The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism Audiobook | Naoki Higashida | Audible.com
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The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism | [Naoki Higashida]

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

Written by Naoki Higashida, a very smart, very self-aware, and very charming thirteen-year-old boy with autism, The Reason I Jumpis 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.
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Publisher's Summary

You've never listened to 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.

©2007 Naoki Higashida (P)2013 Recorded Books

What Members Say

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  •  
    Tim United States 10-11-13
    Tim United States 10-11-13 Member Since 2010

    Toe reviewer.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Only True Insight"

    There are many experts such as scholars, doctors and parents that will tell you about Autism, but unless you climbed Mount Everest, no tour guide behind a desk can tell you the experience of climbing. This is the same thing for Autism and many other disabilities. No one can tell you what it's like to have a disorder unless you have it.

    "The Reason I Jump" is a journey of a 13 year old boy that has Autism. It is written in a way to be informable like a FAQ from an adolescent that has this disability. Unless you go directly to the source for an answer, all other opinions are less irrelevant because they are hypothetical answers to the questions.

    I have to thank Naoki Higashida for writing his experience on what it's like to be Autistic. His voice has more power than any behavior specialist on Autism. I'm not dismissing the experts on all disabilities, but whenever someone explains about a disorder, they are just assuming the condition.

    Besides explaining his condition in his book, he tells a great story beyond his Autism. He is a profound writer, just being 13 when he wrote this book.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeremy Bloomington, IN, USA 10-11-13
    Jeremy Bloomington, IN, USA 10-11-13
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    "A Must Read"
    Any additional comments?

    Extremely Informative
    Everyone should read this book, Period.

    Whether you know someone with autism or not.
    Whether you are interested in how the brain works or not.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lynn Orting, WA, United States 10-08-13
    Lynn Orting, WA, United States 10-08-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Wonderful Insight!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes! The insight was amazing. This is great information for anyone with a family member, friend or working with people with autism.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Reason I Jump?

    Learning that so much of how we react to people with autism is exactly the wrong thing to do.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, I did listen to it mostly all at once. It's a very quick "read".


    Any additional comments?

    It's good to know that technology and other advances are allowing people with autism more opportunities to better communicate with the world and, more importantly, their loved ones. It's sad to think they are so vibrant and "alive" and so trapped by their disease.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janice Sugar Land, TX, United States 12-06-13
    Janice Sugar Land, TX, United States 12-06-13 Member Since 2010

    Rating scale: 5=Loved it, 4=Liked it, 3=Ok, 2=Disappointed, 1=Hated it. I look for well developed characters, compelling stories.

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    "Cracking the code"

    As a neuroscience nurse with an autistic grandson, I appreciate the insights revealed by young Naoki Higashida. It is most affirming to recognize that within the limitations of verbal and emotional expression, there is intelligence, humor and creativity trying to assert itself. What I found most heartbreaking is the realization that these children feel the burden of their families’ sorrow, frustration, and disappointment, imposing a daunting sense of responsibility to keep the family happy. (Research has shown that this is a common phenomenon among children with any chronic or terminal diagnosis, but I had not thought of it in this context).

    While there must be a caveat that the experiences of Naoki may not have universal applicability for those on the spectrum, the revelations of the internal struggles to control emotions and behavior do suggest approaches that families can employ to understand and develop the abilities hidden inside their autistic loved ones. In this respect it is different from books written by those discussing the autistic experience from the caregiver’s POV. What I would love to see now is an update now that Naoki is a young adult, because one of the mysteries we would love to solve is how normal growth and development stages (such as adolescence with all of its hormonal upheavals wreaking havoc with emotional control) affect the behavior and expression of the autistic person as they mature. Anything to better prepare our loved one for his own future.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Catherine New York, NY, United States 10-05-13
    Catherine New York, NY, United States 10-05-13 Member Since 2011
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    What did you love best about The Reason I Jump?

    The author is a thirteen year old autistic boy. He gives such insight into what it is like to have autism that at times it is hard to remember he is only thirteen. Interwoven into the narration are tales he has written which fit beautifully into the whole.


    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Trick Brown Proud and ashamed to be from the Empire State. 10-03-13
    Trick Brown Proud and ashamed to be from the Empire State. 10-03-13 Member Since 2013

    Just enjoying my readin', 'ritin', and 'rithmatic.

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    "If you just want to know..."

    The Reason I Jump is a book written in 2006 by a 13 year old child with autism. In it, he attempts to answer the basic questions one might ask of someone with a spectrum disorder. That is, if they weren’t too uncomfortable to ask such questions. I don’t normally review non-fiction, but I do follow science and the autism spectrum disorder has been featured a great deal in science during the past 15 years. And thanks to wackos, like Jenny McCarthy preaching nonsense about her mommy instincts being better than science, many people think autism is caused by vaccines despite numerous clinical studies to the contrary. The truth is, science has not completely determined the causes, though genetics seems to be a dominant factor. That digression aside, I decided to read this book because I don’t really know anybody with autism. I don’t know much about the disorder at all, and when I heard about this book, I thought it an excellent time to get some information straight from the source and what better source than from a child?

    David Mitchell has a child with autism and a Japanese wife. These two circumstances led to his spearheading the translation of this monograph from Japanese to English, so if you enjoyed this work in English, you can thank him and his wife for wanting to help get this information to English speakers. An introduction written by David Mitchell appears at the beginning. I think he works a little too hard at trying to describe what it is like to have autism and should have stuck to what it was like being the parent of such a child. Regardless, his words did not detract from the rest of the book. I felt it appropriate to give him his due for his contributions to the publishing process, but that also means I have to ask why he threw in his two cents since we’re effectively reading to get a first hand account, not his interpretations of what it is like to be autistic.

    The Reason I Jump is not written as a narrative. It is a simple list of frequently asked questions. Or, as I said above, questions people want to ask, but would feel too uncomfortable, or maybe fear it too politically incorrect to ask. But Don’t get me started on the PC nonsense. It is this sort of nonsense that prevents people from asking these questions when the answers would aid in understanding.

    The book is actually quite refreshing I often find personalized accounts annoying to read because they constantly have to appeal to some sense of over stylized humanity. Apparently most accounts have to have some bizarre human angle to get people to “care” about it. I find it strange that people aren’t interested in something just for the sake of knowing. This is the primary reason I don’t read a lot Human interest stories. They may have an element of reality that most find alluring, but they’re written like fiction and it always makes me wonder what it is they’re leaving out or what is being embellished for effect. I don’t want fairy tale embellishments, I want the straight talk and this is exactly what this book provides.

    Naoki Higashida cannot speak (at least at the time he wrote the book) but he could communicate by pointing at a laminated card with letters, so no doubt the economy of the book is due to the slow method by which it was written. In my opinion, long drawn out narratives should be antithetical to much non-fiction since the goal is to communicate ideas. One would think the author and the readers would want to get to the point.

    If you think that a child, or in particular, a child with autism couldn’t possibly challenge a “neurotypical” person’s understanding of their own world view, I would wager something in the first dozen questions and answers will open your eyes. Speaking of eyes, that is one points he makes. He is/was always told to look someone in the eyes when speaking to them or being spoken to by them. He effectively begs the response question: Why would his understanding of the words be improved simply by making eye contact? Too true! Just because “normal” people feel compelled to garner social cues and other information through eye-contact, why do we insist the same action will/should have the same effect on someone whom we all agree does not process the world in the same way?

    Naoki Higadisha describes people’s voices as being close or far away, like a dandelion or a mountain, only the actual distance does not determine how people with autism hear the voice. He doesn’t get into the factors that determine the distance of the voice at any given time, but rather he gives some simple advice to help a speaker draw their voice closer. He asks that you say “our” name first, so they know they are being spoken to. A simple elegant solution to a situation so both parties can relate.

    “What’s the worst thing about having autism?”

    “Would you like to be normal?”

    Numerous “Why do you do this or that” questions are all examples of the types of insights Naoki Higadisha tries to answer. He does not pretend he can answer all these questions for every autistic person, but he gives his most reasonable guess. No doubt there will be questions you’ll feel should have been asked and answered, but I think that’s just a by product of being inquisitive. A person will ask several questions for each one answered on any topic, if they are truly engaged.

    The book is fairly short and ends with a short story written by Naoki Higashida. I won’t spoil any of that for you and end my review with a simple recommendation. If you would like a bit of insight into how a different set of people think and perceive the world, and how you should interact with them, this book is a good start.

    13 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mimi CRAWFORDVILLE, FLORIDA, United States 11-14-13
    mimi CRAWFORDVILLE, FLORIDA, United States 11-14-13
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    "Outstanding"
    What did you love best about The Reason I Jump?

    The naration. The narator explained well and with a sense of discriptive realism. Also,the plot kept me interested and wanting to find out "What's next".


    What did you like best about this story?

    The ending, though very emotional, it was tender and loving!


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The scene when the little boy realized that he was dead.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Yes, it made me cry. It was very emotional at the end. It made me examined my life with my grand children and how I would feel if this happened in our family. I almost felt a loss. Very touching!


    Any additional comments?

    I really recommend this book for parents , even if you do not have a child with Autism. Also, I recommend it to educators because there are suggestions to follow in helping children with Autism. Plus after reading it you will feel that you understand a little bit more.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jon D'Alessandro Georgetown, Ontario Canada 10-26-13
    Jon D'Alessandro Georgetown, Ontario Canada 10-26-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Touching and insightful"
    What did you love best about The Reason I Jump?

    As the parent of a severely autistic 20 year old, I found this book to be very insightful, inspiring and touching.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Naoki, of course.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes!


    Any additional comments?

    I love the introduction too. Any one with autism in their lives will relate!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cleveland NEW YORK, NY, United States 12-30-13
    Cleveland NEW YORK, NY, United States 12-30-13 Member Since 2011
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    "View into a locked room"
    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    Hearing the voice escape from the prison of autism.


    Could you see The Reason I Jump being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    Maybe, it could be a vehicle for building sympathy and understanding of this terrible infliction.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Lee California 10-26-13
    J. Lee California 10-26-13 Member Since 2009

    Husband, father, building contractor, inventor and audio book lover.

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    "just Amazing!"

    Anybody who knows or is involved with a child with autism must listen to this book. A beautiful look from inside out in the most simple and clear terms one can imagine. Please get this book an listen to it with care.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
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