I’m So Excited to Post This, I Don’t Even Have a Title Picked Out Yet…

Okay, so maybe some of you have seen my recent string of tweets alluding to this post. If you haven’t, get on that. This is important. Also, just to provide a quick unrelated update on that WEGO Health Awards nomination, I was not a finalist, but I appreciate the endorsements I received. It means the world to me to have your support on that.

…But’s that’s not why I’ve assembled the Avengers here today.

Yeah… Sorry, Cap… Didn’t mean that literally…

Okay, so remember when I started the Writing Studies program and joked about it being “17th grade?”

Here, we go… What’s he up to, THIS time?

Get ready for this announcement…

I’m officially enrolled in evening classes to study toward my Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from Saint Joseph’s University!

That’s nice, Sweetie… Wait! What?!

Oh, yeah! The semester started back on August 27. I should receive my Doctorate of Education in May 2022, only a full 15 years since receiving my high school diploma.

But… WHY? Why now, at the very least…

You see, the day I graduated with my Master’s degree, my mother turned to me and banned me from getting a Doctorate right away… at least until I could pay down some of the student loans I had incurred from my previous educational experiences.

I have been waiting four years to make this post. The least everyone can do is be happy for me…

We are! We definitely are!* We’re just curious what your intentions are with such a program.

*Jon hopes this part is accurate. He’s gotten too excited about good news before…

I know some of you are probably wondering what my intentions are with such a program.

I’ve been thinking a lot, lately, about what my role is in the ASD and Neurodiverse communities at large. What can I do now to make life better for these communities later? How can I achieve my goals while helping others achieve theirs? What’s my part in all this?

I know after working in a corporate environment like SAP, I want to do more good by helping more than just the bottom line. I want my ability to advocate to mean something by the end of my time on Earth.

That’s why I’m saying this here and now:

While going for my doctorate will provide me with a few extra letters at the end of my name and take my education about as far as it can possibly go, this is about more than just me.

This is about us. This is about my role in an expanding, related set of communities interacting with one another.

Why study for an Ed.D.?

Because it can take my advocacy to all new heights I’ve never imagined.

Why now?

Because the longer I wait to do it, the less of an impact I can make on neurodiverse communities.

There’s no better time than right now to get out there and do what we can for each other… All of us. Together as a single web of communities.

The way I see it, we have two options:

  1. Continue to fall off the cliff and pray for miracles that aren’t going to come without people like us stepping up.
  2. Do something – anything within our power – to improve the lives of the neurodiverse.

I hope if you’re like me, you’ll choose the latter of the two options.


In the meantime, I’ve started watching Atypical Season 2. I’m about halfway through the second season, and I have to say, I’m very impressed by the effort Robia Rashid and crew have put into addressing constructive feedback from Season 1.

So, rest assured, I am working toward that particular episode of The Role Star.


While everyone waits for my Atypical review, I’m also working on a webcomic about life on the Autistic Spectrum. Announcing:

Coming Soon!

The Jack of all Tirades:

Jon lays out how he sees his life as an autistic adult in no uncertain terms.

Be sure to catch the webcomic as it debuts later this year.


Okay, I have to save some news for later posts, but I promise I’ll be back. I just can’t promise how soon.

Until then,

May you find peace with yourselves, within yourselves.

Rock on!

Quick Pseudo-Update:

I’m going to have a much longer update out soon… I hope.

In the meantime, please take the time to read this VERY important shameless self-plug:

I’ve been nominated for the WEGO Health Awards for Hilarious Patient Leader!

I need you to go to THIS LINK and click on the ENDORSE button in order to send me to the finals. This is really important to me.

Thank you, if you did it! If you didn’t, was it the lack of new episodes of The Aspie Dialogues Show? Because that’s coming back in the near future. So, maybe you might want to click that ENDORSE button, after all… Just sayin’…

The longer update will have to wait until after my sister moves to Cincinnati this weekend. We’re looking after my toddler-aged niece this weekend while they get ready for the move… And their two cats… And our two cats… And I have a virus at the moment… And I’m slightly tired… Just like you guys are of this joke running too long…

My niece is stirring in her crib. Gotta go…

When Does Empathy Border on the Pathological?

When last I wrote on the blog, I mentioned there might be a couple months without content due to the process of moving. Well, now I’m knee-deep in the process of putting stuff away in my new home.

I’m so excited, I could just scream…

So during a recent, much-needed therapy session, I revealed an aspect of myself that leads into today’s Million-Dollar Question:

When does empathy border on the pathological?


For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a quirk about my imagination that I’ve never told anybody about before said therapy session, which I personally feel borders on that fine line between demonstrating empathy and some sort of twisted pathology.

Now to note what my therapist said, she feels that it demonstrates a form of empathic thinking, but it still bothers me that my imagination runs in this direction.

Hold up, Jon! What direction where? What exactly do you imagine about other people? Do we even want to know? Is it THAT kind of thing?

Relax, it’s nothing like THAT. For as long as I can remember, I could see a happy stranger… it could be a random person on the street or a person in a commercial… Whoever it is, this person is happy… But for some sick, demented reason, my mind’s eye goes out of its way to attempt to imagine what this person is like when he or she is angry or otherwise upset.

That’s where I feel it becomes pathological. It’s one thing to see a celebrity and wonder what his or her daily life is like, but it’s completely different, and I’d go as far as to say unnecessary, to imagine a random stranger getting upset.

Even after my therapist did her best to convince me that it’s just my mind trying to understand others’ emotions better, I’m not entirely convinced that it’s not a pathological behavior. So, I’m opening the conversation to you guys.

What’s your spin on this?


PSA: Words Defy Me…

Now I know how Mom felt when I was 15; I’m stunned speechless. But, because a former Scientologist saw the Tide Pod Challenge (DO NOT PARTICIPATE IN THAT, BY THE WAY) and said, “Hold my beer,” I don’t have that option anymore.

Apparently, some desperate parents out there have decided that The Great Schism of Autism is not worth resolving. This, dear readers, is why we cannot have nice things.

*sigh* Introducing… the new “PSA” category for The Aspie Dialogues blog posts.

I’ll cut to the end and show how I got there. Here goes…

PLEASE! DO NOT… I REPEAT…. DO NOT FORCE YOUR NEURODIVERSE CHILD TO CONSUME BLEACH AS A “MIRACLE CURE FOR AUTISM.”

You think I’m making this up. I can see the looks on your faces.

Jon, that’s horrifying! Who would ever…

Desperate parents trying to ‘cure’ autism by giving children bleach …

Parents are making their children drink bleach to ‘cure’ them of autism

Oh. Wow. I… Wow.

Stop the planet; I want to get off! Just drop me off at the nearest sun. I’ll take it from there.

Even IFLScience picked up the story:

Parents Are Forcing Children To Drink Bleach To “Cure” Autism …

I know IFLScience isn’t exactly the most credible source on the internet, but when they pick up a story like this, I listen.

The Autism Wikia page on the subject

Dear lord! There’s even one of those, too?!

I’m afraid it’s that much of a problem in the community.  Just read this excerpt from the Autism Wikia page:

Parents are urged not to use bleach on their children. Autism is better than death. As autism is lifelong, and parents should instead focus on therapies that will help their individual child grow into a happy, healthy autistic adult.

Let me highlight the most important sentence of that paragraph for you, in case you need to save it for later:

Autism is better than death.

One more time:

AUTISM IS BETTER THAN DEATH.

I used to think this was common sense, but apparently, the internet applies its logic wherever and whenever it wants.

So, thank you, Church of Scientology. It wasn’t enough you had to blur the lines between religion and hoax, now it seems you’ve moved onto more relevant lines to blur. Lines like health, science, and hoax should never be blurred. EVER. This is how we end up in situations like The Great Schism of Autism, in the first place.

When a Wikia page feels the to clarify that any atypical condition of life is better than death, that’s a huge problem. It’s one that requires our immediate attention to rectify NOW.

So, hold MY beer before I throw it at the next NT I see within range.

A picture is worth 1,000 words…

OH! And in case I didn’t make myself clear before, stop giving your kids bleach drinks and enemas. Kthxbye!

This has been an Aspie Dialogues Public Service Announcement.