How to explain autism to your child? By Tina Hutchinson 

My 13 daughter came to me the other day and asked “What’s wrong with Vinny? Why does he act the way he does?” In all my travels of this world of autism I forgot the one thing, to explain to my biological children who have never been around autism what their stepbrother has autism. As I looked into the face of my daughter I was at a loss to what to say. How to explain that her stepbrother has autism and what it is? Their is no manual for this, so what do I say? Do I tell her that her brother is “special” or do I go into details about it?
When you look up the word special you find this, Special: better, greater or otherwise different from the from what is usual. 
I don’t want my daughter to feel less special because her stepbrother is “special” because of his illness nor do I want her to look down at herself because I have to spend a lot of time with him. So, where to find the balance? I know their are tons of books on the subject but, to me they are just words on a paper, they are not living my life.
Question 1: How to explain autism to another child?
I came across this article called “Growing up together”, basically it explain to a child what autism is and how they act but, it’s so heartless and cold. I know that my stepson is “special” but all children are special to in their own way. For example, a child that can play the piano is “special” because I can’t play it. So, How to find those right words to explain things and still make the nonaffected child feeling “special”?
Question 2: How to explain that your autistic child needs more of your time?
I have four step kids and two biological for a grand total of six wonderful kids who’s ages start at 4 yrs old and end at 16yrs old. So, I’m a busy mom but a lot my time is being pulled to care for my autistic stepson even thou I share the responsibility with is g-mom who is not in best of health, my husband works 13 hr days and I go school at night. Most of the time I feel like that toy from the 80’s Stretch Armstrong, being pulled every which way. How do I explain to the other kids that I still love them but Vinny may need more of my time?
I don’t want the other kids to feel less important or less loved, the key is balance. I’ve been doing one on one weekends with each child so they still feel important and loved. Sometimes it works but most of the time it don’t, I’m always getting phone calls about a “outburst” that Vinny is having at same time I’m doing my one on one. So, How to find balance?
So, in all I live a crazy life but I wouldn’t change it. All I’m looking for balance, if their is such a thing. If their is anyone out their that could help feel free to comment.