I just finished reading a wonderful book by a 13-year-old nonverbal autistic boy named Naoki Higashida. It’s called The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old With Autism. Naoki wrote the book by spelling it out, one word at a time, on an alphabet letter board.
While there has been some criticism about the translation by David Mitchell—himself the father of an autistic child—I was blown away by Naoki’s inner voice as he answers 58 questions he thinks others wonder about him.
This young author is bright and thoughtful, and his startling and sometimes moving insights helped me to understand the hidden depths under the impairment of autism.
His Afterword brought tears to my eyes. There, he opens with the question: What am I going to be if my autism can never be cured?
Naoki offers a rare look inside the autistic mind, and I encourage you to read it. It increased my hope and understanding. I’d love to hear your thoughts about it.