Tuesday, May 1, 2012

FINDING KANSAS:Living and Decoding Asperger's Syndrome




Review by Nancy


Aaron Likens has done remarkable things but first he started out as a seriously annoying disruptive kid. He hated school; most kids do, but Aaron HATED school. He was bored, mostly, but also not functioning on the same level as his peers. By the time he was six, Aaron couldn’t play monopoly with his dad because he always won. Always.


Taken to counseling he was compared to….wait for it…..the Unabomber or possibly a serial killer. Thankfully that didn’t happen because we would have missed out the wonderful various of life that Aaron gives us in FINDING KANSAS. Aaron has autism in the form as Asperger’s Syndrome. “Asperger's syndrome, also called Asperger's disorder, is a type of pervasive development disorder (PDD). PDDs are a group of conditions that involve delays in the development of many basic skills, most notably the ability to socialize with others, to communicate, and to use imagination.” Thank you Wiki!

He wasn’t diagnosed until he was in his early twenties and his father did us all a favor by getting him a journal and encouraging him to write down his thoughts. They make up this book. Usually I don’t do short stories but this isn’t – it’s a compilation of thoughts, reminiscing girls, jobs, Life and auto racing

You soon learn that auto racing IS Kansas. A place of joy and comfort where Aaron is completely in control and where he excels. Aaron loves racing like most of us loves our kids; and that is also part of the Asperger’s: he can remember events down to the last drop of water but he cannot remember the people he was with. Racing is when he feels he is meant to be. Too bad the Powers That Be don’t agree.

A great story written by an amazing individual. A Must Read for those with Aspergers in the families and a Must Read for all the rest of us because it will completely change your frame of reference.

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