Merry tenth day of Christmas!
On the tenth day of Christmas my bookshelf gave to me
ten typing fingers,
nine winning pointers,
eight worlds (plus Asgard),
seven billion people,
six little children,
four family foes,
three old friends,
two shrinking twits,
and one big Holy Shit! moment!
For the tenth day of Christmas I read…
The Reason I Jump by Naoki Higashida*.
The author, Higashida, at five years old was diagnosed with severe Autism. He had very little communication skills and therefore was unable to express himself to anyone, especially those he loved the most. He wrote this book using a method called “facilitated communication” in hopes of explaining what it is like to be on the spectrum.
The book starts out with him answering fifty-eight questions that people commonly ask. Questions such as ‘Why do you line up your toy cars and blocks?’ and ‘Why don’t you make eye contact when you’re talking?’. The answers to these questions was such a great insight into this thirteen year old boy’s mind.
The book ends with a story that he wrote in an effort to show the readers what it is like to be trapped with no way to express how you feel to those around you. This was my favorite part of the book!
There is some controversy surrounding this book, mostly due to “facilitated communication” being a discredited form of communication. It is questioned whether it was truly written by Higashida or by his mother, and then questioned again how much the translators, as parents of an autistic child searching for answers, influenced the words. An article in The New York Times by Sallie Tisdale says it best, “We have to be careful about turning what we find into what we want.”
As someone who has worked with children on the spectrum, I can understand how frustrating it can be to not have answers. Then this book comes along literally giving answers to some of the most asked questions and I get why it’s popularity grew.
I don’t know whether Higashida actually wrote the book; but I still enjoyed it and thought it was a good insight into one boy’s thoughts. Everyone is different, so despite both being on the spectrum, the reason he jumps may not be the reason another boy jumps.
Stay tuned for what my book shelf will bring me tomorrow!
Have you read this book?
Do you think it was written by the thirteen year old?
*click on the book cover or titles and it will link you to where you can purchase them! these are affiliate links, so if you make a purchase my blog will make some money and then i can keep on blogging! so that would be awesome!*