The Reason I Jump by Naoki Higashida

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Genre: Auto-biography

Page Count: 138

Publication Date: 2007

Summary: You might be able to imagine yourself as a thirteen-year-old boy, but what do you think it’s like to be a thirteen-year-old boy with autism?  Why do people with autism behave the way they do? How do they communicate with the world if they cannot speak? By pointing to letters on an alphabet grid, the author, through a series of questions and answers, explains what it is like to view the world from an autistic perspective. He explores the trauma of sensory overload as well as the peace he finds in nature.  He explains why he does things that other people find hard to understand.

Recommended: Yes.  The author is incredibly perceptive about the world around him and conveys his message with thoughtfulness and honesty. Make sure you read the story (written by the author) included at the end of the book.

If You’re Offended: No problems here.

Noteworthy Excerpts: “We cry, we scream, we hit out and break things. But still, we don’t want you to give up on us. Please, keep battling alongside us. We are the ones who are suffering the most in these scenes, and badly, badly want to free ourselves from our own chains.”      “But I don’t always know what my arms and legs are up to, not exactly. For me, I have no clear sensation of where my arms and legs are attached, or how to make them do what I’m telling them to do. It’s as if my limbs are a mermaid’s rubbery tail.”

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