When a prenatal exam delivered a diagnosis of Down Syndrome for their child, Semra Lincoln and her husband, Richard, were given an option that they never really seriously considered.
“The doctors at Mass. General (Hospital) gave us the option to terminate (the pregnancy),” Semra Lincoln said, “but we knew that our faith in God would help us get through it.”
Now that Nadia, who will turn 3 in May, is a happy, walking, talking child, the Lincolns can’t imagine what life would have been like without her.
“God knew what He was doing,” Semra said. “She is the best thing to ever happen to us. She has given us so much joy.”
The Lincolns are amazed at the progress Nadia has made and, as the world celebrates Down Syndrome Day Thursday, they are grateful for the Early Intervention supports provided by a team of therapists from Aspire Developmental Services.
Nadia receives occupational, physical and speech therapy from Aspire, with case manager Kristen Evans coordinating the services.
“Aspire has given us all the services we needed, more than we could have expected,” Semra said. “We got lucky when we got Kristen Evans. Four different people come to our house every week. They all work together to do what’s best for Nadia.”
Nadia also gets hippotherapy, takes swimming lessons and learned sign language at the Beverly School for the Deaf. She is speaking words in English and German (Semra is from Germany) and, by all accounts, will be ready for pre-school in Peabody next year.
“I didn’t think she would do this well,” Semra said. “I don’t know where we would be without all the services. She can do so much.”