- Associated Press - Friday, June 7, 2019

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — A Florida woman with autism is competing for the title of Miss Florida.

WFLA reports Rachel Barcellona will be the first contestant with an autism diagnosis to compete in the pageant, scheduled to take place later this month in Lakeland.

She tells the television station that doctors said she’d never graduate from high school because of her diagnosis. She says the negative feedback didn’t sit well with her.

Barcellona began participating in pageants at age 5. She continued through much of elementary school and then quit. But she says the depression and anxiety she suffered in middle school led her back to the pageant world, where she gained confidence and made friends.

She says when judges ask about her disability she tells them she can inspire people.



Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide