Autism can be a difficult thing to deal with, there’s no denying that. And, unfortunately, prejudice against people who have the condition is still rife. But perhaps things are slowly beginning to change, as those with autism speak out about their lives and share their own stories of success. Being on the autistic spectrum doesn’t prevent you from doing great things, either, as the following celebrities all prove.
40. Alexis Wineman
Alexis Wineman made history in 2013 when she became the first openly autistic person to compete in Miss America. And that feat led her to tell ABC News about her childhood, which had been blighted with fear that she would be marked out as different. “Growing up, I barely hung out with anyone, and that’s because I was afraid of being laughed at,” Wineman explained. Officially, the former pageant contestant was given a diagnosis of PDD-NOS – Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified – which puts her on the autistic spectrum.