Homecoming dream: Autistic teen voted Aloha HS's queen

ALOHA, Ore. - An autistic high school student who thought kids wrote her off as different found out she was wrong: The vote was a landslide. Abigail Monger is now Aloha High School's homecoming queen.

Abby has Asperger's, which is a type of autism that's been a challenge for her at school.

High school is tough for anybody when it comes to clicks and popularity contests, and Abby says she's aware that she always doesn't fit in. But her classmates say she's the kind of person they strive to be.

"To be honest, I didn't expect to be popular, because who ever heard of an autistic queen? Really kind of hard to believe if you ask me," she says.

There's no denying that Abby is a pretty happy high school senior.

"I got to dance with the quarterback of the football team. It's not very often I get that. I find it a great honor," she says.

But before you pin that "popular" label on her, you need to understand why she was more surprised than anyone to be hanging out Friday with part of the homecoming court - with football players and other popular kids she didn't realize understood her struggle.

"I thought that people who have a condition like mine, autism, weren't allowed to be on the court," she says. "Sometimes I hate having a big mouth and sometimes I wish I never said anything. I heard that some autistic people can't talk. Sometimes I wish I was one of those."

But her classmates are the reason she's smiling.

"I would have it no other way than to have Abby be queen," says one of them. "She is the most inspiring person at Aloha."

As of Thursday, she's got the crown to prove it.

Abby hadn't even planned on going to homecoming this year. But now she doesn't really have much of a choice: There's no homecoming dance without the queen.