerpts.