New Gym Works to Help Individuals with Autism
One special local gym is designed to help children with autism spectrum and other processing disorders. While the facility is inclusive to all children, it focuses on those with sensory disorders, which makes up approximately 50 percent its customers — a gym for all that provides a safe space for families.
Rock the Spectrum gym believes every child needs play time, and whether it be singing, jumping or even arts and crafts, sensory-based play is an invaluable learning outlet for all kids — some react to noise and others to tactile senses, but exposure acts as an integral bridge to identifying what works and what doesn’t for each unique circumstance.
The company was founded in Tarzana, California, by a mother named Dina Kimmel. Kimmel’s son was diagnosed with autism, and she had a difficult time finding playgrounds and gyms where he fit in. Kimmel’s first We Rock the Spectrum was in her home. From that initial foray, facilities now operate throughout the country, from California, down to Florida and recently right here in Buffalo, New York. They combine learning with fun and provide a myriad of tactile interaction designed to improve sensory deficits, including:
- Suspended equipment with swings – for balance and vestibular treatment
- Crash mats and crash pillows – for fun, motor planning, and strength
- Zip line – for stress release and joint and body relaxation
- Trampoline – for building leg and core strength
- Indoor play structure – for climbing and increasing playground skills
- Sensory-based toys – for improved auditory processing and fine motor skills
- Fine Motor and Arts and Crafts Area – for improved hand-eye coordination
Additionally, the gyms double as workforce training for Occupational Therapy students, as OT skills work perfectly in facilities that cater to all abilities and working with developmental disabilities provides mutual benefits. Some locations even team up with local life skills programs to work on and develop skills from cleaning to communicating with the goals of cultivating independency — a concern that many families of autistic individuals have in common We at Aspire know that supporting community services for the developmentally disabled plays an important role in creating a landscape that champions perseverance and finding avenues that foster learning works hand-in-hand with identifying and assisting placement of developmental disabilities jobs in Buffalo.
Though every piece of equipment set up inside a Rock the Spectrum gym could be enjoyed by any child, each was designed to help overcome the challenges that young people with autism experience. Where a traditional playground might be overwhelming, children on the autism spectrum can more fully enjoy playing and trying something new while safely exploring a new environment at their own pace.
commAspire of WNY is proud of our reputation for championing individuals with developmental disabilities. From cultivating community services for the developmentally disabled to focused efforts on Autism services in Buffalo, NY, achieving goals is our mission and we believe anything can be accomplished, together.