Families Forever Strengthened: Teagan and Jane #EPU40



We’re spotlighting Teagan and Jane in this week’s installment of the #EPU40! Teagan and Jane are longtime friends of the EPU Children’s Center. They embody the EPU spirit as they continue to keep in touch long after Teagan graduated from our program. Read about Teagan and Jane’s inspiring journey with EPU:

  • What brought you to EPU?

I learned about EPU the day after my daughter was born.  Representatives from EPU came to visit my husband and me in the hospital after the delivery of our twins.  We had just learned that Teagan most likely had Down syndrome and they came to support us as we started the journey of finding out what that meant to our family and to her future.

  • Tell me about your child?

Teagan is now 19 years old.  Just like any other child, including her twin sister, she has been a joy, a blessing, and a challenge. Her medical issues did cause more delays in her development when she was a baby, but basically she has had good health.  She has always loved school, swimming, basketball, bowling, board games, and knowing her schedule. She takes in way more than you realize because she doesn’t verbalize all she knows and like any other teen has a penchant for electronic media.

  • What was/is your experience with EPU?

Initially, we hooked up with EPU because of a support group they had in the evenings. We went through a different program for Teagan’s early intervention.  Because of her surgery at 10 weeks and concerns for health we limited her exposure.  I ended up reconnecting with a Support Group when Teagan was about 2 years old.  The support group I landed in was so welcoming and, exactly as it should be – supportive, that I found it to be my emotional anchor for my week.  Meeting with the other families gave me new insight into what strength I might have and helped me realize I wasn’t alone in facing the questions and challenges ahead.

  • How has your relationship with EPU affected you and your family’s lives?

Being associated with EPU has expanded our knowledge of the community of families with special needs.  If you haven’t been touched by a disability, you tend to stay ignorant of the issues they face, but having met so many parents or family members has expanded my world so much.  I feel I have been truly blessed by them, learn from them, and am inspired to make my own path more meaningful.

  • What hopes do you have for your child’s future?

My hopes for Teagan are very much like my hopes for her twin sister.  I would love to see her living independently, enjoying meaningful employment, having fulfilling friendships and a long term loving relationship.

  • Do you have any advice you would like to give to another parent?

Take advantage of the Support Groups offered by EPU.  They are a wonderful investment of your time and can build friendships you will cherish.  Go to the workshops they offer so you are fully informed and are more prepared for your child’s future.  Give yourself permission to take a break, breathe, and regroup when you need to.  You will be your best for your family when you don’t ignore your own personal needs.

  • What EPU programs have you been connected?

Support Groups, Trainings & Workshops, Volunteer for Focus Groups, Family Faculty