By Naoki Higashida and David Mitchell
I read this book because I have a nephew who is on the autistic spectrum. For 36 years we have struggled to understand his often bewildering behavior and he himself has been unable to explain it.
‘The Reason I Jump’ offers a window into the life and thoughts of 13 year-old Naoki Higashida. At last we have some insight into the life of albeit one person with autism, which, for us, has unlocked a number of mysteries. Through a series of questions such as: “Why don’t you make eye contact when you’re talking?” and “Why do you line up your toy cars?”, Naoki Higashida responds using an alphabet grid because he is unable to speak out loud.
David Mitchell’s introduction explains how the book has helped him and his wife to feel a greater understanding of their own autistic son: “It is no exaggeration to say that The Reason I Jump allowed me to round a corner in our relationship.”
I too found that whilst it was very much the insights of one person with autism, it did suggest possible answers to many of our questions in respect of my nephew. Even though no two people are the same, this book provided some reassurance to our family and the insights we gained have allowed us too, to turn a corner. It’s a book everyone should read.
The Really Useful Stuff team would like to thank Becky B from Haslemere, Surrey for writing this excellent blog for RUS.