Autistic Cheerleader Defies Stereotypes With School Spirit (VIDEO)

autistic cheerleaderI've always thought of going out for cheerleading as an intimidating experience for a teenage girl -- but when 14-year-old Jessica McCartney decided she wanted a spot on the squad, she went for it with complete and total confidence.

Which would be impressive for any high school freshman.

But Jessica isn't any high school freshman. She's a high school freshman with autism.

Who, by the way, also has a black belt in karate. Besides being a cheerleader. And manages to get good grades, too.

No wonder her mother is "exceptionally proud" of Jessica.

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This kid completely blows me away!

She's got so much spunk and fire and vision. I love that Jessica got the idea to try out for cheerleading from "high school movies" because all the cheerleaders seemed "popular" and "happy" ... and unlike most 14-year-old girls, she didn't automatically think of "popular" and "happy" as unattainable goals.

Jessica McCartney believes in herself, and that's a much more powerful quality than any challenge she'll ever face.

I can't wait to see what she does next!

What impresses you about Jessica McCartney the most?

Image via huffingtonpost/abc

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