January 21, 2016 2:15PM
When he was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome at age 20, Aaron Likens began collecting his thoughts and experiences on paper. He chronicled the highs, the lows, the challenges, and the unexpected joys in what would become a book, “Finding Kansas: Living and Decoding Asperger’s Syndrome.”
Likens will talk about life on the autism spectrum, or “the other side of the wall,” as he calls it, in an autism awareness presentation at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 28, in the Crimson and Gold Ballroom of Pittsburg State University’s Overman Student Center. The presentation, sponsored by the Gorilla Activities Board, is free and open to the public.
On his popular blog, Likens writes that when he was first diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, he fell into a pit of despair. Through his writing, however, he embarked on a journey of self-discovery and found a new passion – educating others about life on the autism spectrum.
Now a sought-after speaker and blogger, Likens is passionate about sharing his insights into this often misunderstood condition. He was the 2012 recipient of the Missouri Champions of Mental Health Award, and in 2013 he received the Youth Leadership Award for the state of Missouri. Since 2010, Aaron has given more than 600 presentations to more than 54,000 students, teachers, parents, police officers, and professionals nationwide.