Autism

Miss America Autistic Contestant Alexis Wineman will be Competition's First

This year's Miss America contest will be one to remember, as it will include its first ever autistic contestant. 

According to Fox News, Miss Montana, Alexis Wineman, will take the stage for the 2013 Miss America Competition. 

Wineman, 18, will also be the youngest contestant this year. She was diagnosed with autism when she was 11.

She plans to use the Miss America platform to raise awareness for autism. 

"Most people do not understand what autism is," Wineman said. "And one in 88 people having some form of autism -- this understanding is becoming more and more necessary."

"We cannot cure what is not a sickness, but we can begin to understand autism, and help those with the condition to unlock the potential that lies within all of us."

For many years, Wineman felt alone and confused about her symptoms, especially before she was diagnosed. 

"For the longest time I just really wanted to know what was wrong with me," she said. "When I was finally diagnosed I felt like it came too late."

Now Wineman is used to her autism and experiences "very mild symptoms." She struggles with communication sometimes, but she tries to "overcome" it. 

"It's a part of who I am," she explained. 

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