A life rich with ideas
He’s beloved by the staff at Allegany’s Lifeskills. It could be that he’s a delightful philosopher, a deep thinker with a dry wit.
While Tim Barber lives with some challenges, his support within the agency helps him find ways to live his life the way he wants it to be.
“We want people to feel engaged and empowered,” Kim Baker Behavioral Health Services Manager and Tim’s advocate, said.
“We help people identify their strengths, and then, to apply those strengths to their interests.”
Tim is interested in history, sports, science and politics. Today he talks about his interest in spelling. Since he favors the Buffalo Sabres, he readily launches into a thought provoking conversation about winning and losing in sports contests and why that elicits such a strong response from fans.
“So, if you’re winning or losing the game, you’re probably thinking, ‘why am I losing or winning?’ he said, rhetorically, inviting a deeper conversation around the merits of both. He also has an informed opinion about the current high test presidential campaign.
“Tim definitely enjoys a good conversation.” Kim said.
Tim reminisces about time spent with his biological family as well as his ReHab family. He talks about his friend Tracy Burnett whom he has known for a very long time. They know each other from time at the Hinsdale IRA and she now spends time with him at Lifeskills.
She is as much a part of his life as she is an integral part of this service. Tracy knows things about Tim that helps to support his quality of life.
“She pays attention to the things that make a difference to Tim. Sometimes it’s the little things, like making sure Tim gets a cup of coffee when he arrives in the morning,” Kim Said.
“I like decaf with sugar and cream. It’s the best thing,” Tim said, smiling as he holds up his cup of coffee.
Today, Tim lives at the Agency’s Hinsdale IRA and commutes by bus to Allegany for Lifeskills, which he enjoys.
“For me, this is really special. We come here every day on the bus,” he said. “They give me the opportunity to learn about the things that are interesting to me.” Those interests are wide and diverse.
The Lifeskills’ staff help Tim discover what he likes best, explore his skills, and express himself more eloquently to support his curiosity and maximize his potential.
“They’ll give you an idea and words to imagine. If I could just write it down,” he said. Tim’s philosophy is quite simply, “if it’s fun, I learn it best.”