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Young Woman with Asperger's Syndrome Makes it to Finals of "America's Top Model"

A young woman with Asperger's Syndrome made it to the top five on the popular television reality show "America's Next Top Model."

Heather Kuzmich, a 20 year-old student from Valparaiso, Indiana, was eliminated from the competition after making the finals and being voted viewers' favorite for eight weeks in a row.

Ms. Kuzmich has a form of autism that is characterized by difficulties in communication, inability to read others' cues, and unusual social interactions. Some of her traits, such as her inability to hold eye contact and tendency to glance sideways, gave her modeling photos an edgy quality. However, when faced with the challenge of living with twelve other contestants, her disorder sometimes put her at a disadvantage. She often needed telephone support from her mother when the others made fun of her.

Ms. Kuzmich told the New York Times that the contest was a personal way to test her limits as a person with Asperger's Syndrome.
"It was a point in my life where I was thinking either Asperger's was going to define me or I was going to be able to work around it," she said.
Visit Your Little Professor to find schools and camps for children with Asperger's.

Labels: success, media, support

Posted By: Aspen Education Group