My Brother

My autistic brother Noah and I once played together. He was two, and I was a year older. We wrestled, and I tickled him. He responded in a high-pitched giggle, halfway between a baby's gurgle and a child's laughter. I can't remember ever playing with him again. Noah stayed forever a baby, profoundly retarded, always dependent, never very communicative. And my role changed, much too early, from playmate to steward. There was barely any sibling rivalry. There were no battles to be fought. He would always be the center of attention.

I was treated as a sort of supporting player. Because...

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