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Autism not stopping beauty pageant contestant
Rochester, NY For any student, being an average eighth grader isnt always the easiest. For someone like Holley Yarton, a student at Geneseo Middle School, sometimes it can be even more difficult.
Holley was diagnosed with High Functioning Autism, as well as Attention Deficit Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and anxiety almost five years ago. Doctors failed to properly diagnose Holley and focused on her ADHD, because they believed she could not be both ADHD and autistic.
While Holley is extremely talkative, she still lacks the essential social skills, such as turn taking, appropriateness, and eye contact. This can cause issues with people who dont know her because it appears to them that shes just misbehaving, said Angela Pollock, Holleys mother. Holley is extremely creative, and a very good student.
This weekend, Holley has the chance to be part of something special. Holley is a competitor in the Miss Jr. Teen division of the Miss Teen Rochester pageant, which takes place on Saturday.
Holley has already completed the interview segment of the competition, her first step in fulfilling her dream of becoming a model or be in a pageant.
Being accepted and having the feeling of being a part of something is very important to her, because she knows shes different, but she doesnt always understand why people seem so mean, Pollock said.
The Miss Teen Rochester pageant focuses on uplifting young women, and puts personality first before beauty. The mission statement on the Miss Teen Rochester website says: The pageant is unlike any other since it is based on personality.
It will be a new experience for her, and one shes not familiar with. While most people can adapt quickly and easily, it takes Holley more time, assuming she does it at all, said Pollock.
The winner of Miss Teen Rochester could receive thousand dollars in prizes, as well as the chance to represent Rochester in different events throughout the year. Theres also a chance to compete in a national pageant in Orlando, Florida.
If Holley wins, that would be great, and an exciting adventure. If she loses, its alright. Sure shell be bummed, but shell insist on wearing her gown when we take her brothers trick-or-treating. Win or lose, Holley will have taken a big step toward proving a point. Everyone is beautiful, even if theyre different, said Pollock.