Naoki Higashida was only thirteen when he wrote The Reason I Jump, a revelatory account of autism from the inside by a nonverbal Japanese child, which became an international success.
Now he shares his thoughts and experiences as a twenty-four-year-old man living each day with severe autism. In short, powerful chapters, he explores school memories, family relationships, the exhilaration of travel, and the difficulties of speech. He also allows readers to experience profound moments we take for granted, like the thought-steps necessary for him to register that it’s raining outside. Acutely aware of how strange his behavior can appear to others, he aims throughout to foster a better understanding of autism and to encourage society to see people with disabilities as people, not as problems.
With an introduction by bestselling novelist David Mitchell, Fall Down 7 Times Get Up 8 includes a dreamlike short story Higashida wrote especially for this edition. Both moving and of practical use, this book opens a window into the mind of an inspiring young man who meets every challenge with tenacity and good humor. However often he falls down, he always gets back up.
Praise for The Reason I Jump
“One of the most remarkable books I’ve ever read.”—Jon Stewart
“The Reason I Jump is a Rosetta stone. . . . It will stretch your vision of what it is to be human.”—Andrew Solomon, The Times (UK)
“Amazing times a million.”—Whoopi Goldberg, People
“Extraordinary, moving, and jeweled with epiphanies.”—The Boston Globe