My Sister is not a Gift: An Open Letter to Christians

Summer Janacek's writing

I love my sister, Misty. I love her dark wild hair and olive skin. I love the insatiable joy she has when we pillow fight, and the grin that plasters her face when I dance to music. I loved her when she entered the world in 1995, and I love her now. Her entire being is something invaluable to me, but she is not a gift. More specifically, her difficulties and her burdens are not gifts to me.
Misty has Autism. The disorder that is bolded and underlined in headlines today, and presented as a scapegoat for tragedy. When we were children, I remember all the doctor’s visits, all the crying, all the screaming, and all the laughter. I remember my parents, toddlers themselves in the world of adulthood, scrambling in desperation to give Misty a good quality of life with what little information was available. As a unit, we…

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