ENTERTAINMENT
11/15/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Denis Leary Slams Autism As A Joke

DENIS Leary should brace himself for hate mail from the parents of kids diagnosed with autism.

In his new book, "Why We Suck: A Feel-Good Guide to Staying Fat, Loud, Lazy and Stupid," the joke-slinging "Rescue Me" star writes about the brain disorder:

"There is a huge boom in autism right now because inattentive mothers and competitive dads want an explanation for why their dumb-ass kids can't compete academically, so they throw money into the happy laps of shrinks . . . to get back diagnoses that help explain away the deficiencies of their junior morons. 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."

The Autism Society of America responded: "For Mr. Leary to suggest that families or doctors conspire to falsely diagnose autism is ridiculous . . . [His] remarks reflect the same misconceptions of autism being caused by bad or unemotional parenting that were held over 50 years ago."

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In November's Vanity Fair, in a Q&A, Leary calls it his "favorite chapter":

Another chapter is titled "Autism Shamautism."
Which is my favorite chapter.

I see vigilante autism woman Jenny McCarthy picketing your book tour.
Great. That would be really good for me. It will help sell more books.