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Alexis Wineman makes history as first Miss America contestant with autism

Posted by on Jan. 12, 2013 at 1:20 AM
  • 17 Replies
1 mom liked this

Alexis Wineman Makes History as First Miss America Contestant with Autism

Alexis Wineman Makes History as First Miss America Contestant with Autism

When Miss Montana takes the stage at the 92nd Miss America Pageant, she'll be doing much more than modeling a gorgeous ball gown.

Alexis Wineman will make history as the first ever contestant diagnosed with autism to take part in the beauty pageant.

The 18-year-old (who is also the youngest to compete) spoke with ABC News about her experience:

“The girl you’re seeing right now is not the girl you would have seen 10 years ago. I have overcame a lot. I have overcome so many of my symptoms.”

Autism affects at least 1 in 88 children in the United States, and is a disorder of neural development characterized by impaired social interaction and communication, and by restricted and repetitive behavior.

Although Wineman is considered highly functioning, she was often ridiculed for her speech impediment and shy nature as a child.

"I would stay in my room for hours, not wanting to talk to anyone,” she said. “Growing up, I barely hung out with anyone and that’s because I was afraid of being laughed at.”

Wineman credits her family for encouraging her to follow her dreams, and giving her the courage to try new things.

"Growing up, all I wanted was to be normal. I just wanted to fit in with everyone else. Looking back, I realized it was a waste of time, because normal doesn't exist. If we could just accept people for their differences, it will make life for our children and for ourselves much, much easier."

Watch the recent high school graduate will compete along with 52 other contestants in the live broadcast Saturday night on ABC.

The pageant, telecast from Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas, will be hosted by The Bachelor's Chris Harrison and our very own Brooke Burke-Charvet.

You can also watch Wineman's full interview with ABC News below:

by on Jan. 12, 2013 at 1:20 AM
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Replies (1-10):
muslimahpj
by Ruby Member on Jan. 12, 2013 at 1:21 AM

Here is the link

reindeer-c
by Member on Jan. 12, 2013 at 4:02 AM
1 mom liked this

That is wonderful. Finally a positive soty in the news. Go Alexis!!!!

GOBryan
by Silver Member on Jan. 12, 2013 at 8:09 AM

That's fantastic. Parents need to teach their kids to be sympathetic of others rather than laugh at them for being different. I find that time of child or adult disgusting and inhumane. 

momtoscott
by Platinum Member on Jan. 12, 2013 at 9:12 AM

 Good for her.  I'm glad she's been able to do well and realize that she has lots of strengths, in spite of other kids mocking her differences.  That she's "normal" enough as she is.

I was at a movie recently with my autistic son and there was a trailer that kept using the word "normal," saying stuff like "normal is boring," and "nobody wants to be normal."  He looked over at me and said, "Well, I want to be normal."  About broke my heart, that moment.   

annabl1970
by Platinum Member on Jan. 12, 2013 at 9:22 AM
Good!
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stormcris
by Christy on Jan. 12, 2013 at 10:01 AM

Kewl

TruthSeeker.
by Milami on Jan. 12, 2013 at 10:47 AM

 This is great. I usually don't watch, but I will tonight.

Jeanetts
by Member on Jan. 12, 2013 at 9:21 PM
I am soooo proud. She is from my state.
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angelenia
by Bronze Member on Jan. 12, 2013 at 9:40 PM
my autistic 5 yr old ds says he wants to be normal too:( he is very high functioning but he recognizes that he is different from his peers. i can't believe i am already having to deal with him being picked on by his classmates. it sucks. *hugs* to you mama!


Quoting momtoscott:

 Good for her.  I'm glad she's been able to do well and realize that she has lots of strengths, in spite of other kids mocking her differences.  That she's "normal" enough as she is.


I was at a movie recently with my autistic son and there was a trailer that kept using the word "normal," saying stuff like "normal is boring," and "nobody wants to be normal."  He looked over at me and said, "Well, I want to be normal."  About broke my heart, that moment.   


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angelenia
by Bronze Member on Jan. 12, 2013 at 9:50 PM
great post OP, btw! thanks for sharing:)
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