Autistic Miss America contestant Alexis Wineman makes the semi-finals

miss-america-2013-miss-montana-alexis-wineman-autism.jpg Miss Montana Alexis Wineman, 18, not only is first autistic Miss America pageant contestant, but now she has advanced to the semi-finals by virtue of the America's choice vote. 

"I hope it was because they found me very relatable. I thank you so much America for voting for me," says Wineman of her selection as America's choice.

"Most people do not understand what autism is. One in 88 people having some form of autism -- this understanding is becoming more and more necessary," says Wineman in her online video.

Wineman was diagnosed with autism in seventh grade and plans on making her Miss America platform "Normal is Just a Dryer Setting: Living with Austism." SHe wants to work as an art therapist when she's out of college.

Photo/Video credit: Miss America