iPlayer Radio What's New?
Image for Episode 1

Sorry, this episode is not currently available on BBC iPlayer Radio

More episodes

Episode 1

15 minutes
First broadcast:
Monday 24 June 2013

By Naoki Higashida
Translated by David Mitchell and K.A. Yoshida and introduced by David Mitchell
Read by Kasper Hilton-Hille

When the award-winning author of Cloud Atlas David Mitchell, whose own son has autism, discovered this extraordinary book, he felt that for the first time his own son was talking to him about what was going on inside his head, through the words of the young author.

Naoki Higashida was born in 1992 and wrote the book when he was still only thirteen years old. His autism is so severe that he finds it difficult to hold a conversation, and he wrote the book using a Japanese Alphabet Grid - a low tech table of Japanese hiragana syllables, on which he spells out his words painstakingly, character by character.

David and his Japanese wife originally began a translation for their personal use and that of their son's other carers and tutors, and eventually it grew into this book. The Reason I Jump pushes beyond the notion of autism as a disability, and reveals it as simply a different way of being, and of seeing. Naoki Higashida shines a light on the autistic landscape from the inside.

Abridged and Produced by Allegra McIlroy.


Kasper Hilton-Hille
Allegra McIlroy
Allegra McIlroy
Naoki Higashida


Find out more about Books at the BBC

Arts @ BBC

Our new books hub provides a focal point for a huge range of new and archive material.

Sample our books and authors Clip Collection

Clips of Books Content

Interviews, previews and reviews

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Added. Check out your playlist Dismiss