Gavin Bollard - The Special-ism Posts - Vol. 1: A collection of writings about raising children with Asperger's Syndrome

Gavin Bollard

 This is a collection of article written by Gavin Bollard which originally appeared on between 2012 and 2014. They deal with techniques for raising children with Asperger's Syndrome and Autism.
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About the author

Gavin Bollard is writes at and at he is an Information Technologist, Writer/Blogger, thought leader on Asperger's syndrome, film buff & lifelong Doctor Who fan. He lives with his family in Sydney, Australia. 

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Additional Information

Gavin Bollard
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Published on
Oct 13, 2014
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Family & Relationships / Parenting / General
Psychology / Psychopathology / Autism Spectrum Disorders
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“One of the most remarkable books I’ve ever read. It’s truly moving, eye-opening, incredibly vivid.”—Jon Stewart, The Daily Show

NPR • The Wall Street Journal • Bloomberg Business • Bookish


You’ve never read a book like The Reason I Jump. Written by Naoki Higashida, a very smart, very self-aware, and very charming thirteen-year-old boy with autism, it is a one-of-a-kind memoir that demonstrates how an autistic mind thinks, feels, perceives, and responds in ways few of us can imagine. Parents and family members who never thought they could get inside the head of their autistic loved one at last have a way to break through to the curious, subtle, and complex life within.
Using an alphabet grid to painstakingly construct words, sentences, and thoughts that he is unable to speak out loud, Naoki answers even the most delicate questions that people want to know. Questions such as: “Why do people with autism talk so loudly and weirdly?” “Why do you line up your toy cars and blocks?” “Why don’t you make eye contact when you’re talking?” and “What’s the reason you jump?” (Naoki’s answer: “When I’m jumping, it’s as if my feelings are going upward to the sky.”) With disarming honesty and a generous heart, Naoki shares his unique point of view on not only autism but life itself. His insights—into the mystery of words, the wonders of laughter, and the elusiveness of memory—are so startling, so strange, and so powerful that you will never look at the world the same way again.
In his introduction, bestselling novelist David Mitchell writes that Naoki’s words allowed him to feel, for the first time, as if his own autistic child was explaining what was happening in his mind. “It is no exaggeration to say that The Reason I Jump allowed me to round a corner in our relationship.” This translation was a labor of love by David and his wife, KA Yoshida, so they’d be able to share that feeling with friends, the wider autism community, and beyond. Naoki’s book, in its beauty, truthfulness, and simplicity, is a gift to be shared.

Praise for The Reason I Jump

“This is an intimate book, one that brings readers right into an autistic mind.”—Chicago Tribune (Editor’s Choice)

“Amazing times a million.”—Whoopi Goldberg, People

“The Reason I Jump is a Rosetta stone. . . . This book takes about ninety minutes to read, and it will stretch your vision of what it is to be human.”—Andrew Solomon, The Times (U.K.)

“Extraordinary, moving, and jeweled with epiphanies.”—The Boston Globe
“Small but profound . . . [Higashida’s] startling, moving insights offer a rare look inside the autistic mind.”—Parade

From the Hardcover edition.
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