The Reason I Jump is an astonishing work by 9 year old Naoki Higashida, autistic and mostly non verbal. Taught to use an alphabet keyboard to communicate, Naoki has shared his stories and his thoughts on being an autistic person in this wonderful book. This is the first of a number of books that Naoki Higashida has written in Japan, but was the first to have been translated into English, thanks in part to author David Mitchell.
Naoki’s words are incredibly important. Too often are non verbal disabled people written off without agency, spoken down to or worse, spoken about as though they are not in the room. Naoki touches upon all of these, as well as the frustration of trying to navigate a world that was not built for him. This was an important book during my diagnostic process, but is also an objectively insightful gaze for non-autistic (neurotypical) people into what it is like to be autistic, and what we really want from other people.
I read most of this on a train from work, flapping with joy at the shared experiences, and finished it in Kensington Gardens while watching birds in the trees. Suitable for children aged 9+, teenagers and adults.
Interested? Buy it here.
Want to know what else I’ve read about autism or features autistic characters? Check out The Essential Autie Book List.
What to read next:
- Fall Down 7 Times Get Up 8 by Naoki Higashida
- Odd Girl Out by Laura James
- Fingers in the Sparkle Jar by Chris Packham