26 Oct GREAT READS
This book is fantastic. It’s written by a teenager from Japan, Naoki Higashida, who has autism. He communicates through an alphabet grid which is a non-verbal form of communication. The book gets more and more engrossing as it goes:
Question 23: What’s the worst thing about having autism?
“. . . Whenever we’ve done something wrong, we get told off or laughed at, without even being able to apologize, and we end up hating ourselves and despairing about our own lives, again and again and again. It’s impossible not to wonder why were were born into this world as human beings at all.
But I ask you, those of you who are with us all day, not to stress yourselves out because of us. When you do this, it feels as if you’re denying any value at all that our lives may have and that saps the spirit we need to soldier on. The hardest ordeal for us is the idea that we are causing grief for other people. We can put up with our own hardships okay, but the thought that our lives are the source of other people’s unhappiness, that’s plain unbearable” (Higashida, pg. 44).
I am also looking forward to seeing John Elder Robison give a lecture at the upcoming Interdisciplinary Council on Development and Learning Conference. He has an autism spectrum disorder and once worked for the band KISS as a “guitar-pyrotechnician-inventor”. You should check out his book, Look Me In The Eye. I’ve also heard Temple Grandin speak live and she was excellent. Kerry Magro also has a talk coming up on October 20th at a TEDx in Morristown, NJ that I really want to see. Here is a link to that event: