For many, family is important; but for Taryn, family is everything. Taryn was born with Down syndrome and grew up in California. At 4 years old, her father passed away, creating a tighter relationship between her sisters and mom. As time passed, Taryn’s three older sisters began moving to Colorado. Once Taryn’s first niece was born, she and her mother, Liz, quickly decided they wanted to be with the rest of the family.
Like older siblings tend to do, Taryn’s sisters have always kept an eye out for her. So, when the time came for Taryn and Liz to relocate to Colorado, her eldest sister proactively researched resources for Taryn and connected with Developmental Pathways.
Because of her previous experience in the I/DD system in California, Taryn transitioned smoothly into programs in Colorado. Once involved with Developmental Pathways, they were pleasantly surprised by how person-centered all interactions and processes were. Now, almost five years since Taryn started services with DP, she is thriving and making her way in society.
Liz’s desire for her daughter is for Taryn to be understood by others and seen for who she is – an intelligent, forgiving young woman with the biggest heart. When Taryn was a little girl, Liz coached her in softball. Liz recalls how in the beginning, it wasn’t easy for Taryn, but time and time again, she persevered and overcame challenges. Today, Taryn is a fashionista who spends most of her time playing sports, specifically basketball and softball, with Special Olympics Colorado, rather than shopping at the mall. She was a natural at a recent DP photo shoot.
For four years, Liz was a member of the Down Syndrome Association in Ventura County, CA, and spoke at their events. She spoke to educate and encourage teachers, doctors, and the general public to make an effort to learn more about and embrace people with Down Syndrome.
Her wish is for people to knock down preconceived barriers and take the time to understand her daughter and other individuals like her. “That was my big goal when I was speaking, and it’s been my goal, her whole life,” said Liz.
Taryn and Liz have found understanding, support, and a sense of belonging at Developmental Pathways. Here, Taryn’s personality and capabilities are recognized, and the team of coordinators and service providers has positively impacted their lives. Developmental Pathways strives to be a resource to families by providing intake support, eligibility enrollment, and case management services, all with a person-centered focus.