One such way of listening is by reading books and blogs of people on the spectrum. They have A LOT to say. This has proven to be very insightful for me especially when you have those Oh-My-Gosh-I-Do-That types of moments. In addition, I think the forum seems to work well for the people doing the writing as it's on their terms and doesn't require all the "social stuff" that happens in a face-to-face conversation or a phone call.
Here are a few of those people who you need to follow:
- The Third Glance. An autistic woman (refers to herself as E) writes wonderfully of her life and experiences with autism. She is a PhD student. The Third Glance refers to the need for people to look 3 times at her. On the first glance she passes. She seems "normal". On the second glance, you see she flaps when excited, jumps at the slightest sound, wears the same clothes everyday, and requires extreme routine. She describes the third glance so elequently. "I am the person I am today, because there are a few people who took that third glance. And they saw a compassionate, excited, quirky, passionate person. They saw someone who is brutally honest, exceptionally aware of her surroundings, keenly observant, meticulous, interesting and firecely passionate: someone show is worthwhile, and who will be a loyal friend, if you give her a chance
- Garry Burge. A "40 something" man from Brisbane Australia who writes a great deal about Asbergers. He has a YouTube channel and a great blog.
- Judy Endow. Judy is a fantastic person and is very active in the Wisconsin autism community. She is self described on her bio as "an author and international speaker on a variet of autism-related topics... Judy maintains a private practice in Madison, Wisconsin, providing consultation for families, school districts and other agencies. Besides having autism herself, she is the parent of three now grown sons, one of whom is on the autism spectrum." I've read a good many of her books and her blog posts. One story I was so amazed by was when she sat with her doctor to receive the diagnosis of her son's autism only to have the doctor turn and say "now let's talk about your autism".
Special thanks to Ariane Zurcher for her blog called Emma's Hope Book and her consistent tweets. I've expanded my list of these types of resources based on her recommendations.