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Jada Braxton is breaking barriers for girls with autism

April is National Autism Acceptance Month, and we're celebrating by spotlighting girls with autism who are shattering misconceptions in their communities. Jada Braxton, 17, was diagnosed with autism as a child—and since then, she's refused to let her diagnosis dull her sparkle. Case in point: She recently made waves at a local pageant, where she took home the award for Miss Photogenic.

Jada was inspired to participate in the pageant so she could have fun and meet other girls who weren't in her classroom. And winning was just the icing on the cake. 

"When they called my name, I was in shock mode," Jada tells us. Autism makes it difficult for Jada to maintain direct eye contact with a camera when snapping pics—so her winning Miss Photogenic is a huge deal. "It shows that people in the pageant treated me like a normal girl. They didn't see me as a girl with special needs."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Nisha (@nishabrax)

Jada wants to be a voice for other girls by showing that autism doesn't have a certain look. (And we're *so* here for Jada's no-labels attitude!) When we asked about her best advice for other girls with autism, she shared some authentic inspo. "Don't give up. Let the bullies be bullies and let the haters hate," she says.

In the future, Jada has big dreams: She hopes to go to college and get married—and she's not about to let autism stand in her way. We can't wait to see what she'll accomplish next.

(Psst: For more resources about autism and Autism Acceptance Month, including ways you can make a difference, visit autismsociety.org.)

Are you feeling inspired by Jada's story? Let us know on Twitter @girlslifemag!

Top and slider image: Danisha Braxton 

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by Paige Mountain | 4/5/2022
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