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Down Syndrome Awareness Month: Student Spotlight on Tim!

"October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month, a chance to spread awareness.  During the month of October, we celebrate people with Down syndrome and make people aware of our abilities and accomplishments.  It’s not about celebrating disabilities, it’s about celebrating abilities." -NDSS

Image of Tim Daniels, wearing a coral-colored polo shirt with white horizontal stripes, offers a closed-lips smile as he sits in a green armchair.

Today we're celebrating the many skills and talents of Tim-- a second year student who commutes from his home in Northampton to BHMA for day programming. Following a very successful first year, he continues to make positive gains as he embarks on year two of the Two-Year Transition Program. Classes where staff have observed marked improvement include cooking and money management. Tim's sister, Leigh, who also joined the BHMA community last year as an assistant life skills instructor after graduating from UMass Amherst, believes that this growth is due in large part to the incorporation of assistive technology- noting that the device-based applications used have been transformative to his learning experience. Additionally, the friendly, nurturing environment and infusion of music and dance in his days are key. Life skills teacher Karen Morison, who has worked alongside Tim in cooking classes and at his first year vocational internship sites, remarked that "Tim works kindly and collaboratively with his peers. He loves helping others and takes a lot of pride in his accomplishments."

Image of Tim Daniels, wearing a blue polo shirt, spraying the a window with a cleaning solution; Jordan Caira, wearing a bright yellow polo shirt and performing a similar activity, is visible in the background.

Tim is excelling in his second year Music & Human Service group, where he's learning hand percussion, honing his vocal abilities, and building his social skills at work. Speech cadence and enunciation are central themes in his weekly rhythm lesson with music therapist, Andy Anderson, who says, "Tim is highly engaged in creative and artistic endeavors. He is a joy to collaborate with." Tim is also a fantastic dancer who looks forward to his weekly lesson with instructor, MaryAnn Holmes. In his free time, Tim loves hiking with his family, playing video and board games, and watching his favorite TV show, Glee. 

We're happy to have you in the BHMA community, Tim! Keep up the great work!


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