Meet the first autistic Miss America contestant!Meet the first autistic Miss America contestant! 18-year-old Miss Montana Alexis Wineman will be writing history during Saturday’s pageant as the first ever autistic participant on the show.

According to Fox News, Miss Montana will also set the record for the youngest contestant in the 2013 ultimate beauty competition.

Wineman was diagnosed at the age of 11 but she had always known that something wasn’t right with her and had struggled to figure out what that was. “When I was finally diagnosed I felt like it came too late,” she said.

Her current symptoms are considered “very mild”. Alexis finds it sometimes hard to communicate and takes things too literally at times. The constant struggle to overcome her condition’s symptoms on a day to day basis has become part of who she is and Wineman hopes that her taking part in the pageant will help raise awareness about autism.

The contestant showed in her finalist video how most people are oblivious to the nature and manifestation of her condition. One in 88 people suffers from some form of autism, which makes the understanding of the illness an increasing necessity.

In her tape presentation, Wineman seems confident in her ability to win the competition and plans to use her new acquired fame and status, if crowned beauty queen, to further advertise her condition and raise awareness about autism.

“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,” her video concluded.