This book is a unique memoir written by Naoki Higashida, a thirteen year old boy with Autism. Naoki is unable to use expressive language to communicate however he has developed the skill of using an alphabet grid to construct sentences. His book allows the reader to enter into his world. He formats the book as a series of questions and answers such as “Why are your facial expressions so limited?” and “Is it true you hate being touched?”. Naoki’s answers are personal; however at times he does use the pronoun “we”. I think it is important for the reader to reflect and not generalize as no two children on the Autism Spectrum are alike.
I really enjoyed the introduction to the book which was written by David Mitchell. In addition to being a writer and one of the translators of this book he is also the father of a child on the Autism Spectrum. His introduction gives the reader an awareness of the joys and challenges of having a child with special needs. I found this book offered me insights that widened my scope of understanding when it comes to working with children with Autism. I recognize that what works for one child will not necessarily work for another child; however it does inform me to numerous possibilities and pushes me to think outside the box.
Brenda Frey, RECE
CISS Resource Consultant