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Diverse Abilities – Deme Hodges

Tell Us What You Do

We offer weekend community outings and socialization for teens and adults with special needs while providing respite for caregivers. When you sign up with us, you get eight hours of respite, and your teen or adult with diverse abilities gets eight hours of fun!

We Go Where the Fun Is

Our community inclusion and socialization outings are designed to give our participants a sense of independence from their caregivers, parents, and guardians, to be free to make their own memories and build friendship in their own unique way. All of our participants receive supervision and care from trained staff. We like to call our staff, “the fun staff!” Our staff plays, laughs, jokes, and they are focused on creating memorable times with your loved one. We know how limited life can be for some individuals with special needs, and we want to give teens and adults with diverse abilities the opportunity to see new places and explore new things with friends face-to-face.

But Wait – There’s More

We also work on life skill goals such as cooking, sportsmanship, as we cook together and play adaptive sports when we arrive back to our meeting place. We also work on HCS and parent-requested goals. Our owner and trainer has over 13 years as a special education teacher and holds a Master’s degree in education, so we are well-prepared to work with you and your diverse learner. We like to keep our fees minimal at $95.00 for eight hours of fun and respite for families.

Call and speak with Deme at 972-322-1006 for more information.

Tell Us Your Story and How You Got Started

Truth is – I love individuals with special needs. I have ever since I was in college. I knew I wanted to be a special education teacher. I know diverse learners are some of the best people on this planet. I think they have beautiful smiles and incredible perseverance. They have to work at least twice as hard as other kids to get to the same place. Some of them never get there, but that’s okay too, as long as they find their own place in this world.

As a special education teacher, I believe parents of children with special needs are worthy of praise and respect just for getting up every morning and putting one foot in front of the other. Unless you have been through this yourself, there is no way you can understand what they go through on a regular basis.

I know parents who have multiple doctors, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, parent-teacher conferences, IEP (Individual Educational Plan) meetings, and sometimes surgery(s) to name just a few. Many times the news isn’t positive and parents walk away very discouraged. Yet most of these parents learn to see the positive and celebrate the progress their child does make. I respect this and feel they are the true unsung heroes in our time.

I know through countless talks with my former parents being a parent of a child with special needs can be isolating. There just isn’t time in the schedule to socialize. Additionally, many times it is hard to get a sitter who works well with their child. I’ve seen and recommended respite to many of parents.

And one day it occurred to me, “Deme, why don’t you be the solution to this challenge?” Not just for parents but for individuals with special needs that are limited in their socialization and community outings opportunity with friends. So begins the birth of Diverse Abilities Weekend Respite & Fun!

GET RESOURCES FOR SPECIAL NEEDS

If Someone Was Considering Your Diverse Abilities Services, What Would You Want Them to Know?

Here at Diverse Abilities, we have read the research and seen firsthand how being a caregiver to an individual with special needs can be a cause strain and stress on the caregivers(s). We want to be a solution to this challenge for both the caregiver and individual with special needs. Respite is important for caregivers according to an article we read entitled: Caregiving in the U.S. 2009 – A Focused Look at Caregivers of Children.

“Physical strain from caregiving is more common among caregivers of children with special needs (64%) than it is among those caring for adults (55%). However, only 17% face a high level of strain (4 to 5 on a 5-point scale). Emotional stress levels are similar for caregivers of children and adults. One-third of caregivers caring for a child consider their caregiving situation to be emotionally stressful (34% rating stress 4 to 5 on a 5-point scale), about the same proportion indicate little to no stress (37% rating 1 to 2). Another 28% rate their emotional stress level as moderate.

Majorities of caregivers of children with special needs report that caregiving has affected their social and financial well-being. Six out of ten caregivers of children (60%) say their caregiving limits the amount of time they spend with other family and friends. In addition, caregivers of children are more likely to feel at least some financial hardship as a result of caring for their loved one than their counterparts who care for an adult, and twice as likely to feel strong financial hardship.”

We are here to help you.


Special Strong provides nutrition and adapted fitness for special needs children, adolescents, and adults with autism, Down syndrome, and other disabilities. Through our online training platform, we also provide special needs fitness certification courses for educators, professionals, and parents who want to learn how to adapt fitness to serve the special needs population.

GET RESOURCES FOR SPECIAL NEEDS