Mr. Speaker, 10 years ago yesterday, my wife and I received word from doctors that our two and a half year old son, Jaden, had autism.
Today we mark the first ever UN World Autism Awareness Day. It is 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 does not know how to hate. He can be aggressive, but is never intentionally mean, and he does not know when other kids are being mean to him. He never gossips or holds a grudge.
He is 100% genuine and honest with his feelings, something that is particularly difficult when he is sad, because usually he is unable to communicate the reason for his tears.
Almost every single person in Jaden's life would say 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.