I'm a 23 year old woman and I live in Scotland, United Kingdom. I have 2 older brothers and a younger sister. My oldest brother is currently 30 and has low functioning autism. He has severe learning disabilities and no speech but his personality still shines through all the problems that autism brings. He understands every word you say to him and it's amazing how he can say so much from just from his facial expressions.
I think it's great that there is increasingly more and more awareness of autism out there but there are a few things that I still find most people do not seem to appreciate:
1) Autistic children are beautiful and increasingly given additional support and focus but I think many people forget that autism affects the individuals throughout their whole adult lives too.
2) Autism affects the whole family not just the autistic individual(s) and that includes siblings who can often be forgotten about as a result of the more pressing problems of the family member with autism.