We had endured weeks of frustration trying to get our son to join a new boy scout troop. It is always a test of will and patience whenever we try to get “Jack” to do something different, new or slightly unfamiliar. I finally reached my breaking point one day, yelling at him when he started crying, and for the first time in his thirteen years, in a couple of simple words, he painfully offered me a glimpse into his trapped mind : ”mom, if only you live in my body”.
You think that as a mother, you are aligned with your child’s emotions, yet you might miss it inspite of your most intimate empathy. That was the case with me.
Couple of months ago, my mother-in-law gave me a book she read, The Reason I Jump. I believe she had to find her path to living with us, understanding the emotions and behavior of our son. The book is written by Naoki Higashida, when he was thirteen, using an alphabet grid to painstakingly construct words, sentences and thoughts that he is unable to speak out loud. It offers startling insights into the autistic mind. He answers questions such as : Why can’t you have a proper conversation? Why do you ignore us when we’re talking to you? Why do you do things you shouldn’t even when you’ve been told a million times not to? Why are you obsessive about certain things? Why can you never stay still? Do you find childish language easier to understand?
Higashida answers these and many other questions with honesty, explaining what goes on inside his autistic mind. A book to be shared so as to help your family and friends understand your child a little better. Because then maybe, the world will be a kinder place to them.