Actor Denis Leary has sparked outrage among activists for children with autism - insisting parents are just using the disorder to explain their kids' academic "laziness".
Leary talks about the brain development disorder in his new book Why We Suck: A Feel-Good Guide to Staying Fat, Loud, Lazy and Stupid.
He writes: "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."
But the actor's comments have sparked outrage at The Autism Society of America.
A spokesperson for the group tells the New York Post: "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."