Recommended Reading


The 36-Hour Day: A Family Guide to Caring for People Who Have Alzheimer Disease, Related Dementias, and Memory Loss

JOURNEY THROUGH THE INFINITE MIND: The Science and Spirituality of Dementia By Katya De Luisa  

See our article series about this book.

Elder Care Assistance: A Practical Guide Covering Health, Financial and Legal Considerations

Surviving Alzheimer’s: Practical tips and soul-saving wisdom for caregivers


The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism

Book — Written by Naoki Higashida, a very smart, very self-aware, and very charming thirteen-year-old boy with autism, it is a one-of-a-kind memoir that demonstrates how an autistic mind thinks, feels, perceives, and responds in ways few of us can imagine. Parents and family members who never thought they could get inside the head of their autistic loved one at last have a way to break through to the curious, subtle, and complex life within.

Using a “letter board,” sometimes called and “alphabet grid” or a “character grid” to painstakingly construct words, sentences, and thoughts that he is unable to speak out loud because he is “nonverbal,”Naoki answers even the most delicate questions that people want to know. Questions such as: “Why do people with autism talk so loudly and weirdly?” “Why do you line up your toy cars and blocks?” “Why don’t you make eye contact when you’re talking?” and “What’s the reason you jump?” (Naoki’s answer: “When I’m jumping, it’s as if my feelings are going upward to the sky.”) With disarming honesty and a generous heart, Naoki shares his unique point of view on not only autism but life itself. His insights—into the mystery of words, the wonders of laughter, and the elusiveness of memory—are so startling, so strange, and so powerful that you will never look at the world the same way again.

In his introduction, bestselling novelist David Mitchell writes that Naoki’s words allowed him to feel, for the first time, as if his own autistic child was explaining what was happening in his mind. “It is no exaggeration to say that The Reason I Jump allowed me to round a corner in our relationship.” This translation was a labor of love by David and his wife, KA Yoshida, so they’d be able to share that feeling with friends, the wider autism community, and beyond. Naoki’s book, in its beauty, truthfulness, and simplicity, is a gift to be shared.

The Reason I Jump movie, based the book. Filmmaker Jerry Rothwell examines the lives of five non-speaking (though very able to communicate through letter boards) young people who live with autism spectrum disorder, blending their stories with writer Naoki Higashida’s insights into autism.

Carly’s Voice: Breaking Through Autism.

In this international bestseller, father and advocate for Autism awareness Arthur Fleischmann blends his daughter Carly’s own words (“spoken“ through a letter board) with his story of getting to know his remarkable “non-speaking” daughter — after years of believing that she was unable to understand or communicate with him.


Nobody Nowhere is eloquent and ticklishly funny: it is an account of the soul of someone who lived the word ‘autism’ and survived in an unsympathetic environment despite intense inner chaos and incomprehension. It describes how, against the odds, Donna came to live independently, achieve a place at university, and write this remarkable autobiography. It is now an international bestseller, sold in over 14 languages throughout the world. This is a book that will stay with you as one of the most exceptional works you will ever read.

Ghost Boy: The Miraculous Escape of a Misdiagnosed Boy Trapped Inside His Own Body


List of Readings for After a Loved One Has Died

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