Miss America's autistic contestant Alexis Wineman will be the first woman with the condition ever to compete in the long-running pageant. The 18-year-old stunner is slated to appear at the 2013 Miss America Competition; she is Miss Montana. As a young child, she was unaware of her condition. "For the longest time I just really wanted to know what was wrong with me," she said.
According to a Jan. 11, 2013 report by FOX News, Wineman was diagnosed with autism at the tender age of 11. Yet she feels like her diagnosis of pervasive developmental disorder and borderline Asperger's syndrome came "too late." Miss America's autistic contestant plans to use her platform to spread awareness of her condition especially if she wins the pageant. She even talked about the condition in her online finalist video:
"Most people do not understand what autism is, 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."
In addition to being the first Miss America autistic contestant, Wineman is this year's youngest contestant. Her talent for the talent portion of the competition will be stand-up comedy based on the sensitive topic of women's body image, according to The Huffington Post.