The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism by Naoki HigashidaWritten by Naoki Higashida, a very smart, very self-aware, and very charming thirteen-year-old boy with autism, it is a one-of-a-kind memoir that demonstrates how an autistic mind thinks, feels, perceives, and responds in ways few of us can imagine. Parents and family members who never thought they could get inside the head of their autistic loved one, at last, have a way to break through to the curious, subtle, and complex life within.
Using an alphabet grid to painstakingly construct words, sentences, and thoughts that he is unable to speak out loud, Naoki answers even the most delicate questions that people want to know. Questions such as: “Why do people with autism talk so loudly and weirdly?” “Why do you line up your toy cars and blocks?” “Why don’t you make eye contact when you’re talking?” and “What’s the reason you jump?” (Naoki’s answer: “When I’m jumping, it’s as if my feelings are going upward to the sky.”) With disarming honesty and a generous heart, Naoki shares his unique point of view on not only autism but life itself. His insights—into the mystery of words, the wonders of laughter, and the elusiveness of memory—are so startling, so strange, and so powerful that you will never look at the world the same way again.
The Reason I Jump: one boy's voice from the silence of autism
Autism is an endless mystery, largely unknowable by its nature, yet there are dozens of books by or about autistic people determined to explain the lives of those affected. The author, Naoki Higashida, was 13 years old at the time he wrote the memoir, and nonverbal. He wrote by spelling out words on a Japanese alphabet letter board. But constrained by ourselves and by the people around us, all we can do is tweet-tweet, flap our wings and hop around in a cage. Higashida is bright and thoughtful. He maintains a blog and has written other books. The author tells us that he gets lost and panics.
This is an amazingly moving book. It is a translation of a young boy's explanation of his autism, set out in a question and answer format. It is a truly amazing feat that he has managed to describe his actions I'd like to qualify this review. I have a son with autism and approached this book as a supplemental resource to enable some fresh thinking. The format of the book is very simple. Aside from the excellent and,
It was originally published in Japan in and the English translation by Keiko Yoshida and her husband, author David Mitchell , was published in Higashida was diagnosed with severe autism spectrum disorder ASD when he was five years old and has limited verbal communication skills.
for my people margaret walker
N aoki Higashida is, by any measure, a phenomenally successful author. Higashida is profoundly autistic. He appears to inhabit his own solitary world. The Reason I Jump was a game-changer, not only for those with a special interest in autism, but for anyone interested in the sheer diversity of human brains. In short essays using crystalline prose, Higashida made a gentle but devastating case that autism had been entirely misunderstood: it was not a cognitive disability at all, but a communicative and sensory one. Although unable to behave in a normal way, he understood everything that went on around him, and had an uncanny ability to analyse his own emotions and those of other people.