“It’s true; I always ask the same questions. ‘What day is it today?’ or ‘Is it a school day tomorrow?’ Simple matters like these, I ask again and again. I don’t repeat my question because I didn’t understand – in fact, even as I’m asking, I know I do understand.
The reason why? Because I very quickly forget what it is I’ve just heard. Inside my head there really isn’t such a big difference between what I was told just now, and what I heard a long, long time ago.”
– Higashida, N. (2014). The Reason I Jump. p.23, Sceptre, Great Britain
How many parents out there with a child with autism hope to know at many a times what their little bundle of joy is thinking or what are the reasons behind their actions?
This book, written by Higashida, a thirteen-year-old boy with autism, acts like a bridge between my son and me. Higashida has severe autism but thanks to an ambitious teacher, he has learnt to communicate via a keyboard, and from the ability to communicate, came the birth of this book.
In this book, Higashida answers 58 questions which offers me valuable insights into what might be going on in my four-year-old son’s head. It builds understanding, adds to the foundation to my route in assisting him, and most importantly, in the words of Mitchell, D, who wrote the foreword in the book, ‘Naoki Higashisa’s gift is to restore faith’ (p.9), so that parents, caregivers, and the world out there know that our kids have a mind as ‘curious, subtle and complex’ as anyone else’s out there. They have dreams too, dreams that we hope, we can, and we will be able to help them achieve.
A glimpse into the questions that Higashisa answers:
- Why do people with autism talk so loudly and weirdly?
- Why do you do things you shouldn’t even when you’ve been told a million times not to?
- Why do you speak in that peculiar way?
- Why don’t you make eye contact when you’re talking?
- Why do you wave goodbye with your palm facing yourself?
- What’s the reason you jump?
- Why do people with autism often cup their ears?
- Why do you flap your fingers and hands in front of your face?
- Why do you line up your toy cars and blocks?
- Why can you never stay still?
Read this book review by Temple Grandin which tells you exactly why this book is a gem for parents or anybody who hope is working with a nonverbal child with autism or a child with autism.
If you’re hoping to find some of the answers to the questions posted, buy or borrow the book from your local library. I buy most of my books and resources from book depository as I find the prices affordable and delivery to be quick and efficient. You can click on the link below to read more about the book and purchase it from Book Depository if you want:
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