The Reason I Jump Film Discussion



Sunderland Public Library (20 School Street, Sunderland, MA 01375, Sunderland MA)

For many years, Sunderland Public Library has focused efforts on supporting neurodivergent patrons with staff training, service changes, and the creation of a sensory toy collection. Neurodivergence is a non-medical term used to described people whose brains work differently than most and is a broader term that includes people on the autism spectrum. “People on the autism spectrum and other neurodivergent people are valuable members of our community. As spaces that serve the entire community, it is essential that libraries have programs and services for the neurodivergent,” states Katherine Umstot, Director of Sunderland Public Library. She continues, “As important members of our community, it is also crucial that libraries educate others about the contributions neurodivergent people make in our world.”

As a part of this effort, library staff have created programs that highlight the topic or specially designed for the neurodivergent. One of these programs is a discussion on the film *The Reason I Jump*, which will be hosted by neurodivergent author Dr. Jennifer Brunton on Wednesday, September 20th from 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm. Based on the bestselling book by Naoki Higashida, ***The Reason I Jump*** is an immersive cinematic exploration of neurodiversity through the experiences of nonspeaking autistic people from around the world. The film blends Higashida’s revelatory descriptions of his autism, written when he was just 13, with intimate portraits of five remarkable young people. It opens a window into an intense and overwhelming, but often joyful, sensory universe, a rich tapestry that leads us to Naoki’s core message: not being able to speak does not mean there is nothing to say.

Participants are invited to watch the film before the discussion. It is available to stream for free using the library’s video streaming service Kanopy ( Please contact the library for information on how to access Kanopy). Copies of the book are also available to borrow from the library.

The discussion will be hosted by Dr. Jennifer Brunton, a local neurodivergent author and educator. She is the author of  *The #ActuallyAutistic Guide to Advocacy: Step-by-Step Advice on How to Ally and Speak Up with Autistic Individuals and the Autism Community,* and *The #ActuallyAutistic Guide to Building Independence: Step-By-Step Practical Advice for Autistic Teens and Young Adults and Those Who Care about Them* (forthcoming, summer 2024). A neurodivergent parent of an Autistic son and a neurotypical daughter, Jennifer is passionate about making the world a better place for people who think, learn, and experience life in unique ways. Her parenting blog, Full Spectrum Mama, has been advancing civil rights for all—with a focus on neurodiversity and intersectionality—for more than 10 years.


Katherine Umstot


Sunderland Public Library

20 School Street, Sunderland, MA 01375

(413) 665-2642