Fall Down 7 Times Get Up 8
A Young Man’s Voice from the Silence of Autism
by Naoki Higashida
translated by KA Yoshida and David Mitchell
“Essential reading for parents and teachers of those with autism who remain nonverbal.”—Temple Grandin
Naoki Higashida was only thirteen when he wrote The Reason I Jump, a revelatory account of autism from the inside by a nonverbal Japanese child, which became an international success. Now, in Fall Down 7 Times Get Up 8, he shares his thoughts and experiences as a young man living each day with severe autism.
In short, powerful chapters, Higashida explores school memories, family relationships, the exhilaration of travel, and the difficulties of speech. He also allows readers to experience profound moments we take for granted, like the thought-steps necessary for him to register that it’s raining outside. Acutely aware of how strange his behavior can appear to others, he aims throughout to foster a better understanding of autism and to encourage society to see people with disabilities as people, not as problems.
With an introduction by the bestselling novelist David Mitchell, Fall Down 7 Times Get Up 8 also includes a dreamlike short story Higashida wrote especially for the U.S. edition. Both moving and of practical use, this book opens a window into the mind of an inspiring young man who meets every challenge with tenacity and good humor. However often he falls down, he always gets back up.
Paperback | 240 pages | Random House Trade Paperbacks; Reprint edition | 2019
Naoki Higashida was born in Kimitsu, Japan, in 1992. Diagnosed with severe autism when he was five, he subsequently learned to communicate using a handmade alphabet grid and began to write poems and short stories. At the age of thirteen he wrote The Reason I Jump, which was published in Japan in 2007. Its English translation came out in 2013, and it has now been published in more than thirty languages. Higashida has since published several books in Japan, including children’s and picture books, poems, and essays. The subject of an award-winning Japanese television documentary in 2014, he continues to give presentations throughout the country about his experience of autism.