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I had no idea.<br><br><a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/04/health/04well.html?ei=5087&em=&en=8d7995e8c4f5f308&ex=1197003600&pagewanted=print" target="_blank">http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/04/he...gewanted=print</a><br><br>
December 4, 2007<br>
Well<br>
Asperger’s Syndrome Gets a Very Public Face<br>
By TARA PARKER-POPE<br>
Heather Kuzmich has the neurological disorder known as Asperger’s syndrome. She is socially awkward, has trouble making eye contact and is sometimes the target of her roommates’ jokes.<br><br>
But what makes the 21-year-old Ms. Kuzmich different from others with Asperger’s is that for the past 11 weeks, her struggle to cope with her disability has played out on national television.<br><br>
She is one of 13 young women selected by the supermodel Tyra Banks to compete on the popular reality television show “America’s Next Top Model.” The addition of Heather Kuzmich to an otherwise superficial show has given millions of viewers an unusual and compelling glimpse into the little-understood world of Asperger’s.<br><br>
The disorder, considered a form of autism, is characterized by unusual social interaction and communication skills. Aspies, as people with the condition like to call themselves, often have normal or above-average intelligence, but they have trouble making friends and lack the intuitive ability to gauge social situations. They fail to make eye contact and often exhibit a single-minded fixation that can be both bizarre and brilliant.<br><br><br><br>
it continues on link
 

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its sad that they treated her that way <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
heres some of her pictures, beautiful! <a href="http://www.tv.com/heather-kuzmich/person/596985/photos.html" target="_blank">http://www.tv.com/heather-kuzmich/pe...85/photos.html</a>
 

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Very pretty!<br><br>
The last <a href="http://barbara-meier.next-topmodel.com/" target="_blank">winner</a> (that's her at the top of the page) of the German version of the show (hosted by Heidi Klum) was a socially akward, shy, red-headed mathematics student. She didn't even originally want to be on the show but they hunted her down in a mall and pressured her to sign up. She doesn't have Asperger's but it's a similar story.
 

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Heather made it to last week, where she was eliminated. She was one of the last 5 models, which was fabulous of itself. She had obvious difficulty communicating well and interacting with both her housemates and the camera crews and directors during her photo shoots, which is ultimately what led to her elimination. She has lots of talent, lots of personality and lots of potential. She simply needs more communication skill work. I was very, very impressed with her overall, and how she was able to live and succeed in that stressful social environment.
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/duck.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Duck">: ANTM is my weekly guilty pleasure...dh takes the kids and I watch the whole episode BY MYSELF. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"><br><br>
She did a really, really good job. I think she probably could have won, but she started over-thinking her poses during the shoots (which plenty of previous contenstants have done, so I don't know how much of it was related to being an Aspie). What I loved is that she was open about the condition, but didn't make in an every-day issue (or at least the show didn't, which is good, too). She did seem more withdrawn, but she seemd to fit in pretty well with the other models and get support from them when she was feeling down.<br><br>
I think making it to the top 5 was a huge accomplishment for anybody--especially a young woman with Aspergers. That much pressure, with so many new and overwhelming experiences--she did a fabulous job.
 

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WrongPlanet has a great interview with her.<br><br><a href="http://www.wrongplanet.net/article355.html" target="_blank">http://www.wrongplanet.net/article355.html</a>
 

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I was really rooting for her. She was my favorite. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment">
 

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She was my favorite too. I loved that she was open about her Asperger's and that it was publicized. She was VERY high functioning (sorry, hate that expression, but makes sense here), and really appeared more socially awkward than anything else.
 

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She is beautiful.
 

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I was so sad when she was voted off. I was watching on the treadmill, and I had to stop for a few seconds because I was getting really teary. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
I LOVED her. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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she is the most beautiful on this one I think... heck, I don't have aspie and I'd have a heck of a time living in a house full of catty girls. She did awesome!
 

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I'm an ANTM junkie - it's my guilty pleasure too Elisabeth! LOL There's an ANTM thread in the Television forum.
 
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