Rosie O'Donnell joke about autism sparks outrage

Rosie O'Donnell is taking heat after making a joke about children with autism. During a stand-up set this week at Carolines comedy club in Manhattan,

Rosie O'Donnell is taking heat after making a joke about children with autism.

Rosie O'Donnell is taking heat after making a joke about children with autism. (2/11/16)

WOODBURY - Rosie O'Donnell is taking heat after making a joke about children with autism.

During a stand-up set this week at Carolines comedy club in Manhattan, the Commack native was talking about her children when she made the joke.

"I needed to remind myself that I actually do love children, because I would trade each teen for autistic triplets," she said. "I'm just saying I would."

O'Donnell later said that children with autism were not the punchline of the joke -- she was. But advocates and parents of children with autism say there was nothing funny about her comments.

The National Autism Association found O'Donnell's joke offensive.

"She crossed all lines of being a good human being to make a desperate, low-blow joke," it says.

O'Donnell has apologized for making the comment, saying she has two children with spectrum disorders and is aware of the challenges. She also says she had previously raised money and awareness for the autism community.

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