Autism and a Political Career Collide in Dad's Two Worlds【Edmonton, Alberta】

Mike Lake describes his autistic son Jaden as a "3- or 4-year-old trapped in a 16-year-old body," a boy who is nonverbal. For Jaden, abstract thinking is a challenge and his most direct communication is reaching for his father's face and crying out "bababa" when he needs to be understood.

But that "beautiful simplicity" is enough for his dad.

"I lay down with him on the bed at night and he looks at me in communication mode," said Lake, 43. "Oftentimes, I just drift into his language ... He talks along with me at the same time bababa-ing. It's the strangest thing. We are not communicating anything concrete, not the world I am living in, but for us it is a connection."


Since 2006, Lake's world has been Canada's House of Commons, where he delves into the complex political issues of the day as a member of Parliament and secretary to the minister of industry.

But at home with Jaden, he enters a different world where speech doesn't matter as much as unequivocal love.


"I didn't get elected to Parliament on the autism issue," said Lake. "But as time has gone by, it's one world. It has allowed me a platform to get out there and raise awareness.


2012.9.28 abcNEWS】Full story