I'm 13 and recently my little sister was diagnosed with Autism. When I was told about it, I can remember crying for quite a while because I found it really hard to come to terms with the fact that there was something different about my little sister.
I didn't ever really understand my sister. She always copied everything I did, wound me up on purpose and made high pitched noises that annoyed me.
My parents gave her a lot of their attention and I felt she could get away with more than I could. We didn't know she had autism for a while but she still needed the extra attention. Now I know that she just can't help it, but it doesn't make it any easier to deal with.
When I was younger (and before I knew about autism) I always used to wonder why I argued with my sister so much. All my friends got on with their siblings really well but I just rubbed the wrong way with mine.
Many times I felt like a horrible sister and that it was my fault we had such a rocky relationship. I vowed I would try to make things better, but I never could because I was always so wound up and thought she purposely did things to annoy me.
Even now I still find it hard to deal with. I'm a lot more patient with my sister than I used to be, and I'm trying to be a better sibling to her. I sometimes slip and get into a bad mood - but hey, I can't be perfect all the time. I'm still getting used to the whole concept of autism, and I don't really understand all about it.
I always wanted a sister who I could talk about everything with and have a best friend in her when she was older. I might not ever have that now, not fully. It's hard to think that we won't have the same kind of relationship as everyone else does with their siblings. I might very well be seen as more of a protector than equal.
But none of this means I don't love my sister. I love her more than anything and I'd do anything to help protect her and make things easier for her.
No matter what person she grows up to be, she's still my sister and we have a bond that nobody can break. Autism can't change that. Nothing can.