Monday, May 17, 2010

Open Letter to Denis Leary

Hey Denis, what's up? I read your article the other day. At first, I wanted to rip you into shreds, tell you what I was REALLY feeling. It reminded me alot of  this little gem you wrote a couple of  years back when you were promoting your book, "Why We Suck..."
"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."

Do you remember that? I do. I was pretty pissed off. So was most of the Autism Community. But now, I don't want to trash you. I want to help you. Help you understand what we go through when we choose to put our children on medication. 

1. We do not force our children to take medication that is unnecessary (i.e. to make them quiet, catatonic, etc.) for their specific needs. 

2. We ask many, many questions about the class of drug it is, what it may do to help our children and any and all side effects. 

3. We balance this information with taking into consideration about what our child may be struggling with, how this medication will affect their lives (and his/her families' lives) and weigh all the pros and the cons. 

4. We attempt any and all medication with caution, taking note of how it affects the child in any way, shape or form. We keep in constant communication with the prescribing doctor. We note changes in mood, demeanor, school performance, social skills, communication, personal hygeiene (weight gain, rash, etc) and relay this back to the prescribing doctor and therapist. 

5. We meet with the prescribing doctor frequently during the induction of a new med, making sure that the goals and benefits we hope to gain on putting the child on the script outweigh the side effects. 

6. If things go well, the child responds well to the new medication with little to no side effects and can continue on as prescribed.

7. If things do not go well, the child is brought in and all side effects are reviewed and potential new courses of action are plotted out.

Denis, this is not a take two and call me in the morning situation. This is a serious life long path we tread. It took me almost 7 years to put my son on any medication. At 3 years old, a pediatric neurologist wanted to put my son on a tranquilizer type drug to "help him with his speech delay" and I said NO. I did not want to medicate him unnecessarily unless his quality of life was starting to be affected. 

And it did.

I did not take this lightly. I did not jump in whole hog and said, "Hey! Now my kid is all drugged up and I can relax!" I am very involved in every step of his medicated life, which has helped him tremendously in school and in social situations. I did not want him to be doped up, because he still needs to be able to function. I am very fortunate that he does respond so well to the two scripts he is on. If he did not, then he would not be on them, period. I know some parents do not have that luxury and are still trying to find the right combination for their children. 

This is not a miracle cure. This helps their brains function. They are not lazy. They are not stupid. They need just that little bit of assistance. And there is nothing wrong with that. If it was up to you, you'd relegate all these kids to the SPED dungeon in days of old. We've evolved since then. 

So, Denis, please, on behalf of Autism Nation, try to learn why we some of us do medicate our children. Try to understand we don't do it to keep them quiet, but to help them thrive and share their voices with the world. 

I'd be happy to show you. C'mon. It's easy. I know you're from Worcester. I'm from MA myself. Just ping me at

Thanks for reading. 

Bookmark and Share


  1. Wow what a real piece of work this "person" is. Thankfully I don't have a clue who he is nor do I want to, but I'd guess he does this for attention. What better way than to bash autistic children and their parents. I like to think they have a special place in Hell for the likes of him!

  2. Wow. I really used to like this guy. And the sad thing is that a year ago I myself was woefully uneducated though never so stupid that I actually thought any of these things! What a waste of talent and misuse of time and platform. This year, my son became one of the 1 in every 110 babies born in 2007 to be diagnosed with Autism. Mr. Leary should stick to things he knows singing, dancing, making us laugh and otherwise mindless entertainment. Shame on you Mr. Leary!

  3. i used to be a fan of his but no more

  4. WOW... I had NEVER seen this quote before. What a complete turd in a punchbowl. He obviously struggles with a very low IQ - like non-existent.

  5. Mr. Leary is an indifferent comedian and a sub-par actor, nothing more. Going to him for an informed opinion on autism - or, indeed, on anything other than the current state of the Red Sox - would be like asking Fred Phelps to give a lecture on tolerance: worse than worthless. Kudos to the Ninja for taking the high road in reaction to such willful ignorance, instead of unleashing the full fury of the Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique...

  6. never heard of the man and after reading what i just have ,i never ever wont to see or hear of him again.He is a very sad man with the IQ of a carrot.

  7. So are Denis Leary and Tom Cruise dating openly then? Sweet! They seem to share very similar soapboxes. It'll cost Mr. Leary fans and, probably with Autism numbers being what they are, real life friends too. Maybe even faster than the near total washed up state of his career would on it's own. Niiiiice!

  8. Amen! Thanks for sharing. I somewhat remember his comments earlier, but I appreciate the refresher. Can't stand ignorance in general, but when it's used as a means to promote books, it makes me crazy. Thanks for calling him out again (and I'm in Central MA too - I know what he's done for the Worcester firefighters so I know he's not heartless...just needs some education. Maybe Mr. Flutie can help him out!)

  9. He is so IGNORANT!!!! My son has aspergers and he is VERY SMART! which makes this POS look very STUPID...He should be visiting a shrink because he apparently has issues!

  10. Those who are against medication do not have a child that needs it. Plain and simple.

    Which just makes him lucky -- nothing more, nothing less -- that he can't relate to the heartache of deciding to medicate your child.

    I feel sad for him.

  11. Get over it. He's just picking on the 90% of parents that medicate their kids unnecessarily and not all parents. Not all kids today need medication. Get them off the couch, away from the gameboy, and make them go play outside like a kids should.

  12. Why would anyone listen to a comedian about such a weighty issue anyway? He just picked a topic guaranteed to tick people off. Anybody remember that he's a self proclaimed a$$hole? The fact that Autism hasn't struck him yet is just a numbers game. It will hit close to home for him someday and then he can tell really funny jokes about "the little moron" he loves. Intelligent people know that these special kids are anything but stupid. Until then tune away from him if you don't like it. It's his game and mindset to piss people off, no matter how tacky and insensitive he's gotta be, maybe if he didn't make such a wild success of it he'd shut up. Quit giving him your money and he'll quiet down. He's a loud mouthed jerk with a fat paycheck that's all.

  13. Some entertainers believe the way to get more coverage is to belittle others. Still for the people who hear this and believe it, you're doing the right thing - the more we get the message out, the better. Righteous education, dude!