Culture tip: The Reason I Jump
Knowing what we're really thinking is an elusive enough goal, knowing what someone else has on their mind is harder still, and what if that person thinks in an entirely different way?
That's often how the minds of people with autism are depicted: qualitatively different and impossible to understand. The Reason I Jump breaks through a lot of the misconceptions surrounding autism and gives an insight into how the author, a person with autism himself, sees the world.
Translated, and featuring a forward, by acclaimed author David Mitchell, the book is a combination of philosophy, autobiography and short story. If there were such a thing as a travel guide to humanity, that's the section you'd find it under in a book shop. The author, Naoki Higashida, wrote The Reason I Jump when he was just 13, pointing to letters on a Japanese letter grid. His eloquence and the understanding he has of how his place in the world relates to others is remarkable for any teenager.
The Reason I Jump is as brilliant a book on autism as you're likely to find. It's also nearly impossible to read without informing your own introspective journey into how you experience the world.
As Naoki writes, "You can't judge a person by their looks. But once you know the other person's inner self, both of you can be that much closer." That's what this book sets out to do, and it probably tells most readers a fair bit about themselves in the process.