For years I have worked with students with special needs and have been lucky enough to catch quick glimpses into their lives at various times. It’s one thing to work with them but another when something happens that for just a moment you are truly able to see things from their point of view. The handful of times that has happened left me with goosebumps.
Naoki Higashida allows readers the rare opportunity to experience life from his point of view in the book The Reason I Jump. The author was a 13 year old living in Japan when he used an alphabet grid to express what it was like to live with autism. The book format consists of a variety of questions with Naoki’s responses below them. His answers are fairly short and the book is a quick read yet with a huge impact. It really changed the way I think about individuals with autism and will influence the way I teach them in the future.
Although people with autism look like other people physically, we are in fact very different in many ways. We are more like travelers from the distant, distant past. And if, by our being here, we could help the people of the world remember what truly matters for the Earth that would give us a quiet pleasure.