High Rise Day Hab Center in Cedar Hill Lifting Spirits

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High Rise Day Habilitation Center Executive Director Jessica Crayton (right) enjoys a timeout with High Rise participant Sumer. The facility is a day hab for adults with developmental disabilities. Photo by Juliana Cantu

You could call High Rise Day Habilitation Center an exceptional place for adults with exceptional needs.

High Rise is a day habilitation center for adults with developmental disabilities. Their mission is to provide day-to-day support and services to adults with developmental and intellectual challenges. High Rise offers a safe and nurturing environment for adults, along with providing their caregivers with substructure and resources.

“It has been a dream to open a day habilitation center,” said Executive Director Jessica Crayton. “We knew there was a need outside of the school system for individuals with disabilities. We wanted to provide a place for adults with exceptional needs to continue their academics, improve their social skills, and focus on daily living skills, which will guide them more towards independence.

“In our area there are not a lot of places that offer services to individuals with disabilities. Having this day habilitation center has opened up new opportunities for families in the special education community.”

Participants at the High Rise Day Habilitation Center in Cedar Hill enjoy arts and crafts, along with recreational time on the playground. High Rise is a day hab for adults with developmental disabilities.
Photo courtesy of High Rise Adult Day Hab

High Rise is associated with First United Methodist Church in Cedar Hill. The adults who attend High Rise range from age 18 and up. However, they do offer special programs during the holidays and a summer camp for ages 12 and up through middle school.

Among the abilities they serve are:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Asperger’s Syndrome
  • Down Syndrome
  • Intellectual disability
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Visually impaired
  • Hearing impaired
  • Celery Palsy
  • Other health impairments

“At the First United Methodist Church of Cedar Hill, we are always looking out for ways to minister and support our community. High Rise Day Habilitation was one of those unique ministries that met a need that was very important,” said Dr. Keva Green, lead pastor at the church. “Those precious students at High Rise are in a safe, learning environment. They are dearly loved and well cared for by the staff. Our church is definitely proud of this ministry and is honored to help support it.”

Crayton is quick to point out that while High Rise does provide caregivers with some much-needed time of their own, or a safe place to leave their loved one while going to work, shopping, etc., it is not a day care.

“High Rise gives adults access to positive lifelong friendships with their peers and opportunities to be included in the community,” she said. “Some of these individuals have been going to the same school and in the same placement since they were in elementary school. After graduating high school these adults are now a part of High Rise where they continue to socialize and build new skills as they become more independent.”

Crayton also believes High Rise gives caregivers a “breath of air.”

photos courtesy of High Rise Adult Day Hab

“They know their adult is safe, learning and growing towards independence under the care of professionals that are highly experienced and qualified to teach adults with disabilities. It is truly a blessing to give our caregivers those services,” she said.

High currently has 15 adults who attend.

Among the services they receive throughout the week are:

  • Functional academics.
  • Daily living skills/life skills.
  • Social/communication skills.
  •  Pre-vocational job training.
  • Art therapy.
  • Music therapy.
  • Community outings/inclusion.
  • Sensory integration.

Plus, it’s just plain fun to come to and be with friends, several noted.

“I like the zoo animals that came to visit here,” said Justin, age 32.

Jeanna, age 39 said, “I like to be here helping people, and I made a lot of new friends here.”

“I enjoy doing circle time every morning with my friends and doing lessons,” said Mitchell, age 25.

High Rise is open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Cost to attend is $185 per week, and some adults who receive day hab federal funding are granted daily or hourly rates that help with payments.

Families can also schedule a trial day to see if High Rise is a fit for the individual and their family.

“We want our community to know who we are, what we provide and where we are located,” Crayton said. “Our facility is looking to grow in many ways, from adding more skilled professionals to creating more events and opportunities for individuals with disabilities.”

To find out more, visit https://www.highrisedayhab.org

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Rick Mauch is a veteran of more than four decades in the media. He began writing in high school and immediately went into broadcasting for almost a decade after graduating, working his way to morning drive in Birmingham, Alabama. However, realizing how much he missed writing (though he did continue to do some during his time in top-40 radio), Rick returned to what he loved and has been doing it ever since. Rick's career has spanned a plethora of media outlets, including community journalism, sports, entertainment, politics and more. He's worked in print, broadcast and online media. He also spent several years doing public relations for a children's home in East Texas - still writing on the side, of course. When he's not writing, Rick loves to play golf and do Bigfoot research. He's an avid believer. He also made his first hole-in-one in June of 2020. Rick is married to Junell Mauch. They have five children and two granddaughters

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