11:12 PM EDT 04/13/2013
Originally posted 01/12/2013 03:00PM
Seven years ago, a bubbly and emotional Montana girl received news that her brain functioned differently than others: She was diagnosed with autism. On Saturday, that same girl could be crowed the new Miss America.
Alexis Wineman, 18, is the youngest of the 53 women vying for the title of Miss America in Las Vegas on Saturday. But Wineman hasn't always lived a life of glamour, having been diagnosed with PDD-NOS (Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified) at 11 years old. According to the Autism Speaks website, someone with PDD-NOS "has some but not all characteristics of autism or ... has relatively mild symptoms."
Originally posted 11/19/2012 04:30PM
Kelly Preston is speaking out about the health conditions that led to her 16-year-old son's death.
Jett Travolta – who died in 2009 after suffering a seizure and hitting his head in a bathtub at the family's vacation home at the Old Bahama Bay Hotel on Grand Bahama Island – suffered from autism, which Preston attributes to a series of contributing factors.
"[Jett] was autistic. He had seizures and when he was very young, he had Kawasaki Syndrome," she says on the Nov. 21 episode of The Doctors (check local listings).
Originally posted 08/22/2012 09:15AM
Jacqueline Laurita had tried for years to have another baby, so when she finally welcomed son Nicholas three years ago, the proud mom celebrated his every achievement.
But then, at around 18 months old, Nicholas began regressing with his speech and motor skills, then refusing to answer to his name or notice people enter a room.
"We had no idea what was going on," the Real Housewives of New Jersey star, who hid her son's medical issues from the reality cameras as she continued taping season 4 last year, tells PEOPLE exclusively.
After an agonizing wait to see multiple doctors, the Lauritas got a diagnosis: Nicholas is autistic.
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