Reading "The Reason I Jump"

This wonderful book was recommended to me by a number of people, thank you all!  There is insight on every page, but this one resonates particularly well with me.

Here is the answer to question 28, Why do you move your arms and legs about in that awkward way?

Naoki Higashida writes: "In my gym class, the teacher tells me to do things like "Stretch your arms!" and "Bend at the knees!"  But I don't always know what my arms and legs are up to, not exactly.  For me, I have no clear sensation of where my arms and legs are attached, or how to make them do what I'm tellingn them to do.  It's as if my limbs are a mermaid's rubbery tail.

I think the reason why some kids with autism try to get hold of an object by "borrowing" someone else's hand is that they can't tell how far they need to extend their own arms to reach the object.  They're not too sure how to actually grab the object, either, because we have problems perceiving and gauging distances.  By constant practice, however, we should be able to overcome this difficulty.

That said, I still can't even tell when I've stepped on someone's foot or jostled someone out of my way.  So something connected with my sense of touch might be miswired, too."

What beautiful insight he shares.  It's tempting to see everything as behavior, and that's the easiest thing to blame, but that's only the surface that the world sees, not the underlying reason.


Moira Sullivan

Moira uses a holistic approach that promotes healthy development in the child while honoring and supporting their relationship with their family and the community. A graduate of San Jose State University, she has advanced training in sensory integration, visual perception and visual-motor integration, DIR Floortime, oral motor rehabilitation, strength and endurance training, and myofascial release.