Novelist David Mitchell looks back on the heartbreak – and joy – of learning that his son had autism. Plus, below, an extract from the book by a young Japanese boy that helped him. [Quote from The Guardian]
“When I was small, I didn’t even know I had special needs. How did I find out? By other people telling me I was different and that this was a problem. True enough. It was very hard for me to act like a normal person, and even now I still can’t “do” a real conversation. I have no problem reading books aloud and singing, but as soon as I try to speak with someone, my words just vanish. I can’t respond appropriately when I’m told to do something, and whenever I get nervous I run off from wherever I happen to be. So even a straightforward activity like shopping can be really challenging if I’m tackling it on my own.” [Extract from The Reason I Jump]
The Reason I Jump: One Boy’s Voice From The Silence Of Autism, by Naoki Higashida, translated by David Mitchell, published by Sceptre at £12.99. To order a copy for £10.39, including free UK mainland p&p, go to guardian.co.uk/bookshop.