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Mike's Statement on World Autism Awareness Day Wednesday, 02 April 2008

Today, Mike offered the following words in the House of Commons to mark World Autism Awarness Day:

"Mr. Speaker,

Ten years ago yesterday my wife and I received word from doctors that our 2 1/2 year old son, Jaden, had autism.

Today, we mark the first ever UN World Autism Awareness Day.  It’s a day not only to discuss the many challenges that accompany this mysterious disorder, but to share and celebrate the truly unique and authentic individuals who have autism.

Jaden may not be a star hockey player or a straight A student, but he - and other individuals with autism - are remarkable in ways that we tend to undervalue in our goal-oriented society.

Jaden doesn't know how to hate.  He can be aggressive, but is never intentionally mean.  And he doesn't know when other kids are being mean to him.  He never gossips or holds a grudge.

He is 100 percent genuine and honest with his feelings, something that's particularly difficult when he's sad, because he's usually unable to communicate the reason for his tears.

Mr. Speaker, almost every single person in Jaden's life would tell you that they get more from him than he takes from them.

We should all hope to one day achieve that kind of impact through our own lives."

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Mike Lake - Member of Parliament for Edmonton-Wetaskiwin