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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.

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The Reason I Jump
Average rating
4.1 / 5
Brilliant exploration of autism
January 31st, 2015
Thirteen-year-old Naoki Higashida has a desperate need to communicate what it is like to live with autism. This book is filled with compassion, not only for autistics, but for people who want to help and understand their situation. This book is a must read for anyone in the mental health field and for people who have a loved one with autism.
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1 review
Hard to put down
November 1st, 2014
It’s fascinating, heartbreaking, and inspiring to learn firsthand from a 13-year-old Japanese boy with severe autism. He describes his perceptions and reactions, and enlightens us about what the disorder means for him.
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1 review
February 9th, 2014
Well worth reading for insights into the autistic mind. Quite enjoyed the first few chapters, then I began to question how Naoki could make comparisons to the way a non-autistic person experiences the world. Was this book a collaboration with his therapist or his mother? Still, a very interesting narration. I would recommend it to anyone working with and caring for a person with autism.
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1 review
November 7th, 2013
Fantastic book a must read for anyone who has an autistic person in their life. Also for anyone who works with the public on a regular basis.
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1 review
October 28th, 2013
A very enlightening book. I feel a much greater understanding and compassion for people living with autism. Well done!
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1 review
Very eye opening
October 24th, 2013
This young man opened my eyes to autism in ways I never imagined. My grandson is autistic and I am thankful to understand him better.
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1 review
Beautiful, informative and moving.
October 15th, 2013
Few books have made an impression on me as this one has. The insight into the mind of this autistic person is so shockingly normal in view that I couldn't put it down. Part child of wonder and feeling, part adult of conviction, his is a story of duality between mind and body, between imposed norms and reality. A beautiful, informing and moving read.
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1 review
The reason I jump
October 12th, 2013
I know have a greater understanding of the prison people with autism must deal with every second of their lives. I realize the actions and behaviors that marcel exhibited throughout his years and I hope that I will be more empathic, patient and caring as a parent who has a son with autism.
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1 review

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