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Autistic contestant in line for Miss America title

Published time: January 09, 2013 16:38
Edited time: January 09, 2013 20:38
Still from YouTube video/Miss America Organization

Still from YouTube video/Miss America Organization

The winner of Montana state beauty pageant, who has been diagnosed with autism, has applied to take part in Miss America contest.

According to the DisabilityScoop website the national beauty queen wannabe 18 year old Alexis Wineman, was diagnosed with Pervasive Development Disorder and borderline Aspergers Syndrome at the age of 11.

After Alexis won the Montana Beauty contest in 2012, she thought she could use the publicity to raise awareness of the disorder.

In a video aired on KRTV.com Wineman says “most people do not understand what autism is.”

“One in 88 people is having some form of autism; this understanding is becoming more and more necessary."

Speaking last year to DisabilityScoop Wineman shared her experience of living with autism recalling that she always was the 'oddball out' and struggled hard to socialize and make friends in her teens.

"Socializing with my classmates, even when I wanted to, was awkward to say the least. I wouldn’t get their jokes half the time. I took everything literally,"
she said.

Years on, socializing is still a challenge however she has learnt to deal with her problems as well as with the reaction she faces on a daily basis.

“'It's amazing how people don’t accept other people just because they’re different,' she said. 'Being different is not something to look down on, but to be embraced. People need to understand,” she says.

The next Miss America pageant will be held in Las Vegas, Nevada on the January 12, 2013 weekend. If Wineman wins, she’ll become the first national beauty queen with such a condition.