The Autism Book Everyone Should Read

There are countless books published surrounding the topic. Parenting books for kids with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder), views on the Autism epidemic, vaccine related books, autism diet books, the list goes on. But this particular book took my interest when I first read it’s title, The Reason I Jump. Most people who have encountered autism know that jumping is one of the many different “autism signs” for lack of a better word. This book was a big part of my acceptance and understanding of autism. If you are a parent, family member, friend, or loved one to an autistic child or adult, I highly recommend reading this book, and as soon as possible.

the reason i jump

To purchase a copy on Amazon, follow this link. My opinions on this book are solely my own, and I am in no way shape or form paid or endorsed to recommending this book. However, I am affiliated with Amazon, so if you wish to purchase the book, following the link above will use my Amazon code to benefit my blog.

The Reason I Jump is written by a 13 year old autistic boy, Naoki Higashida. This is not your ordinary book.. The format is a Q and A, with some stories and pictures to go along with the content. The book is introduced by David Mitchell, whose introduction spoke to my soul, and read as if I could have written it myself.

The thirteen-year-old author of this book invites you, his reader, to imagine a daily life in which your faculty of speech is taken away. Explaining that you’re hungry, or tired, or in pain is now as beyond your powers as a chat with a friend. –David Mitchell 

This book has opened my mind to autism and was the tool I needed to gain more patience and understanding with my son. With that said, not everything in this book should be used as an explanation for actions. Never forget, if you’ve met one autistic person, you have met one autistic person. Not one person is the same, and the thoughts, feelings, and actions of one autistic person can greatly differ from the next. This book explains many assumptions about autism, which helped me personally realize that my son can be social and autistic. Higashida may not be able to communicate the way you or I do, but he surely enjoys the company of others and often feels left-out or alone due to the stigma that has been surrounding autism. Higashida takes us into his world and explains how he communicates, how he feels in certain situations, and gives explanations to his actions in a way that will make you want to cheer him on and cry for him all at the same time. I tried to go over the book, for a third time, with a highlighter to capture the things I thought would be most important to share with readers interested in the book, but I caught myself highlighting every page. There is no way for me to give a sneak peek into this book without re-writing the entire thing. So, instead of doing a full book review, I will add some of my favorite questions and responses below and how they applied to my son.

whatever you do, don’t give up on us. We need your help.

– Naoki Higashida

Q2 Why do people with autism talk so loudly and weirdly?

To start, this question didn’t catch my attention much because my son is still not speaking, which is actually OK considering his age. However, I quickly learned that even though a question may not directly apply to your situation, its best to read the response anyways. I’m finding that Higashida has some very good life lessons and views on certain topics that we could all learn from. For this question, I heard for the first time an autistic person explain the internal pain they feel when placed in certain situations or why they try to suppress themselves.

When my weird voice gets triggered, it’s almost impossible to hold it back-and if I try, it actually hurts, almost as if I’m strangling  my own throat.

Q6 Do you find childish language easier to understand?

Here is another question that I did not find much interest in, but was shocked to hear a response that not only teaches a lesson about how to speak to autistic kids, but also how to speak and treat children in general. It really makes you think about how you do things and what their impact will be. It makes total sense. Think back to a time when you were a child and you did or said something with only good intentions, or didn’t quite understand that something you were doing was wrong. Now, imagine being called names, yelled at and verbally punished for those actions or words. There you are, a young and vulnerable child trying to learn the social norms and rules of life, being talked down to and punished instead of taught. It may have made you feel completely sad and angry at yourself. You may have been so affected by the words and tone used against you that it will scar you for the rest of your life, becoming extremely sensitive to being talked down to or making a mistake. Or, you may have taken that situation and instead turned it into rage, anger and lashed out. You now have grown into an adult that believes everything you went through as a child has made you the strong and respectful adult you are today, while secretly wishing you were brought up a different way, and loved more. Now, apply those same scenarios to someone who is hypersensitive to emotions and words. Think about how that could impact their lives.

Every single time I’m talked down to, I end up feeling utterly miserable – as if I’m being given zero chance of a decent future. True compassion is about not bruising the other person’s self-respect.

Read It For Yourself

I could add my two cents to every question and answer provided in this book, but what good would that do? I truly believe that every person has a right to their own opinion, and I have often found that when someone says too much about how they feel towards something, like this book for instance, it tends to shift the way the reader takes in the information. Read this book. I do not often share what I am reading with others because 1. I do not like to expose my guilty pleasure for reading, 2. I read a ton of different books, even if they do not match my opinion or stance on a topic, like the book by J.B. Handley How to End the Autism Epidemic (don’t be fooled though, I plan to write entire book review about Handley’s novel and why I disagree with his strong stance on most topics surrounding autism). If you wish to read Handley’s book, you can follow this link here to get it on amazon.

Final Thoughts

Keeping an open mind and changing your views surrounding autism does not make you weak or unreliable. I first believed my son was autistic due to vaccines after reading and watching documentaries. It was quite athe compelling, and I can see why so many people have become afraid of vaccinating their children. This is not a vaccine blog or post. This does not explain my stance on vaccines, and I believe that is a topic that will stay between my husband, my son’s pediatrician, and I.

Once I began reading more into autism and started to learn more about what happens in their minds by following autistic adults and reading their blogs, I have changed my stance on many topics presented in Handley’s book. I am actually quite disturbed by how convinced I was based on a compelling argument with a good story to back it up. I also have changed even more from there, after realizing that autism is in fact a spectrum and not all autistic minds are the same. What works for one may not for the next. If you’ve met one autistic person, you have met one autistic person.

Please like and leave a comment or contact me directly if there is an autism book you would suggest for me to read and review!

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