My little brother (Matthew) was born on the 30th March 1996, when I was 18 months old, I can't really remember anything about his birth, because I was so young, so I can never remember a time when I didn't have my little brother, and he would become one of my favourite people in the whole world.
I never really understood why my brother was different, he was just my brother. I never saw him as 'abnormal', the same way I didn't realise having a grandma who pole danced wasn't exactly the norm.
My parents constantly worried about my brother, he took a long time to learn to walk and talk, and he was nothing like I was at his age, or other children his age. When he was around 5 he was finally diagnosed as Autistic.
Autism is a social communication disorder, an Autistic person finds it hard to communicate with others, can often say things that are socially unacceptable and struggles to understand things such as sarcasm. They also tend to have very strict routines.
For example, when my parents were working we would often go to my grandparents' (my dad parents) house to stay, and we would always go the same route, one day the road was closed and we had to go a different route. My brother screamed and screamed and was so anxious and scared until we reached my grandparents' house, and even then it took him a long time to calm down.
We also have to plan days out in advance otherwise he will get very upset when we suddenly spring an outing on him.
After my brother's diagnosis my mum began to realise that she too had some of the personality traits of an autistic person, and she got diagnosed not long after. It was kind of a relief for her, finally, she knew why she wasn't like other people and why she found things very difficult that other people had no problems with, and finally she could start to work around it.