Finding Kansas: Living and Decoding Asperger's Syndrome

( 8 )

Overview

All I want is someone to care, to know, to understand. And maybe, for a brief moment, I will be free...

Finding Kansas is a memoir like no other, written by an unlikely author who at first never dreamed he would find even one reader. When he was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome at age 20, Aaron Likens began to collect his thoughts and experiences on paper-the highs, the lows, the challenges, and the unexpected joys. What he found was hope — not only for himself, but also for ...

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Finding Kansas: Living and Decoding Asperger's Syndrome

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Overview

All I want is someone to care, to know, to understand. And maybe, for a brief moment, I will be free...

Finding Kansas is a memoir like no other, written by an unlikely author who at first never dreamed he would find even one reader. When he was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome at age 20, Aaron Likens began to collect his thoughts and experiences on paper-the highs, the lows, the challenges, and the unexpected joys. What he found was hope — not only for himself, but also for others with Asperger's. Now a sought-after speaker and blogger, he is passionate about sharing his insights into this often misunderstood condition.

Aaron has another passion, too: the world of auto racing. A successful flag man at racing events across the country, Aaron calls racing his Kansas-a place where he feels safe, confident, and normal. For others on the autism spectrum, Kansas might be trains, history, or the weather. It is here where, like Aaron, they find freedom, and the possibility for growth and change

Finding Kansas brings us into Aaron's world and, in the process, offers a richly observed, deeply thoughtful, and sometimes painful picture of what it's like to live on the autism spectrum.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Likens, who was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome at 20, has written not a self-help book but a rigorous examination of his life so far. Similar to Temple Grandin's first book, Emergence, this title provides a unique window into a complex inner world. Likens describes the joys in his life: auto racing, race-flagging, the comfort of rule-based games, even airport layovers. He also explains his concept of Kansas—a place where he feels calm, capable, and whole. Likens is honest about painful moments too, from the former girlfriend who told him no one would want to date a person with Asperger's, to his hatred of school, to his opinion that he is completely unlikable. Aaron is an affecting writer and speaker for Asperger's. VERDICT This absorbing and ultimately hopeful book is recommended for young people with Asperger's and their family, friends, and colleagues, as well as for fans of Grandin and of John Elder Robison's Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger's. A perfect pick for April, which is Autism Awareness Month.—Elizabeth Safford, Nevins Memorial Lib., Methuen, MA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399537332
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 4/3/2012
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 270,360
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword Mark A. Cameron, Ph.D., MA xiii

A Few Words About My Son xvii

The Best Day 1

Emily 6

Linda 19

Game Theory 31

Work 35

See 46

Fear 49

Trapped 55

Tomorrow 60

Crash 63

School 66

Scream 71

Kenya 80

Desire 85

Las Vegas 87

Film Theory 98

The Darkroom 104

Maybe... 107

What Does It Mean... 110

Small Things 118

A Friend Gone 124

I... 130

Finding Kansas: The Situational Handicap 135

Music 139

Travel 143

What Has Become...? 146

Fear Versus Fear 149

Sentence 153

Crippled in Addiction 156

Must... 161

The Hazards of "Firsts" 167

Media and "Firsts" 171

Future 175

One Thousand Outcomes 177

The Conscious Coma 180

Invisible Reminders 183

Quest 187

Tomorrow Is an Eternity Away 191

If I Were Dying of Thirst... Would I Ask for a Glass of Water? 194

The Limit of "Coulds" 198

Asperger's Geometry 200

The Fourth Wall 203

Aliases 206

In the End 210

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 8 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2014

    Eye Opening.

    We went to a two week study program for parents and children. His video we watched was so eye opening and several symptoms, though the same for us was done for completely different reasons and had different causes. His expereiences coupled with Temple Grandin's and her broad spectrum of knowledge and assisstance was most helpful in dealing with my grandson. I appreciate them greatly!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2014

    GUESS WHAT?

    Aaron is going to my hometown at Bootheel Area Independent Living Services to speak! :D

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2012

    Amazing!

    As an educator it was fascinating feeling through the author.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 26, 2012

    Aspergers Explained

    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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  • Posted September 16, 2011

    A must have!

    I just attended a presentation by the author last night and sat simply amazed. The hour and a half flew by and honestly, I could have sat listening to him for the entire night. A wonderful speaker. My daughter is 14 and has Asperger's Syndrome. It was so enlightening to listen to him explain what goes on in his head and how he responds to certain situations. Makes me rethink how I approach issues my daughter has. I bought this book from him last night and expect to read it over and over. If you have someone in your family on the Autism Spectrum, this book is a must have and will take a prominent place in your library.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2008

    Wow a MUST read!!!

    This is THE book to get concerning autism.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2008

    "Finding Kansas" was like finding gold

    I bought a copy of this book from the author two weeks ago, and quite frankly I was amazed. I have a nephew with Asperger's Syndrome and I always thought that my brother and his wife were bad parents. Man, have I been a stupid uncle.<BR/> This young man's book has helped me understand the depth of this disorder. It's one thing to read about the symptoms. It's another thing to have someone open their life so I could fully understand how painful it is to be on the outside of the world and want in so badly.<BR/> "Finding Kansas" should be on the "A" list for every teacher, therapist, pastor, doctor, parent, relative, or friend of anyone with Asperger's. <BR/> I can't wait to see if Mr. Likens will become part of the speakers available for conference because I'm going to show up.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews

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