By John Ostapkovich
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The number of people being diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders is on the rise, and while there are many different types, a new book looks at one of the best-known, Asperger’s syndrome, from the inside.
Aaron Likens didn’t always know he was different.
“To be honest, I didn’t think anything was wrong with me. I thought everyone else was the different ones. In kindergarten, I would want to talk about weather for eight hours straight and nobody else seemed to,” Likens explained.
Finally diagnosed at age 20, Likens found two things helped keep him functional: writing (hence his book Finding Kansas) and being the flag man at auto races.
“That isn’t an environment, typically, someone would think somebody would like, but that’s where I feel my most confident, most secure,” Likens said.
He calls this state of functionality “Kansas,” whereas elsewhere, he could be paralyzed by Asperger’s effects.