Dezined4Joy helps family caregivers survive, thrive, and live a life of joy. I help family caregivers survive and thrive by outlining a clear direction toward a life designed for joy. I offer resources, tools, and information on life coaching, vision mapping, life planning, person-centered planning, and mindset.
My name is Jennifer Sheran. I am a mother of three and my youngest has Down syndrome.
The day we got the news that our newborn had Down syndrome, my husband made a plea.
“Now don’t run out and get involved in every organization,” he said.
He knew a whole new journey, a new purpose had already started for me.
Soon after Joey was born, as my husband suspected, I joined the Down Syndrome Association of Atlanta. I eventually served on its board for six years. I put my professional background in communications to use for our local DSAA and GiGi’s Playhouse for a couple of years. I also held the position of marketing director of a nonprofit serving people with developmental disabilities. During that time, I became a Partners in Policymaking graduate and regularly advocate for issues supporting individuals with developmental disabilities.
Along the way, I have talked with dozens of parents. They face struggle, surgeries, loss, loneliness, discrimination, and ignorance. Yet they embrace the community, love deeply, become advocates, and rise above.
Parenting a child with special needs comes with additional challenges and aspirations. We worry about our kids’ health issues, behavior challenges, education access, progress, and inclusion, fitting in, independence, future, and how all of this will affect siblings. We also have additional financial challenges and the realization our empty nest years may never actually be empty.
I now find myself with a new challenge. One well-known by members of what is called the Sandwich Generation – those of us caring for our children and our parents. My parents are 80 years old and both have medical needs that require home care. They now live with us and I am providing care assistance.
Dezined4Joy helps family caregivers create their best life. Its mission is twofold:
- To empower family caregivers to survive, thrive, and design their own lives of joy.
- To facilitate individuals with disabilities to thrive in their community and live a life they designed with their loved ones.
Behind the Name Dezined4Joy
I am inspired by how many of my friends with Down syndrome and other developmental disabilities have an innate presence of inner joy. They freely express complete delight in the beauty and the comedy around us that many of us miss. My son’s smile, cheers of joy, and infectious laughter fill me with moments of pure joy every day.
It was at a funeral of a sweet angel who was gifted with Down syndrome, and in her short life gifted so many with joyful memories, that it hit me. We are all designed to experience that kind of joy. Our special loved ones just might be more in tune with it than the rest of us.
My vision is to create a world where there is appreciation, inclusion, and acceptance for people living with disabilities. We can get there by teaching the valuable lesson I learned from my son – we are all designed for joy.
Our mission is to help special needs families live intentional and joyful lives and create appreciation, inclusion, and acceptance for people living with disabilities. We can get there by teaching a valuable lesson – we are all designed for joy.