New York, October 16 : American actor Denis Leary has been criticized by autism activists for suggesting that many people are using the disorder to hide their children's academic "laziness".
He made the controversial statement in his new book, Why We Suck: A Feel-Good Guide to Staying Fat, Loud, Lazy and Stupid.
"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 (care) what these crackerjack whack jobs tell you - your kid is NOT autistic. He's just stupid. Or lazy. Or both," the New York Post quoted him as writing in the book.
Leary's comments have enraged the Autism Society of America.
A spokesperson for the group said: "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."