AUTISM

AUTISM

June 13, 2012

Man writes about living with form of autism

By Harry Jackson Jr. | St. Louis Post-Dispatch 

ST. LOUIS - Aaron Likens was almost grateful nine years ago when he was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, a form of autism.

He'd found the source, finally, of the blurred confusion that had hampered his life.

Living with autism "is like running hurdles and not jumping," he said.

He survived the years before his diagnosis because, "My father never let me lose my confidence," he said.

Aaron told his story last month at Lutheran High School South in St. Louis. His presentation helps decode what goes on in the mind of a person with autism spectrum disorder, the umbrella description for the levels of autism from incapacitating to high functioning.

Aaron also was promoting his book, "Finding Kansas," the story of his life with Asperger's. More than 100 people attended his talk. Many were seeking answers that would help them to help their own children. Some just wanted affirmation.

"I never intended to write a book," he said. "I wrote to tell my dad who I was and why I was."

"I always knew he was special," said Jim Likens, Aaron's father, who lives in the St. Louis area like his son.

"He knew his alphabet at 18 months old. He could spell all the words in his Speak and Spell by the time he was 3," Jim Likens said. By the time he was 6, he was an expert at board games; unbeatable at Monopoly. He taught himself to multiply... READ MORE

Explaining himself


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