The Reason I Jump- Naoki Higashida

thereasonijump

This book is incredible.

I’ve always been fascinated by autism but textbooks, with their clinical perspective, cross referencing and abbreviations have never been able to help me understand what it would actually be like to be autistic.

Written by Naoki Higashida, a 13 year old boy with autism from Japan, ‘The Reason I Jump’ provides a personal insight into the confusing world of a child with autism. Where other books have a doctrinaire spiel and are full of academic jargon, this closes the gap between the theory and, in the words of David Mitchell who introduces the book, ‘what’s unraveling on your kitchen floor.’

Higashida suffers from autism severe enough that verbal communication is impossible, but he has learnt to write by pointing at an alphabet grid, and through this has given insight into what’s happening in his head.

This book is a revelation for anyone who has or works with an autistic child. In demonstrating his intellectual acuity and understanding of  his condition, Naoki Higashida discredits ideas that children with autism lack empathy and mental capacity. His entertaining and charming narrative, dispels popular myths and allows the reader to feel a little bit of what he feels on a daily basis, a truly beautiful and moving book.

WHY DO YOU FLAP YOUR FINGERS AND HANDS IN FRONT OF YOUR FACE?

Flapping our fingers and hands in front of our faces allows the light to enter our eyes in a pleasant, filtered fashion. Light that reaches us like this feels soft and gentle, like moonlight. But ‘unfiltered’ direct light sort of needles its way into the eyeballs of people with autism in sharp, straight lines, so we see too many points of light. This actually makes our eyes hurt.

Light wipes away our tears, and when we’re bathed in light, we’re happy.

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