Meeting Miss Montana

Photo of Alexis Wineman courtesy of missmontana.comI traveled to Montana last month to give an autism workshop, and the day before I left home I got a notice that the workshop would start 15 minutes earlier than planned: Miss Montana would be speaking beforehand.

I simply thought, “huh, that’s interesting. I wonder why Miss Montana is going to be at an autism/asperger conference?” Clearly I could have consulted Google to assess the situation further, but it just didn’t make my agenda.

And so, it was with great delight and surprise that I listened to Alexis Wineman share her story to open the workshop. Her story included a childhood with serious social struggles, an autism diagnosis in grade seven, success in high school with the cross-country and drama club and most recently … victory at the Miss Montana pageant.

Ms. Wineman shared her story eloquently with 300 workshop attendees. Many of the attendees were parents, and hearing Ms. Wineman share her story clearly gave them a positive perspective on the possibilities for people living with autism.

There were many quotable moments in Ms. Wineman’s speech, but my favorite was definitely this one: “Being on the spectrum is not a death sentence, but a life adventure, and one that I realize has been given to me for a reason.”


Comments may not reflect Easterseals' policies or positions.

Comments are closed.