Jennifer Cavalletti, the 19-year-old who brought autism to Miss Italy

THEoriginally from Baiano di Spoleto, received Miss Courage’s sheet for the way he tackled stigma and prejudice in his message from the stage. That’s him Jennifer Cavalletti

It is said Jennifer Cavallettihe is 19 years old and took the stage Miss Italyfor the first time, theautism. Jennifer is actually autistic and during the 2023 beauty pageant she was named “Miss courage” by the host, Patrizia Mirigliani.

The sash was presented at the BV Airone Resort Amphitheater in Corigliano-Rossano, site of the pageant’s pre-finals, but Miss had already walked the runways of the pageant in Bastia Umbra during regional elections.

The story of Cavalletti, originally from Baiano di Spoleto, had moved us during the selection process. In fact, at the age of two and a half, the doctors told the parents that the little girl he didn’t talk or walk. It was she who proved them wrong: thanks to the support of a team of experts, psychologists, assistants and the love of her parents, Giovanna and Giancarlo, the young woman managed to achieve all the goals she had set for herself. After graduating with top marks in Spoleto Artistic High Schoolshe enrolled at the Viterbo Fashion Academy and for six years she has also been an Italian sports dance champion.

The decision to participate in Miss Italia came just for fight stigma e prejudices to autism spectrum disorders, which in Italy, according to estimates by the Ministry of Health, affects one child in 77, with a higher prevalence in men. During the ceremony to award the card, Cavalletti wanted to repeat what he had already said on the Bastia Umbra stage: “We autistic people – he said – we are no different. Throughout history there have been politicians like Thomas Jefferson, autistic scientists like Albert Einstein, computer scientists like Pok√©mon inventor Satoshi Tajiri, painters like Michelangelo and musicians like Mozart.”

Since I was a child I dreamed of modeling in the fashion world, and thanks to Miss Italia I somehow fulfilled my dream. All this to remind you that autistic people just express and behave in a completely personal way. It is precisely because of this way of being that I received numerous offensive reviews by strangers after I posted a video of him representing my city.”

In fact, the young miss wanted to take the opportunity to remember the bullying she was a victim of in the past, criticism and teasing: “I would like to say to those who, although they tried to slaughter me and destroy me psychologically, that did not sink me but strengthened me, and that I will accomplish all my dreams and desires with my head held high. I would like to say that being born with a deficit does not differentiate me from the crowd, because I too have desires, dreams and a will to live and I need to be loved and respected.”

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