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100 of 103 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The first real insight into autistic young people
This book is just brilliant. I have two teenage children both with very complex autism, a daughter and a son. Over the years I have attempted to read some books - whether by 'experts' or other parents - on autism. The 'experts' books I have found not helpful as autism affects each person so uniquely and what the 'experts' say is often cold and difficult to personalise...
Published 14 months ago by poppyfairy

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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Lost in translation?
In an interview, David Mitchell tells us that first, his wife translated the original book from the Japanese, then he rewrote the words and fixed anything he thought needed fixing, and then he went through it again, making it sound like a 13 year old boy. As he did this, he says he ‘allows him a bit of high level vocabulary’. Why did he feel the need to do...
Published 2 months ago by M.E.V.


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100 of 103 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The first real insight into autistic young people, 26 July 2013
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This review is from: The Reason I Jump: One Boy's Voice from the Silence of Autism (Hardcover)
This book is just brilliant. I have two teenage children both with very complex autism, a daughter and a son. Over the years I have attempted to read some books - whether by 'experts' or other parents - on autism. The 'experts' books I have found not helpful as autism affects each person so uniquely and what the 'experts' say is often cold and difficult to personalise. I have found other parents books often quite depressing and have not managed to get passed the first few chapters. My experience with my children is my own journey - but my children are just the most amazing, courageous, beautiful people, and I kind of get tired seeing/reading negative things. These young people cope with so much, and this book by this young man is the first real honest insight into the thoughts and processes of autistic young people.

Sometimes there aren't any answers to the questions that are posed, but that in itself is an insight. I feel I know my children so well, but there are things written which my children wouldn't be able to explain to me, but are totally applicable to them. I read some of the questions/answers to my son; he kept jumping up and down saying 'That's how it is. That's how I feel.' At one point he was moved to tears and just said 'Oh wow'. My son would never have been able to tell me those things himself but to hear it voiced by another young man, who has a similar life journey to my son, helped him tremendously. So I would say this book is not only invaluable to parents and carers, teachers and support staff. But mostly, I would say it is for other young autistic people themselves, it gives them an opportunity to explain to you what's applicable, what's the same, and opens up discussion on how things are for them. It brings the young person comfort to know that they aren't the only person feeling this way - especially as another young person has written it down. As I write this my daughter has just started to read the book and I'm sure she will draw huge comfort from it also.

I cannot praise this book highly enough. It answers so many questions, some of which you may already know the answers, but also run deeper than that. My son is a rocker/flapper, echolaic, spins, food issues, very loud voice etc. And the explanation this young man gave to these questions opened up a new understanding, respect and appreciation. Yes I knew that for instance rocking and flapping is a sensory issue - but the way it is explained is a completely different level.

Sorry for waffling on - but I cannot recommend this highly enough. The forward is written perfectly - explaining autism simply, to the point, and in a way which really hits home just how hard life is for our youngsters due to their inner turmoils. As much as their brings some heartache there is also a lot of hope, and that is what I hold on to for my two.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Lost in translation?, 19 July 2014
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This review is from: The Reason I Jump: One Boy's Voice from the Silence of Autism (Hardcover)
In an interview, David Mitchell tells us that first, his wife translated the original book from the Japanese, then he rewrote the words and fixed anything he thought needed fixing, and then he went through it again, making it sound like a 13 year old boy. As he did this, he says he ‘allows him a bit of high level vocabulary’. Why did he feel the need to do this?

I can’t read the original Japanese, unfortunately, but I would rather have read the original translation than one that’s been altered in this way.

I didn’t get very far in this book before alarm bells started to ring. As soon as I read: ‘on that first day when my mum supported my writing hand in hers…’, I had my doubts. Was the book written using Facilitated Communication? If so, it puts its authenticity into doubt. Facilitated Communication is controversial, and has long ago been discredited because there has been no good evidence that it works.
But even if, in this instance, the words come from Naoki and not his mother (the facilitator), I found that as I read the book, it didn’t ring true. It could be because of the translation, but a lot of the time it seemed to be wish fulfillment - saying what the parents of an autistic child would want their child to say, if he could.

Autism is a spectrum disorder (each person with autism is different), but one of the common problems with autistic people is a lack of understanding and awareness of other people’s emotions and feelings. So it’s hard to believe that someone with autism would have that amount of insight into their condition – or anyone else’s.
Naoki says: ‘Among people with autism, there are some who make a huge fuss when they have their hair or nails trimmed, even though it shouldn’t hurt at all. At the same time, there are people who stay very calm and collected, even when they’ve got an injury that’s obviously painful.’
He refers to, ‘Us kids with autism’, and uses ‘we’ and ‘us’, as if he is able to speak for ALL autistic people, as if they are all the same. They’re not, and it jars.
He says what ‘normal people’ think: ‘ Normal people think we’re highly dependent and can’t live without ongoing support….’ But how would he know how ‘normal’ people think?

The answer to ‘Why do you like being in the water?’ seemed a bit odd.
‘Why do you like being in the water?’
‘We want to go back. To the distant, distant past. To a primeval era, in fact, before human beings even existed. All people with autism feel the same about this one, I reckon.’
Really? Maybe they just like being in the water because it feels nice!

I’m sure this book gives comfort to many people with autistic children, but I can't help thinking that something about it is not quite right...
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What an amazing boy Naoki Higashida is., 28 July 2013
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This review is from: The Reason I Jump: One Boy's Voice from the Silence of Autism (Hardcover)
Considering that this lad has few verbal skills, he communicates through the written word in a powerful way. We need people like him to remind us that EVERYONE deserves to be respected and listened to, no matter how limited their communications skills are. How amazing to write this whole book with an alphabet board - and a big thank you to his transcribers and translators.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A window into my sons mind, 11 Jan 2014
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This review is from: The Reason I Jump: One Boy's Voice from the Silence of Autism (Hardcover)
I pre-ordered this book after searching for realistic books to try and understand my son's mind who has aspergers. While some of the chapters didn't relate to my son some did and did help me to really understand him but to give me a reason why he does and say what he does. Some days are so hard and you think he is deliberately doing what he does but this book shined a light on some of his most frustrating habits. No two children with aspergers are alike. My son at times cannot put words together to say what he means but have given him the book to read (he is 11).

He was able to tell me at parts of the books that "mum that's how I feel when I do that and couldn't explain in words to you why"

That comment alone was worth a huge amount to me as he is so frustrated at times trying to explain himself. I understand the book is a translation from another language but in its own way it has helped me translate to me my sons feelings in a way I can understand and that to me is worth 5 stars any day
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, 29 July 2013
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This review is from: The Reason I Jump: One Boy's Voice from the Silence of Autism (Hardcover)
This book is a revelation. i have a autistic son, and work with autistic kids. This book confirms what I'd always believed-and hoped-to be true, that there is so much going on in the heads and hearts of autistic people. They are, as David Mitchell says, superheroes. Every single day.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An outstanding and unusual book, 4 Aug 2013
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Margaret (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This question and answer formula used here suits the subject matter and allows the Japanese autistic author to reveal so much about his inner feelings. His replies to the questions are couched so as to explain how an autistic boy may feel and why he may behave as he does in all kinds of different situations.
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35 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absorbing and Funny, 5 July 2013
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A real insight into the mind of an autistic person. Beautifully written and a pleasure to read. You can take each section on its own but I read the whole thing straight through. His final story is incredibly touching. A book everyone who knows a person with autism should read.
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56 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Answers to questions I didn't know how to ask., 3 July 2013
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Mr. C. Broderick (bristol, uk) - See all my reviews
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Wonderful book, helps me to understand why my son seems to suffer so much, and why he might need his alone time.
Also helps to remind us how amazing it is out there.
Should be given to every family as soon as Autism is mentioned for the first time.
Very easy to read, made me smile, and cry, and think.
Naoki should be at the front of everyone's mind when they are looking for answers, maybe in time his name will spring to mind in the same way Temple Grandin does now.
But this is not just a collection of faqs on Autism, the poetry and short stories included are beautiful in themselves.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Beautiful Book of the Power and Struggle of Autism, 13 Aug 2014
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I'm an autistic sufferer myself and I thought this:
Beautiful, emotional and powerful in its realisation of autism!
It makes you understand how much suffering people with autism go through. I know because I'm often at war with myself.
Higashida beautifully illustrates his points to life's questions with accuracy and understanding. It's enough to make anyone realise how autistic people suffer.
His story at the end is both emotional and powerful in the trauma of death, a sudden and devastating change on the lives of family and friends. Yet he also adds how wonderful the afterlife can be as though you are finally free the life's hardships. He ends with the eloquent message that despite death, hope and life still prevail and the belief of reunion will happen. And that's how this book, this understanding of the genetic human condition that we wish we weren't born with, is a masterpiece in making us see and cope with it more clearly.
Well recommended for anyone with or without autism. You don't know what you're lacking in understanding!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, 31 Jan 2014
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Mr. Geoffrey Meadowcroft (Suffolk UK) - See all my reviews
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Gives SOME insight into the workings of THIS autistic person's mind. But isn't anything new to help a parent dealing with an autistic child.
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The Reason I Jump: One Boy's Voice from the Silence of Autism
The Reason I Jump: One Boy's Voice from the Silence of Autism by Naoki Higashida (Hardcover - 1 July 2013)
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