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My Books

Mr. R my third-grade teacher used to ask everyone of his students what they are really good at and what they wanted to be when they grow up. That was a hard question answer for me big part of special-education where all I heard was what was wrong with me. One day I told him that I'm I want to be a writer because I loved to tell and listen to stories but I didn't think I could really do that because I couldn't spell.  I was nine years old and Mr. R looked right at me and said screw spelling.  As my editors will attest to, I have followed Mr. r advice. Hope you enjoy the books and essays I've written and stay in touch to learn more to come.

Learning Outside The Lines

The book that started it all!

Learning Outside the Lines, written when I was 21 and now in its 28th printing, teaches students how to take control of their education and find true success with brilliant and easy study suggestions and tips and challenges all readers to reimagine education

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Learning Outside The Lines on Amazon

The Short Bus: A Journey Beyond Normal

In 2004 I bought an old short school bus—the kind that transports studnets to special education programs—and  journeyed across America to find others who have used humor, imagination, and resiliency to create satisfying lives beyond “normal.”

The short bus is my record of this odyssey and documents my search to help myself by learning from others once labeled abnormal who had learned to live in beautifully original ways. I meet Ashley, a deaf and blind girl who curses out her teachers in sign language; Kent, a performance artist with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) who loves “yo mama” jokes and may just be the new Andy Kaufman; Jeff, an obsessive eccentric whom society would label autistic, keeps unadorned lists that describe his world in unexpectedly moving ways. These people confirm my belief that “normal” is a state that no one actually visits. Everyone, I discover, must embrace even their most radical differences. The Short Bus is a rebellious, funny, and incredibly colorful investigation of life lived happily outside the lines.

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The Brown Reader

A lot of interesting and influential young people happened to land at Brown University over the years, and here, to honor its 250th anniversary, are “original pieces . . . recalling their college days” by some of the best and brightest, forming a tribute not just to Brown but also to individuals and groups, to lessons learned alone and together, and to steps taken, retraced, and gone past.

I was so honored to contribute an essay called The Dyslexic brain kicks ass to the Brown reader—a book published In celebration of Brown University’s 250th anniversary, where fifty remarkable, prizewinning writers and artists who went to Brown provide unique stories—many published for the first time—about their adventures on College Hill. Funny, poignant, subversive, and nostalgic, the essays, comics, and poems in this collection paint a vivid picture of college life, from the 1950s to the present, at one of America’s most interesting universities.

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If you have an event, a publication, or neurodiversity need you would like to have Jonathan collaborate with you on, please don't hesitate to reach out with questions.

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