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Mothers of Misfits
33: Growing Up with Dystonia | Zak Weinstein

33: Growing Up with Dystonia | Zak Weinstein

special needs Oct 13, 2020

Zak Weinstein was diagnosed with Focal Dystonia at the age of 8, a condition that disrupts the communication between his brain and arms. Rather than focusing on his disability, he celebrates his abilities, particularly as an avid tennis player.


  • “Funny enough, for a long time, I always thought I was pretty cool because I was the one in class who’d sit in the back and be able to type on the laptop.” – Zak Weinstein
  • “One of the big things was giving me space to figure out what’s comfortable.” – Zak Weinstein
  • “I honestly would say that tennis in a way, kind of saved my life. It’s what keeps me sane.” – Zak Weinstein
  • “It’s amazing because every single person that I played tennis with through high school, through college, with the exception of my roommate, doesn’t know I have the disability.” – Zak Weinstein
  • “I want to be defined by who I am and how I act and not by the disability.” – Zak Weinstein


  • 1:06 – What is Dystonia?
  • 3:11 – How common is Dystonia?
  • 3:53 – The signs
  • 7:16 – Being a kid with Dystonia
  • 8:39 – Making it work
  • 11:05 – Playing tennis with Dystonia
  • 13:17 – Advice for parents
  • 16:52 – Using your disability to help others


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