Yesterday, Mike gave his annual one-minute World Autism Awareness Day statement in the Canadian House of Commons, with his son, Jaden, watching from the gallery.
Mike’s statement read:
“Mr. Speaker, yesterday was World Autism Awareness Day and the anniversary of my son Jaden’s diagnosis at age two.
Autism comes with no end of labels, and in Jaden’s case, one of those labels is non-verbal.
Ironically, I think Jaden’s most important label is his name.
I say ‘ironically’ because unbeknownst to us when we named him, Jaden’s name means ‘God has heard.’
There are few things I know for sure, but I know this. My 23-year-old non-verbal son has something to say. He says it in the simple words he types or writes. He says it with a sideways smile, a mysterious giggle, a whimsical look and sometimes with heartfelt tears.
And if you have the patience to just wait on him, quietly be present with him, joining him in the moment – in his moment – he will touch your heart in the most magical of ways.
You will hear his voice and you will never forget what he has to say.”
You can watch the statement here: