When I can’t sleep, turning on the radio to hear radio 4 slide into the World Service sometimes helps to get me there; that’s how it was that I came across an absolute gem of a late night read: The Reason I Jump: One Boy’s Voice From The Silence Of Autism, by Naoki Higashida, translated by the author of Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell, published by Sceptre – you can pick it up at amazon for £9 (£7 on the kindle),
Right now, you can still listen to it on the BBC iPlayer.
It’s by a teenager with autism, and in his book he explains, sometimes humorously, sometimes with great pathos, why people with autism behave the way they do. It’s not sentimental, it’s not apologetic and although sometimes it makes you feel like a total heel for making assumptions rather than finding out, there is nothing preachy or politically correct about this book.
It is a very human and insightful listen, and lulled me to sleep feeling happy about how wonderful the human race is, and wishing I was Naoki Higashida.