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Q39 Why do you like being in the water?
"We just want to go back. To the distant, distant past. To a primeval era, in fact before human beings even existed. All people with autism feel the same about this one, I reckon. Aquatic life forms came into being and evolved, but why did they then have to emerge onto dry land, and turn into human beings who choose to lead lives ruled by time? These are real mysteries to me.
In the water it's so quiet and I'm so free and happy there. Nobody hassles us in the water, and it's as if we've got all the time in the world. Whether we stay in one place or we are swimming about, when we are in the water we can really be at one with the pulse of time. Outside of the water there's always too much stimulation for our eyes and our ears, and it is impossible for us to guess how long one second is or how long an hour takes.
People with autism have no freedom. The reason is that we are a different kind of human, born with primeval senses. We are outside the normal flow of time, we can't express ourselves, and our bodies are hurtling us through life. If only we could go back to that distant, distant watery past -- then we'd be able to live as contentedly and as freely as you lot!"
Naoki Higashida. 2007 (translation 2013). The Reason I Jump. Random House, New York. p 71-2.
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