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The Reason I Jump: one boy's voice from the silence of autism: one boy's voice from the silence of autism by [Higashida, Naoki]
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The Reason I Jump: one boy's voice from the silence of autism: one boy's voice from the silence of autism Kindle Edition

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Length: 193 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Language: English

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Product Description

Product Description

The No. 1 Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller.

Written by Naoki Higashida when he was only thirteen, this remarkable book provides a rare insight into the often baffling behaviour of autistic children. Using a question and answer format, Naoki explains things like why he talks loudly or repeats the same questions, what causes him to have panic attacks, and why he likes to jump. He also shows the way he thinks and feels about his world - other people, nature, time and beauty, and himself. Abundantly proving that people with autism do possess imagination, humour and empathy, he also makes clear how badly they need our compassion, patience and understanding.

David Mitchell and his wife have translated Naoki's book so that it might help others dealing with autism and generally illuminate a little-understood condition. It gives us an exceptional chance to enter the mind of another and see the world from a strange and fascinating perspective.

The book also features eleven original illustrations, inspired by Naoki's words, by the artistic duo Kai and Sunny.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2561 KB
  • Print Length: 193 pages
  • Publisher: Sceptre (1 July 2013)
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group (AU)
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #50,433 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This would be exceptional work for a person of any age, but for a 13-year old boy,it is truly wonderful. I believe it could help 'typicals' to understand autistics, and help autistics to understand themselves. I write as an aged high-functioning autistic who has lived a medically professional life and who didn't realise his own involvement in the condition until his mid-seventies. I feel sure that Naoki would agree with me when I say that we do not 'suffer' from a disorder which needs to find a 'cure', but are simply DIFFERENT and are content to be so.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Helps answer a lot of questions a NT may have. This was an eye opening book. Highly recommend.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars 1,557 reviews
254 of 268 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Brother Also Jumps 8 September 2013
By C. Wong - Published on
I read a lot of books about autism because my brother is severely autistic. I am very thankful to Nagoki Higashida for answered questions that I have about my brother's behavior and the way that he thinks. And also answering some questions that had not even occurred to me! His voice came through this book as very genuine and I have recognized some of the same feelings in my brother as Nagoki Higashida.

In fact I wish that my brother had the experience of being trained to use the special keyboard. So many things are locked inside for my brother but Nagoki been has let some of them out via the keyboard.
My brother also jumps. He always does this just before he starts a walk. He also loves to walk in places filled with nature. He wanted to go to a park when I asked him where on our latest visit. I have read quite a few books written by Asperger's but this one by a boy who has autism rings home for me. My brother can speak but usually he does not initiate any conversation, he is limited to a few words of a reply. I can see the struggle that he goes through when he is trying to "grab" something to say.

I was aware of the overload of senses but I didn't realize that the floors could be tilting for him. That must be why he touches the wall here and there trying to get some balance.

I thought that the author really conveyed how regular people can hurt people with autism's feelings. I knew that from being with my brother. I have heard people talk about my brother in front of him and that is mean. I know the author would feel the same way.

This book is very valuable for understanding autism and I wish that caregivers in group homes and others who work with people who have autism would read this book.

When I read this book, I truly wanted more. I am hoping that there will be a place in the future where we can send out questions to you. I have so much more that I want to learn. If you have a family member who has autism please read this book.

I received this book as a win from FirstReads but that in no way influenced my thoughts or feelings in the review.
374 of 444 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ambivalence 3 October 2013
By reader - Published on
Another reviewer of this book gave it 1 star, apparently because she questioned its authenticity. That is, she questioned whether it is truly the work of an autistic young man, as it is claimed to be. Considering the book's subject matter, it is perhaps not surprising that her suspicion was met with sometimes vitriolic comments, as some readers seemed to take it as an affront to their intensely-lived personal experience. But at the risk of attracting similar attacks, I must admit to my own kind of skepticism.

Certainly, the aforementioned reviewer's focus on word choice is irrelevant here as a criterion by which to infer authorship, as this is a translation. But I agree with that reviewer's concern about the author's tendency to speak for all autistic people. Though some comments questioned this observation, it is not merely an interpretation or projection; Mr. Higashida does in fact repeatedly and explicitly speak for all autistic people. If you don't yet have the book, you can see just as well in the preview the repeated use of "we" or "us" in phrases and sentences that characterize a behavior, attitude, belief or experience as common to all autistic people. This is an appropriate cause for concern, as there is great diversity in all populations, including those with autism. It would be unfortunate if readers without direct experience to the contrary were misled into thinking that one autistic person can speak for all.

So it is offensive that several comments insult that reviewer for observing this tendency, accusing her of inventing this notion, as if it is she who thinks all autistic people are alike. Such rough treatment demonstrates the most dangerous kind of ignorance, the kind that is too arrogant (or perhaps simply too necessary) to recognize itself. That is, the literal kind, in which one actively ignores relevant information to maintain an opinion.

But I only mention this because it suggests another, perhaps more fundamental, problematic I encountered in reading this book, one that may help to explain both the aggression and the seemingly willful ignorance of those reactions. As I read this book, one feeling kept insisting itself, until it was something more than a feeling, though perhaps not yet a fully-formed thought. I didn't like this thought, but I couldn't help it: It all felt too good to be true.

It seemed that everything this young man thought and said was so... perfect. So perfectly what his mother, or perhaps any parent in a similar position, maybe all those who care for loved ones with autism, would wish their autistic loved one to say, if only they could, or would, or... I find it difficult to follow this through. It seems wrong even to question it.

But I recognized in these pages again and again this 'wish-fulfillment' quality, until it was difficult to ignore and, as in a dream, I began to question their reality. Waking life is just so seldom so in accord with my wishes.

For these reasons and others, I don't think it inappropriate to wonder aloud about how many acts of translation took place between the various way-points in this book's journey to this publication, and how they might have shaped the text as it is now. After all, just a list of the most obvious intermediaries suggests a game of telephone: there's Mr. Higashida himself, his mother who invented his method of communication, the Japanese editor(s) and publishers, Ms. Yoshida the translator into English, David Mitchell her husband and co-translator, the English editor(s) and publishers, and who knows how many others along the way. All of these people were translators of a sort, and at least a plurality of these translators have personal (and therefore inevitably complicated, emotional, fraught) relationships with loved ones with autism.

Because there can so often seem to be such an unbridgeable gulf between, as Mr. Higashida puts it, 'earthling' and 'autisman' (and of course here I'm thinking especially of the more severe instantiations), and because it is in that gulf that the messy stuff of life happens, it must be that each of those translators wish as intensely as any of us do to leap, to soar across, intact and understood. It must be that so many of them, like so many of us, have no greater wish than to meet a perfect representative. To meet one who can speak from the other side, on this side, one who will tell us exactly what we have always hoped is true.

Perhaps there is value in this book, then, whether it truly bears that wish-fulfilling voice, or merely approximates it. But as for me, I find myself still inside, not yet across, the gulf.
164 of 196 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Confusing to one with mild autism - 3 October 2013
By Loyd Eskildson - Published on
The book's author is a 13-year-old Japanese young autistic male. The book was originally published in Japan, in 2007. Persons with autism tend to end up alone in a corner because communication for them is so fraught with problems. Emotional poverty and an aversion to company are consequences of autism.

Naoki begins by tell us that he has difficulty trying to speak with others, though he does better with writing. He also has difficulty remembering, and therefore repeats questions. Another problem - he doesn't look at people's eyes very much - it feels creepy so he avoids it. He's usually anxious that he's causing trouble for others or getting on their nerves, making it hard to stay around others. Lining things up is a classic autistic trait.

It is hard to know what to make of the book. I'm mildly autistic, and share a number of the traits mentioned by Naoki, including most of those already listed. However, when the translator (David Mitchell) concludes that, contrary to common perception, autistic people are overly sensitive, not insensitive to others' feelings, I strongly disagree - I've always had difficulty 'reading' others and their actual/potential reactions to what I might say or write - even though I've made increasing efforts to do so as I've gotten older. As for 'jumping,' I thought the topic would focus on panic attacks (loud noises, bright lights) - another lifelong and increasing problem for myself. Nor, unlike Naoki, do I talk loudly, speak in a peculiar way, take ages to respond to questions, or ask the same questions repeatedly.

On the + side, I've done well as computer programming, a task many others find tedious and reportedly a strength of many with autism. On the other hand, I also find most repetitive tasks boring.

I also have a number of additional classic autistic symptoms. I dislike changes in routines, am preoccupied with a few interests and am quite knowledgeable about them, am relatively uncoordinated, strongly dislike reading fiction, constantly look for and find patterns in numbers and license plates, and find it very hard to make new friends. But I also have considerable difficulty mentally rotating complex structures - reportedly a strength of those with autism. The bottom-line - it seems like those with autism, while sharing many similarities, also can be quite different. Perhaps that was why it was much more difficult for me to really understand Naoki, even taking his greater communications disability into account.

What does this mean, or say about the book? I honestly don't know. While I greatly respect the author and the greater difficulty he has communicating than do I, the book just didn't bring any insights to me.
80 of 98 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Looking inside a wonderful mind. 6 September 2013
By Reviewer#1 - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I loved this book. As a grandmother of an autistic child, I expected some more of the same prittle prattle about this unique ability. This book confirms the suspicions of our whole family has about our 10 year old and gave us tools and understanding that we previously just wished we had. This is a must read by all those who love children and desire they achieve the most in life that is possible. The School teacher, the Sunday School teacher, the day care worker, the mother, dad, sibling, cousin, aunt, uncle, etc. would be positively influenced by this unusual interview. We will buy a hard copy to share with everyone we know and knows our child.
40 of 50 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed as a fellow autistic person 9 October 2013
By Maranda Russell - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
I really wanted to love this book and as a high-functioning autistic, thought I would really relate to it, but much of it I didn't relate to at all. I felt that it honestly might not be completely honest (in that, I'm not sure the autistic child truly wrote it all without ALOT of help or even someone guiding him). Also, I worry that people will read this one book and think they know how all autistics feel and I can tell you right now, that isn't true at all. In fact, as an autistic person myself with the ability to communicate fairly well verbally, I definitely disagreed with some of the sweeping generalizations in the book about why those of us on the spectrum do certain things or act certain ways.