BRITISH COLUMBIA

Connor Yates Drops The Mic With Speech On Autism (VIDEO)

06/08/2015 02:08 EDT | Updated 06/09/2015 02:59 EDT

Public speaking is hardly something anyone enjoys. Remember how terrifying it could be as a kid? Well, Connor Yates could teach us all a thing or two.

The 10-year-old student in Fort St. John, B.C. has high-functioning autism. And until last month, he didn't want anyone to know about it.

But he was struggling socially at school, said his mom Chantelle Yates, so Connor decided it was time to tell everyone.

He stepped up to the microphone at the Bert Ambrose Elementary School speech competition last month, and gave a three-minute presentation.

(Watch Connor's full speech above.)

"I have autism and I want to tell you what it is and what it is like living with it," he told the gymnasium.

"Have you ever spoken to me and it seems like I’m looking at everything but you? This is because looking at you makes me uncomfortable. I want to have friends but making friends is hard for me. I want someone to play with me just like you do. I know it’s hard to be my friend because sometimes I don’t know what to say and I end up saying something that hurts your feelings."

Many of Connor's classmates congratulated him after hearing the speech, his mom told HuffPost B.C. He hopes that it can help spread awareness for the disorder and make it easier for people like him to tell others how they feel, she added.

Connor placed first in his school's contest, and went on to give the speech again at the district competition.

"It’s been a long journey to where we are now and we couldn’t be prouder of him," said his mom.

We know she's not the only one.

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