Supporting Families & Caregivers
Joseph’s “Jojo” Story
” I would like to introduce you to my son, Joseph (Jojo) Sullivan. Jojo is a loving, dancing smart 12-year old boy with Down syndrome.
Jojo was born on St. Patrick’s Day in 2004. It was not a prenatal diagnosis. We were told right after he was born that he had Down syndrome with hypotonia and markings that signified a hole in his heart. As you can well imagine, this was a hard diagnosis to swallow, as is any diagnosis of a newborn child.
We didn’t know what that meant. We didn’t know what to do. We didn’t know who to ask. The hospital provided resources for us, but everything seemed so far away, at the end of a really long tunnel. We incorporated Early Intervention right away, which was amazing. And through Early Intervention, we were made aware of several other resources. DDS contacted us to establish Jojo’s eligibility. This opened up a whole new level of information and resources for us. We worked very hard to get Jojo strong enough to smile (couldn’t smile until he was 9 months old due to hypotonia), walk, run, jump (this was a big one) and play. He still does not have a lot of endurance, but he loves to be active! Jojo has 4 wonderful half-siblings who have adored him from day one.
He has been involved in many activities, including baseball with the Challenger League, Soccer, swimming through EMARC in Malden ,Karate in Medford at Xtreme Ninja, Competing in the Special Olympics, and many other fun things! He loves the Patriots!!!Animals! Games! Music!
Jojo is amazing! We love being able to get him involved in activities and in the community! I have learned so much from the MFOFC Leadership Training and other trainings that are offered because of DDS and they have made me a better parent, as a result.
As Jojo gets older, there are so many classes available to assist with the transition phase, as well as when he is ready to live independently!”