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December 04, 2007

Heather Kuzmich

Heather Kuzmich got to the last five on "America's Next Top Model". Pretty good going for anyone but for someone with Asperger's Syndrome, as Heather Kuzmich does, that's really very good going indeed. It's important to realise though that something like Aspie's isn't a "disability" in the classic sense, rather, its a measure of being differently abled. This piece from hte New York Times says it nicely:

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.

OK, that doesn't sound too good but this:

But while Heather’s odd mannerisms separate her from her roommates, those same traits translate as on-the-edge high fashion in her modeling sessions. In interviews on camera, she often glances to the side, unable to hold eye contact. But Ms. Banks, the ’60s-era model Twiggy and the fashion photographer Nigel Barker, who all appear on the show, marvel at Heather’s ability to connect with the camera.

Differently rather than dis-abled I hope you'll agree? There's more on Heather Kuzmich and Asperger's Syndrome at that link. There's more here:

Heather Kuzmich made it to the final five competitors on "America's Next Top Model," despite suffering from Asperger's Syndrome, a form of autism.

Asperger's is a developmental disorder that makes understanding social interactions difficult. Kuzmich made no secret of her disability.

And there's part of Kuzmich's interview with Dianne Sawyer there as well. There's another Kuzmich interview here.

And of course Jossip has a more irreverent take on it all:

Meet 21-year-old Heather Kuzmich, the “socially awkward” stunner and Asperger’s sufferer, who “has trouble making eye contact,” is “sometimes the target of her roommates’ jokes” and got kicked off last week’s episode of America’s Next Top Model for having below average map-reading skills.

December 4, 2007 in Celebrities | Permalink

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Comments

Support Heather Kuzmich, The Real Top Model

SIGN THE PETITION
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/supportheather

Even though she won't be "America's Next Top Model," our hearts are with Heather Kuzmich. Heather has Asperger's Syndrome, a disease that affects communication skills, social interaction and is a form of autism. We think Heather deserved to win. She was the viewers' favorite and an amazing model.

Posted by: Karen | Dec 4, 2007 7:16:40 PM

If you are a fan of Heather Kuzmich just like me, please show her your support by signing this petition letting her know she is our favorite and America's Real Top Model:
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/supportheather

Posted by: ladona | Dec 4, 2007 8:50:22 PM

Heather is bound to go on to do bigger and better things.

Posted by: M. | Dec 9, 2007 2:42:29 PM

is like disable have not life. or not oportunities. it is like being having a condition make you not human with not rights.
my son has asper syndrome too. and for my 3 children he is the most talented one. I will not change him.

Posted by: Aida Aquino | Dec 9, 2007 11:18:35 PM

is like disable have not life. or not oportunities. it is like being having a condition make you not human with not rights.
my son has asper syndrome too. and for my 3 children he is the most talented one. I will not change him.

Posted by: Aida Aquino | Dec 9, 2007 11:18:40 PM

I just have to say, that in person, she is beautiful...just gorgeous. I work at a movie store in Indiana, and she came in today. And by the way, you can barely tell that she has Asperger's Syndrome. She was very personable, cracking jokes, talking to my coworker and myself...just great!

Posted by: Julie | Mar 2, 2008 7:32:55 AM

Who cares how she interacts. She took THE most stunning photos. HOT HOT HOT!

Posted by: Stewart | Aug 7, 2008 10:40:34 AM