sophia-2015Sophia Nelson was born with Down syndrome and spent 12 days in the NICU. Although she has an intellectual disability and struggles with her speech, she is a loving, caring girl who brings joy to everyone she meets! She will be 7 this summer, attends Kooser Elementary School and North American Martyrs Parish.

Sophia was born on July 12th, 2008. Shortly after birth she was diagnosed with Down syndrome, a chromosomal abnormality. Since Michelle had undergone prenatal testing, which indicated that everything was normal, the diagnosis came as a total shock to our family. Because Sophia was born with a collapsed lung, low heart rate, and feeding issues, she spent her first few weeks in the hospital.

We are very fortunate that Sophia is a healthy child and does not have many of the health-related complications that many individuals with Down syndrome have. This is not to say Sophia hasn’t experienced her share of obstacles. Physically, it took Sophia a little longer to reach typical milestones, because of her low muscle tone associated with Down syndrome. With the help of physical therapy, she is now able to run, jump, and play just like any other child!

232323232-fp83232-ydnjthgqubwsnrcgu824=ot-4;2;=48-=325=XROQDF-339;38-;6;234ot1lsiAs is common in individuals with Down syndrome, Sophia struggles with verbal communication. At a young age she learned to use sign language as a means of communication. She has improved her speech with the help of speech therapy and the use of an augmentative communication device. Being around her peers at school has also contributed to the expansion of her vocabulary.

Sophia has attended Kooser Elementary School since preschool. The Kooser staff and students have provided a very welcoming and rich learning environment for Sophia. She loves seeing her friends and teachers every day!  Our family belongs to the Down Syndrome Association for Families here in Lincoln. This awesome organization has provided our family with emotional support, educational resources, many social opportunities and wonderful friendships. We are so blessed to be a part of the wonderful North American Martyrs Parish family who helps support us along our journey, strengthens our faith, and reaffirms that all life is precious. We are truly grateful to our family and friends for their generous love and support!



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