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Advocate Profile: Laura

D: What is your favorite way to pass time? L: Skateboarding, mindfulness being a singlemom, yoga, the beach 😂

D: What is something people generally don’t know about you? L: I was on Fox News morning show for being a skateboard mom and use to own a skateboard school.

D: Who is Laura? L: Laura I am an open honest and blunt single mom of 3 kids who has over come so much. I have a Neurological Disorder that causes my voice to sound different than others and it causes my issues with work and socializing and breathing.

D: What gets your fired up about the disability movement? L: Having a disability myself I find there is zero talk about disabilities and the millions of types there are out there! It took me 4 years to get diagnosed with mine as 30 different doctors had never even heard of it!

D: What is your advocacy platform? L: Instagram and Facebook

D: What barriers or challenges do you face in this movement? L: It’s hard for me to talk to people and doctors don’t know very much about this disorder. There is no cure. My voice spans and from one minute to the next it could be good or bad. Spasmodic Dysphonia is rare. People assume because my voice sounds different that I must be sick. During conversations they back away from me as they are afraid they are going to catch something. 😐 the nerves in my brain spasm causing my voice to speak softly and or break up like you’re on a bad connection on the phone.

D: What do you want those who do not identify with disability to know? L: They should know that everyone in the entire world is different and that’s a beaut wonderful thing!!!!

D: What areas are you still growing/hope to grow? L: I’m learning how to accept my disability and find work that I don’t have to talk much. I’m working on being mindful and being patient and aware of myself as well as others around me that are different. I’ve always been a very social loud out going person and this disability has caused my self esteem to drop as I get treated very differently and lost my job because of it. Now I’m working on building confidence and figuring out what new career path I will get into with little voice.

D: Who was the person/role model who inspired you to look into disability advocacy? Why/how did they inspire you? L: There’s a Spasmodic Dysphonia Facebook group I found and I was very depressed and felt so alone with this disability and once finding the group of other people like me it helped to motivate me and I didn’t feel so alone and I saw others living their best life so I wanted to do that also

D: When people look at you/up to you, what do you hope they see? L: I hope they see a strong independent woman who has overcome so much and that I am an inspiration to others struggling with any thing in life.

D: What are your next steps? L: My 5 year old wanted to start a fancy dress store so I started an online boutique for her and I to work on together. It’s not a passion of mine but in doing it I realized what my passion is! I love creating social media content! I love marketing and everything about business. I’ve always loved art and I paint abstract paintings whenever I am feeling down I use it as a healthy coping skill.

How do we follow you?! Instagram:

Facebook: Laura Mainiero

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