Denis Leary makes asinine comments about autistic children

Filed under: Development/Milestones: Babies, Behaving Badly, In The News, That's Entertainment, Special Needs

When this newsbite from our colleagues at CeleBitchy made its way into the ParentDish inbox, I swear it seemed familiar. I thought for sure we'd recently written about Denis Leary making ridiculous comments that children with autism were actually just stupid and lazy and that autism was the result of bad parenting. Then I thought, wait, perhaps it wasn't Leary after all. While that sort of comment does sound like one he'd make, it's entirely possible that another celebrity made such ridiculous comments. But, uh, it was.

Leary has two children, one of whom was born three months early and was at one point misdiagnosed as autistic. Apparently he now fancies himself some sort of expert on the subject. I am no expert, but what I do know is that it's not wise to use children with a serious medical condition as fodder to bolster your own career. Leary just made those comments to get some attention for himself--and, bingo! It worked! He now has our attention.

He's also gotten the attention of the Autism Society of America, who liken his comments to misconceptions about autism from fifty years ago. What a jerk! What shocks me more than anything is the fact that autism has been with us for so long and we still know so little about it. Perhaps it takes jerky celebrities to remind us how much we need to do in order to battle and conquer autism (if that's even possible) rather than succumb to ridiculous rantings and misconceptions.

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.