The Reason I Jump
You can’t judge a person by their looks. But once you know the other person’s inner self, both of you can be that much closer. Naoki Higashida
I just finished reading The Reason I Jump, written by a thirteen year old with autism. It’s a quick read that will stay with you for a long time, especially if you are a teacher or someone connected to a child with autism. Listed below are just a few quotes from this amazing book:
“But, like everyone else we want to do the best we possibly can. When we sense you’ve given up on us, it makes us feel miserable. So please keep helping us, through to the end” (Higashida, p. 42).
“I want to grow up learning a million things! There must be countless other people with autism who have the same desire, the same attitude. But our problem is, we aren’t capable of studying by ourselves. To be able to study like other people, we need more time and different strategies and approaches. And those people who help us study, they actually need more patience than we do. They need to understand our eagerness to learn, even though from the outside we may not appear to be keen students. But we are. We, too, want to grow” (Higashida, pp. 81-82).
“The person who’s suffering the most is the one who’s causing all the headaches for everyone else—that is, the one with autism” (Higashida, p. 100).
While Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine is a work of fiction, it also takes the reader into the world of a child with Asperger’s, an autism spectrum disorder. Another novel about an adult with Asperger’s is 600 Hours of Edward by Craig Lancaster. Both engaging novels.
For teachers, we have developed an extensive unit plan for Mockingbird. The more students learn about the differences among people, the more they learn that we are all more alike than we are different.
Higashida, N. The reason I jump: The inner voice of a thirteen-year-old boy with autism (Translation) (2013). New York, Random House.