The Reason I Jump

The Reason I Jump

The Inner Voice of A Thirteen-year-old Boy With Autism

Book - 2013
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A story never before told and a memoir to help change our understanding of the world around us, 13-year-old Naoki Higashida's astonishing, empathetic book takes us into the mind of a boy with severe autism. With an introduction by David Mitchell, author of the global phenomenon, Cloud Atlas , and translated by his wife, KA Yoshida.

Naoki Higashida was only a middle-schooler when he began to write The Reason I Jump . Autistic and with very low verbal fluency, Naoki used an alphabet grid to painstakingly spell out his answers to the questions he imagines others most often wonder about him: why do you talk so loud? Is it true you hate being touched? Would you like to be normal? The result is an inspiring, attitude-transforming book that will be embraced by anyone interested in understanding their fellow human beings, and by parents, caregivers, teachers, and friends of autistic children. Naoki examines issues as diverse and complex as self-harm, perceptions of time and beauty, and the challenges of communication, and in doing so, discredits the popular belief that autistic people are anti-social loners who lack empathy.

This book is mesmerizing proof that inside an autistic body is a mind as subtle, curious, and caring as anyone else's.
Publisher: Toronto : Alfred A. Knopf Canada, 2013.
ISBN: 9780345807809
Branch Call Number: 616.858820092 Higas
Characteristics: xvii, 135 pages : illustrations


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DBRL_IdaF Aug 12, 2019

Translated from Japanese by one of my favorite authors, this book provides great insights into the mind and life of a nonverbal boy, as his autism colors every aspect of his life. Though some of what he describes might be unique to him, I hope it helps the rest of us to be open-minded and patient when dealing with others who are wired differently.

Dec 10, 2018

This book, written when the author was 13, gives valuable insight into life with autism.

IndyPL_SteveB Nov 15, 2018

This series of very short essays on various aspects of being a young person with autism was written by Higashida when he was 13. He was unable to speak aloud but was able to slowly communicate with an alphabet grid, to point at letters, numbers, and punctuation. There are many good insights here as the author discusses why he asks the same questions over and over, why he lacks self-control, how he feels when he makes other people uncomfortable, etc. If you have an autistic child in your family or you are in an occupation where you have to interact with autistic children, these insights would be worth taking into consideration. You might even read a section to the child and see if child agrees that these experiences represent his or her reality.

That said – I wonder if the translator and his wife added some sophistication and understanding to the English text that wasn’t there in the original and that seem out-of-place for any 13-year-old. Even so, the basic insights of this book match up with what other autistic writers seem to have experienced and this is a good starting place for understanding the high-level child with autism.

Aug 23, 2017

This is the most insightful, heart rendering and helpful book I have ever read, in explaining and understanding what someone with autism experiences. I've read many on this subject, but they have been written by experts and by adults who have autism. This is by a 16 year old, using specialized technology and a translator. This is a must-read for parents, teachers, students, neighbours and friends!

Jul 10, 2017

My son has Asperger's with tactile dysfunction and social anxiety, depression and severe panic attacks. He was not diagnosed until age 15, although I knew from the age of 3 (something was different) and proceeded to start researching on my own. He is now 21 and also has cerebral palsy in his feet and hands... but anyway this book really answered some important questions for me that I have asked my son about and he just couldn't put into words... I think this was not necessarily a "story" book, but a good information source.

Apr 17, 2017

I absolutely loved this memoir which was written by a 13-year-old autistic boy by pointing at an alphabet grid. The book is a question and answer format, and the questions help clarify the experience of an autistic mind. I know there are more scientific tomes about autism, but this gives me a sweet understanding and nearly heart-breaking appreciation. Naoki's stories, including one about the afterlife, are surprisingly thought-provoking for such a young person.

JCLTamiT Jan 10, 2017

A quick read with often heart-breaking insight into the mind of a boy with autism. Worth the read.

Sep 17, 2016

This is a quick amazing read. Good for all ages.

TSCPL_ChrisB Jun 04, 2016

Crack the cover for David Mitchell. Stick around for the unique perspective of autism.

May 31, 2016

Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, should read this book. It's short, not too complicated, and completely amazing! The introduction, by a father who's raising an autistic child, is quite moving and lets us know just how much impact it made on his relationship with his own child. Now that's a testimonial! Even though I do not have an autistic child or work with special needs kids, this book was an amazing eye-opener. Just how Naoki learns how to communicate is amazing in and of itself.

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Apr 30, 2015

VRMurphy thinks this title is suitable for All Ages


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Aug 19, 2015

35 copies, autistic child tells how he thinks.


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