Jada Braxton was diagnosed with autism at age 7.
Jada Braxton, 17, was recently crowned Miss Photogenic at the Miss Saraland pageant on Jan 22. "I was surprised, and I was glad they called my name to be Miss Photogenic," the Alabama teen told Fox 10, adding that she wants "autistic girls to know that they have a voice." Jada Braxton was diagnosed with autism at age 7 and her mother, Danisha Braxton knows why this is such a significant step in her daughter's life. "By her being autistic, one of the characteristic traits is not being able to make direct eye contact, especially when she's taking pictures," she told the outlet. "For her to win just based off of her picture is just outstanding." "By her winning Miss Photogenic, she is a face now to autism," Danisha added. "This is autism, this is what autism looks like."
Jada had a special message for other girls with autism. "They have confidence, and do the best they can, and you never know, when you have autism let other people know that you are the real deal, like everybody else,” said Jada. “Let the bullies be bullies, and just let them hate." Looking back on the pageant, the teen said it was the best thing to ever happen to her and plans on entering next year as well.
At 7 years old, she was diagnosed with autism, making it difficult to interact in social settings, but that hasn’t stopped her one bit from living out her dreams– becoming a pageant queen in Alabama.— KION News 5 46 (@KION546) January 27, 2022
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Her mother couldn't be prouder and shared on Instagram: 3 reasons why this is a HUGE accomplishment.... 1. One characteristic of autism is not being able to show direct eye contact. Baby girl...in your pic (Slide 10) you gave FACE....you hear me...Face Hunty! Eye contact and confidence was on 💯!!! 2. The judges chose you for you. Not knowing anything about you. Why is this a big deal? Because AUTISM DOESN'T HAVE A LOOK. I betcha if anyone could tell those judges that the person they chose as Miss Photogenic has special needs...they would be shocked. 3. This year you said "Mommy I want you to do my makeup for the pageant." I fought you on this because I'm by no means a professional MUA. I really only do my makeup and yours. But you trusted me and you gave me the confidence that I needed. Our roles switched and you became my cheerleader.❤ I told you that if you won Miss Photogenic that I would quit my job and become a MUA. After winning the first thing you said was "Well Mommy you can quit your job." Lol...just know that it's the making Jada Boo and it's all because of you.
Advocacy organization Autism Speaks also announced Jada's special news on its Instagram page, noting that the high school junior "refuses to let her autism limit her from achieving goals that she sets for herself. When a lot of people see and meet Jada, they say 'Well she doesn't look autistic.' So her winning this award lets people know that autism doesn't have a 'look.' Jada is beautiful both inside and out." The message added, "Jada continues to knock down barriers and educates her peers on autism. She wants other girls with autism to know that they can and will do anything they set their mind to. They are not defined by their autism."
Cover Image Source: Instagram | nishabrax