I have two sons. One is 6; one is almost 4. One has autism; one does not. One is Xander; one is Spencer. They are polar opposites.
Xander is the 6 year old with autism. He is painfully sweet. There is something about him that makes me hold my breath. I have an overwhelming need to protect him. Everyone who meets him seems to catch this same desire. He is beautiful, tall with big, staring brown eyes and a mop of blond curls that beg to be touched. His autism gives him an innocence and honesty that isn't present in other children his age. When he laughs, he is happy; when he cries, he is sad or hurt; when he yells, he is angry. I never have to guess; it's always there in his face or actions. He is my cuddler.
Spencer, obviously, is the soon to be 4 year old. He is also very sweet; however, he is also VERY mischievous. He is smarter than me, much smarter. I have to remind myself that he is 4. I also feel the need to protect him, most often from himself. He is also beautiful and tall. There is no name for the color of his eyes. They are blue and/or green and/or gray and/or golden. Sometimes they are all four. His hair is blond and uncontrollable, often like him. He is charming and loves everyone he meets. He has no preconceptions other than the expectation that you will love him as much as he loves you. He is quick to show you his "cool tricks". He is my entertainer.
Xander and Spencer are typical brothers. They play, they laugh, they fight. Xander is usually the one on the receiving end. This is good because Spencer forces Xander to stand-up for himself. Having Spencer is the best thing we ever did for Xander. Had Xander been diagnosed before we got pregnant with Spencer, there would have been no Spencer. What a tragedy that would have been for all of us. He makes Xander play with him; he requires Xander to engage with him; he does not allow Xander to withdraw. Spencer, in many ways, is Xander's biggest advocate without even trying.