The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism

Written by:
Naoki Higashida
Narrated by:
Tom Picasso

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
August 2013
2 hours 29 minutes
You' ve never read a book like The Reason I Jump. Written by Naoki Higashida, a very smart, very self-aware, and very charming thirteen-year-old boy with autism, it is a one-of-a-kind memoir that demonstrates how an autistic mind thinks, feels, perceives, and responds in ways few of us can imagine. Parents and family members who never thought they could get inside the head of their autistic loved one at last have a way to break through to the curious, subtle, and complex life within. Using an alphabet grid to painstakingly construct words, sentences, and thoughts that he is unable to speak out loud, Naoki answers even the most delicate questions that people want to know. Questions such as: ' Why do people with autism talk so loudly and weirdly?' ' Why do you line up your toy cars and blocks?' ' Why don' t you make eye contact when you' re talking?' and ' What' s the reason you jump?' (Naoki' s answer: ' When I' m jumping, it' s as if my feelings are going upward to the sky.' ) With disarming honesty and a generous heart, Naoki shares his unique point of view on not only autism but life itself. His insights-- into the mystery of words, the wonders of laughter, and the elusiveness of memory-- are so startling, so strange, and so powerful that you will never look at the world the same way again. In his introduction, bestselling novelist David Mitchell writes that Naoki' s words allowed him to feel, for the first time, as if his own autistic child was explaining what was happening in his mind. ' It is no exaggeration to say that The Reason I Jump allowed me to round a corner in our relationship.' This translation was a labor of love by David and his wife, KA Yoshida, so they' d be able to share that feeling with friends, the wider autism community, and beyond. Naoki' s book, in its beauty, truthfulness, and simplicity, is a gift to be shared.
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I am 32. I am high-functioning autistic, and i have never been able to successfully answer peoples’ question when they say “why is it so difficult for you to make eye contact.” This book finally answered that question and countless others that i didn’t even know i was missing the answers to. This book is an absolute must-read for anyone who is autistic or has a family member or close friend who is autistic. It gives voice to so many things one wouldn’t think to say and bridges the gap between one world and another with explanation and understanding. Just a really treasured and informative find.

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Iselchyresse I.

For what it is this book is a masterpiece. Purely insightful, sensitive, candid, imperfect and so helpful! Hoghly recommend it. Thoroughly glad I stumbled upon it at this point in life when I am seeking answers. Wish I could meet the author.

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Autumn W.

If I could make this required reading for teachers, I would.

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Good book, more “cute” than anything. I was hoping to learn a little more.

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Anyone with an autistic child or who knows a family living with autism should read this book. In fact, I recommend everyone read it. I learned so much about the incredible strength, empathy, and creative intelligence of these special humans and the ones who live with and support them.

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David C.

As the parent of a child with autism this story was very enlightening to hear. Every parent of a child with autism or anyone who has to work with a child with autism should read/listen to this book. The insights provided by the author on what it is like to live with autism and the perceptions are pure gold!

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