"Comedian" Denis Leary, as quoted on the Autism Vox blog:
“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.”
Hurtful words from an uninformed mouth.
"Natalie" commented, "I've been reading about his uninformed, disgusting rant on other (non-Autism) message boards and I can't believe the replies -- while most people think he was "slightly" out of line, they agree with the premise of overdiagnoses and 'whining' mothers. (aka Jenny McCarthy) One comment that I found particularly disturbing was: "Autism is the new ADD" Sadly, as more people try their damndest to bring attention to Autism Awareness/Acceptance, I see that most people are backing down with their "concern" over it. Autism Awareness is slowly becoming Autism Unawareness. P.S. I support a full boycott of anything Leary has done or ever done. I sincerely hope this "rant" kills his copy-cat, anti-comedic career."
What do you think of her comment? Do you think that it's possible that autism is the new ADD? I think, perhaps, that because more neurotypical-appearing children are diagnosed with autism (such as my older children who only have problems in certain situations or areas), it will seem as though most autistic people are regular guys whose moms didn't smack them hard enough as children to make 'em mind.
By the way, Emperor was diagnosed as classic ADHD. And despite my best training, he smells people and jumps all over them often when we meet someone new. We're REALLY (really really really!) working on this when we go out in public. But I couldn't see using the label as an excuse for his behaviour because he isn't affected by the ADHD *enough* to do so. Hopefully that makes sense to my readers.
But you know, with autism in my older sons, I may tell someone that the child is autistic and THAT is why we need a little extra care in Sunday School or "whatever" so that we can ideally head off problems before they begin. I'd imagine most parents don't enjoy "labelling" their children for strangers. It's just that sometimes our kids act strangely enough despite our best training that out of courtesy some form of explanation is required if I'm not going to apologize for Elf hiding, or G getting upset about things being different, etc.
Quotes like the above from Leary show that he's looking only on one aspect of the entire person. Did you know my middle children write stories and enjoy mathematics? Did you know that they draw comics and like to cook? Did you know they're very pleasant conversationalists? Their entire lives are not summed up in the silly thing they said to the strange lady at Wal-Mart last month. Though if you are the strange lady we saw at Wal-Mart last month, you'll remember that I apologized pleasantly and said that we're working on things. And you told me that you used to teach special ed and that you understood.
That felt nice.