Author Archives: David TEST! Ephraim

Our ROCKIN’ Equipment – The Zip Line

Did you know that every moving part in our gym is made to encourage fun AND healthy development? Since CEO & Founder, Dina Kimmel, opened the first We Rock the Spectrum in Tarzana in 2010, our team has created a sensory-safe environment that also promotes inclusivity and enjoyment. Each piece of equipment has been chosen so that children with autism and special needs, as well as neurotypical children, can benefit. To show you just how much our gym ROCKS, we want to showcase how our equipment promotes positive growth. 

Today we are going to focus on our famous Zip Line! This high-flying piece of equipment is a great way to get your thrill seekers adrenaline going! If the daredevil life is not for your little one, the Zip Line can go at a leisurely pace and provides a comfortable place to sit as they glide. There is a safe place to land at every point along the way, but the crash pit at the end is an inviting, plush point to land.

“The Zip Line is great for the children because it’s really good at building their upper body strength and helping them with their muscle endurance,” says Fiona Kelly, owner of We Rock the Spectrum – Studio City in Los Angeles, CA, of this popular piece of equipment.

At We Rock the Spectrum Kid’s Gyms, we encourage Play With A Purpose™. The Zip Line does just that by strengthening the sense of sight, touch, hearing, proprioception, and the vestibular sense. A whopping 5 out of the 7 senses! ­

  • The sense of sight is exercised by developing long-distance vision on the Zip Line, as the eyes are forced to focus quickly on different points as we zip by. This sharpens the vision and works the optic system.  
  • Several different apparatuses can be attached to the cable on the Zip Line, but most of our Zip Lines feature the comfy, drifter swing. Children must hold onto this swing to control their movement and make it to the other end. The sense of touch is exercised by feeling around the hanging swing to find the most comfortable and secure gripping point. This also helps us strengthen the upper body.
  • Believe it or not, the sense of hearing benefits from the Zip Line as well! Similar to sight, our ears are forced to listen to our surroundings to determine how close we are to outside objects. Ultimately, this affects our body’s movement and helps us avoid obstacles.
  • The sense of proprioception benefits greatly from the Zip Line. Proprioception is the term used to describe the ability to orient our bodies to our surroundings. It allows us to move quickly and safely without having to consciously think about where we are in our surroundings. Since the Zip Line is constant movement, the brain is taught to constantly adjust our proprioception.
  • Lastly, our vestibular sense is heavily applied. With assistance from sight, hearing, and proprioception, the vestibular system helps us stay upright and balanced. Your placement on the drifter and your ability to stay on as you zip are all thanks to your vestibular system!

Kids don’t only get physical exercise on the Zip Line. They are also strengthening their mental and emotional brainpower. “It’s very good for their self-esteem because it builds confidence,” said Fiona Kelly. “They can challenge themselves. As you can see, for turn-taking, they’re learning to take their time and wait for their turn.”

The Zip Line undoubtedly stands out as one of the most popular items in our gyms. We love to see your kiddos grow and develop while also having a good time. Check out our video below to learn just how the Zip Line works and what our We Rockers have to say about it:

Fiona Kelly, the owner of We Rock the Spectrum – Studio City, explains the benefits of using the Zip Line.

We Rock the Spectrum – Placerville One Year Anniversary

Another one of our gyms has reached an important milestone – one year of ROCKIN’ with their community!

Owner, Keri McAtee, with Corporate Creative Director, Arnon.

On Saturday, September 7th, 2019, We Rock the Spectrum – Placerville celebrated their one year anniversary of opening their doors to the El Dorado community! The celebration had a great turnout from the Placerville community to support out rockstar owners, Keri and Patrick McAtee, and to celebrate all they have accomplished in the past year. Corporate Creative Director, Arnon Arad, was also in attendance supporting the owners on this exciting milestone!  

Along with full access to all of the We Rock specialized gym equipment, local We Rockers enjoyed coffee donated from Starbucks, pastries, shaved iced from Heavenly Ice, and pie from Apple Bistro. Other local vendors and restaurants that shared their awesome resources included Dickey’s Barbecue Pit, Young Living Essential Oils, Zümbini and more! Thank you to all of the ROCKIN’ donors and vendors that made the day so special.

“What a wonderful time we had today celebrating our 1 year Anniversary!” said Keri, “Thank you to all who participated, for all who donated food, to Corporate for sending my favorite team member, Arnon, and for my wonderful staff. Thank you so much to our community for all of your support.”

Keri, Patrick, and their team really showed the Placerville community the We Rock Way! Congratulations We Rock the Spectrum – Placerville on a successful, fun-filled day. We’re excited for another year of inclusion and success with you! You ROCK!    

5 Ways to Prepare Your Child for Back to School

The season is upon us! Time to swap summertime freedom with school-year schedules. This change can be overwhelming for all children. There are many things to consider: new classrooms, new teachers, new bedtimes, new supplies, etc. Fear not, We Rockers! We’ve got some tips on how to start preparing yourself and your children for all the changes that come along with a new school year.

Here are 5 ways that you can start practicing, priming, and preparing your primary student to head back to school with ease:

Visit the School

If you are able to enter the building during summer hours, give your child a tour of the new space. It will help relieve anxiety on the first day. This strategy of previewing activities and new environments is called. Hopefully, you’ll have an idea of what their daily schedule looks like a few weeks before. If so, show them the classrooms they will be in and the best route to them. The more familiar they are with the lay of the land, the smoother the first few weeks will go.

If the building is not open, it is still beneficial to show them around the schoolyard. Let them check out the school playground and show them how to use the equipment safely. Check out the equipment that we feature and see if you can find similar structures so that they are boosting their sensory development during recess!

We also encourage you to arrange a meeting with your child’s new teacher before the first day. That way they will walk in to find a familiar face. It also gives you an opportunity to speak to the teacher about any specific needs that they should be aware of.

Introduce New Routines

A few weeks or days prior, start enforcing school day and night routines. It may take a bit for your child to adjust to a new regime:

  • New Morning and Bedtime Routines
    • Earlier bedtimes will take a few days to get used to, but it is good practice to enforce the new bed and wake-up times sooner than later. It will ease the anxiety and stress of the first day.
  • Drop-off and Pick-up Procedures
    • If you are planning on taking your child to school in the mornings, familiarize them with the commute when you go visit the school. If they will be riding the school bus, show them exactly where they will be picked up and dropped off. You can also arrange to meet with the bus driver so that you can go over the rules of the bus together.

Another good practice you can add to the routine is to have a calendar countdown. Cross off the days leading up to the first day together, so they have a visual representation of how many days they have left.

Have an Energy Release Plan

Your child will be sitting still for longer than they have in quite a while after summer break. All that pent-up energy will need to go somewhere! Enroll them in some kind of after-school activity like swim lessons, gymnastics, or head to your closest We Rock for some physical activity.

Prep Them for the Unexpected

To go along with priming your child for a new environment, you should also prime them for potential situations that you may foresee being an obstacle. Introduce a social story to have your child visualize a situation before it potentially happens.

For example, say your child has misplaced their favorite sensory toy during recess, and now they are back in the classroom. Walk them through the steps of how they should react and the best way to find a solution without panicking. Have them write down the description of an event or walk through it for them visually.

Have School Supplies Ready

School supply lists can be long and overwhelming. The first day back is full of new information. The less time children have to worry about where their supplies are, the more time they’ll have to process other new information. Go over what each supply does, how to use it, when to use it, and where to find it. A great way to help organize them is by color-coding. Look at your child’s class schedule and color code their supplies by class for better organization. Don’t forget to pack their favorite sensory toy for an additional level of comfort!

School Supplies that ROCK

Want to rep some We Rock?! We’ve got awesome supplies to help you get through the school day in style.

Grocery Bag (Thermal Insulated): Need to keep your child’s favorite snack chilled? These spacious thermal insulated grocery bags are great to keep lunches fresh through the day.

Notebook (Pen and Pad Jotters): Have your child keep track of their homework and important information with WRTS notebooks. They come with a pen and pad. Available in red and blue.

Pencils: An essential item! Write in style with our red or blue WRTS No. 2 pencil

Here are a few other sensory safe supplies and products that we suggest:

Pencil Toppers: These fun pencil toppers come in a variety of patterns and are made specifically to help with focus during school. It is a safe, chewable topper that doubles as a fidget tool.

Pencil Grip: The Pencil Grip is designed to be a comfortable surface that enforces good writing habits.

Reggie Regulation Ruler: This is a ruler, fidget toy, and mood regulator all in one! The Reggie Regulation ruler is a 12” ruler that helps kids self-regulate and prompts them to let you know how they are feeling. Apart from serving as an actual ruler, it helps regulate mood and improves focus.

Squiggle Wiggle Writer: These battery-operated and vibrating pens provide sensory stimulation and help improve focus. They come in 5 different colors.

Noise Reduction Headphones: This popular sensory relief tool is a great product to keep on hand. They can block out distractions and keep kids calm.

Desktop Study Carrel: If your child gets distracted easily, this study carrel will work wonders! It is a simple solution to creating a personal workspace that visually blocks out distractions.

Fidget Backpack: This fidget backpack is a great organizational tool for kids who might be prone to misplacing sensory toys. It doubles as a backpack to keep school supplies in and also has sensory activities on the exterior.

Check out this list for more ideas of sensory-friendly supplies for your child!

We Rock the Spectrum – Greenville Grand Opening

South Carolina opened its first We Rock the Spectrum Kid’s Gym in Greenville this month! The grand opening celebration was held on Saturday, June 8th, 2019. It was a very exciting weekend for the Greenville team and community. Project Manager, Grace Covino, and Creative Director, Arnon Arad, from our Corporate team flew in to guide and attend the big event.

Chris and Kimberly Tolbert are the rockin’ new owners of this new location. They are the parents of two sons, Christopher Jr. and Kaleb. As an educator of nearly 25 years, Kimberly has taught special needs children from kindergarten to 8th grade, as well as at the collegiate level. She has multiple teaching certifications in Special Education/Multicategorical and Early Childhood Education. Christopher has spent the past 19 years in marketing and sales roles. He has numerous credentials in business management, diversity, collaboration and corporate business practices.

Their combined experience in education and business is a recipe for success! They have brought a vibrant and inclusive gym to their community with their goal of providing a safe space for children of ALL abilities to play with a purpose. Based on their opening day, we think that they will have no problem reaching and exceeding this goal!

“Wow, what a weekend! Two birthdays, a grand opening, and a live interview this morning at 5 am! Thank you to Dina, Grace, Arnon, Shane, Dana, Gail, Tyler, and ATAK for all the support! South Carolina is in the house!” Kimberly wrote in an enthusiastic Facebook post following the event. Children and their families were treated to lots of food and resources from local businesses while checking out all the sensory-safe equipment that We Rock specially offers.

In addition to celebrating the opening of their new gym, both Chris and Kimberly celebrated their birthdays a few days before on the 7th. FOX Carolina and WSPA 7 News featured our new owners and the gym. We Rock the Spectrum – Greenville has already proven to be a big hit in the community.

Congratulations to Chris & Kimberly Tolbert and the new WRTS – Greenville on an amazing opening day! We can’t wait to see you continue to ROCK!

We Rock the Spectrum – Severna Park: Developmental Resource Fair

This past Saturday, April 27th, We Rock the Spectrum – Severna Park hosted a Developmental Resource Fair for the community to welcome their new owners, Octavia and Devon Brown. These rockstar owners share a passion for serving the community. Octavia is a social worker that has dedicated the past 12 years of her life working to encourage, empower, and uplift the under-served. Devon is an entrepreneur and believes that business is more than just about making money and that it should be used to give back. Their combined experience and desire to make a difference make them the perfect addition to the WRTS family!

Along with access to the daily gym equipment, there was face painting and a petting zoo for children and their families. Vendors like Turning Point Applied Behavioral Analysis, Hope Chiropractic & Wellness, Young Living Essential Oils and Therapy Solutions for Children were on display to share their awesome resources. The support from the Severna Park community didn’t stop there! Local restaurants also joined in on this special day by donating delicious food for We Rockers to enjoy.

Octavia, Devon, and their team really showed us the We Rock way! Congratulations to all involved on a successful, fun-filled day. We’re excited to watch your gym continue to grow. Keep ROCKIN’! 

We Rock the Spectrum – Williamsburg: Meet the New Owner

This past Saturday, April 6th, We Rock the Spectrum – Williamsburg hosted a Meet the New Owner celebration to welcome Kimberly Moore to the WRTS family. Kimberly is an autism mother born and raised in Williamsburg, VA. Prior to owning the We Rock gym, she managed two local hotels. Her son, Aiden, was diagnosed with ASD when he was 4 years old. We Rock the Spectrum has provided a comfortable and safe space for her son to discover, learn and play.

“[We Rock the Spectrum] is a place where parents can come together and talk about the struggles, the challenge of finding adequate services, and the developmental breakthroughs.”

Kimberly and her team showed the community just how committed they are to providing a safe and fun place for ALL children. Not only did they show off their awesome space and their ROCKIN’ sensory-safe equipment, but they also provided face painting and arts & crafts. The James City County Police also stopped by to join in the fun. They made child I.D.’s for our We Rockers and supported the gym by handing out Autism Awareness stickers. Congratulations to Kimberly, Aiden, and their ROCKIN’ team on a successful celebration day. We are so excited to have them join the We Rock the Spectrum family and look forward to all of the amazing things that they will do for the Williamsburg community. 

ZOOZ Fitness Opens First Gym in Encino, CA

One of the greatest challenges that individuals with special needs face is a lack of fitness programs and gyms. They are not provided with the necessary equipment or physical activity needed to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Thankfully, a new gym designed especially for individuals with disabilities has made its debut in Los Angeles, CA! The ZOOZ Fitness studio in Encino opened its door on Sunday, March 10th. It is sure to make huge strides for the special needs community. We Rock the Spectrum is excited to support and welcome ZOOZ Fitness to SoCal!

“Our grand opening was a huge success! The amount of love, support, and excitement we received was more than I could have ever expected. It was incredible to see how many of our current athletes as well as prospective athletes, and their families came out on Sunday,” says owner and founder, Jake Weiner. “I am confident, now more than ever, that what we are trying to create with our new gym space can be achieved – an adaptive, inclusive, and active space that creates opportunities for individuals of ALL abilities!”

Most fitness programs and gyms are not set up to accommodate individuals with special needs. That’s where Jake Weiner stepped in. ZOOZ Fitness began when Jake noticed there was a great need for exercise opportunities for those that need an extra push or support. Many individuals with special needs are developing sedentary habits, gaining weight, and not participating in movement-related activities. With all of these factors in mind, Jake created a space where those with special needs could stay active and learn about the importance of movement in daily life.

ZOOZ Fitness’ newest space is a 2,500 square foot training studio where opportunities are created and challenges are welcomed! This new training facility provides a space for our athletes to start new classes such as yoga, self-defense, and circuit style training. It also encourages confidence and builds strength! It is functional in its design. All the equipment can be moved around to better support each athlete that trains at the gym. It has rubber and turf flooring that provides a safe training surface.      

We Rock the Spectrum CEO & Founder, Dina Kimmel, attended the event along with her family. Dina met Jake at a resource fair over 4 years ago. After speaking with him and seeing the amazing work that he did, she insisted that he work with her son, Gabriel. Shortly after Gabriel began training with Jake, he immediately demonstrated improved gross motor skills and strength.

“As I pulled up to this amazing space on Ventura and White Oak, my eyes filled with tears and I thought once again just how ‘meant to be’ life can be!” said Kimmel.

We Rock the Spectrum is proud to support Jake and his amazing vision! For more information on ZOOZ Fitness and the amazing things that Jake and his team are doing, you can visit their website at www.zoozfitness.com, or check out their Facebook. 

We Rock the Spectrum – Let’s ROCK Australia!

The We Rock the Spectrum International family is about to get quite a bit bigger across the pond! It has been an incredibly successful few months for our Australian franchise and we will be welcoming 4 new gyms in the land down under. Sally Johnson of the WRTS Corporate Australian office is on the team that brought the We Rock the Spectrum brand to Australia in 2018:

“We had a hunch that the WRTS concept would be well received national in Australia, but we admit to being completely blown away by the support and interest the brand received,” says Johnson. “It is a hugely exciting time and we are so pleased that more communities around the country will soon have access to our sensory-beneficial play spaces.”

Sally and her brother, Marcus, will be working hands-on with all of these upcoming gyms. Let’s introduce you to our new locations and the awesome new gym owners that will be joining the family!

We Rock the Spectrum – Wollongong NSW

Wollongong, often referred to informally as “The Gong”, is a beautiful coastal town in New South Wales. It lies on a narrow strip of land between the Illawarra Escarpment and the Pacific Ocean.  It is a gorgeous beach destination with plenty of good eats and beautiful scenery. It is the third largest city in New South Wales, and the tenth largest in Australia.

Hellen and Shane Walton will be the new owners of We Rock the Spectrum – Wollongong NSW. They are parents to an awesome 6 year old, Ethan. When Ethan was 2 years old, he was diagnosed with level 2 ASD and GDD. They made the conscious decision to dedicate their lives to Ethan’s ongoing development and prosperity.

Their combined experience in the Finance and Project Management fields has prepared them for property development, event management, aged care, and retail. They are excited to promote love, acceptance and inclusion in the community. Hellen and Shane are going to ROCK as owners at this beautiful location!

We Rock the Spectrum – Sydney West NSW

The Western region of Sydney is our next destination on the map. Sydney, Australia is the largest city in the capital of New South Wales and is the most populous city in Australia. It is divided into multiple regions. Sydney West is considered to be one of the most crucial political regions and is home to many sports team. There’s lots going on here and we are ready to be a part of it!

Maritza and Luis Aguirre will be taking on the exciting mission of bringing We Rock the Spectrum to the Sydney West community. Their daughter was diagnosed with Autism and they have been searching for a place where she feels like she belongs. We Rock the Spectrum provided that space. They are excited to give other families and their children a place to call their own. We Rock the Spectrum – Sydney West NSW is already off to a fantastic start.

We Rock the Spectrum – Geelong VIC

Just below New South Wales in the state of Victoria is our next gym location in Geelong. It is the second largest city in the state and southwest of the state capital, Melbourne. It is often referred to as the “Gateway City” because of its central location in the Victorian region. It’s growing reputation as a health and education hub will be an awesome environment for We Rock to make an impact!

Danni and Minh Gazzara are the amazing couple that are enthusiastic and ready to take on this project. They are the proud parents of 3 kids: Caitlin, Pax, and Coco. Their son, Pax, was diagnosed with Autism at the age of 5. His difficulties in play sensory problems and social skills were recognized early in his life by his day care educators. They took it upon themselves to learn as much as they could about their son’s Autism by attending information sessions, therapy classes, sensory programs, and consulting other parents.

When they were introduced to We Rock the Spectrum, they knew that it would be a rewarding project for their family and to offer to the community. They are excited to offer a space for families to come for play, relaxation, fun, and sense of belonging.

We Rock the Spectrum – Moorabbin VIC

Just down the road in the state of Victoria is our next stop, Moorabbin. Moorabbin is a suburban community that is south-east of the capital of Melbourne. It is a residential and industrial region. We are in the very early stages of development for this gym but the responses have been overwhelming! The families of Moorabbin are excited to have the We Rock gym in their community.

Rebecca Mercuri and Lisa Thomasson are already powerhouse owners! They are both kind, welcoming, and understanding mums who want to meet the needs of the children and their families in their community. Rebecca has been in secondary teaching for 17 years and has two sons. Her youngest has Fragile X Syndrome. Since his diagnosis, she has dedicated her time to his care. She has a strong passion for true integration. Lisa has a large blended family with 5 children, all of whom are on the spectrum. She has 20 years nursing experience and is passionate about meeting Autism needs into a career.

Rebecca and Lisa met when their sons were 2 years old and entering into occasional care. Over the past 6 years they have built a friendship based on coffee, Lisa’s “bad” cooking, tears, laughter, more tears, early intervention, therapy, and supporting each other. They are excited to bring a very much needed inclusive play space to Moorabbin.


CEO and Founder of We Rock the Spectrum Kid’s Gym, Dina Kimmel, is looking forward to all of this international progress! “I always knew Australia was in great need of services and support for the special needs community. After launching our first gym in Preston, there have been hundreds of inquiries to open up in this beautiful country,” says Kimmel. “It’s been an overwhelming response. To be able to work with families of like-minded individuals who follow the same passion that I have continues to be my inspiration to open a WRTS wherever is needed.”

Congratulations to Dina, Sally and Marcus, and all of our new gym owners! We can’t wait for the We Rock family to keep growing all around the world.

We Rock the Spectrum – Oakville, Ontario Grand Opening

On Saturday, March 2nd, 2019, We Rock the Spectrum celebrated the grand opening of our first Canadian gym, We Rock the Spectrum – Oakville! Our CEO & Founder, Dina Kimmel, flew in for the big event.

Tatiana and Boris Korosec are the amazing new owners of this newest location. They are parents to two awesome boys, Maxim & Aleks. Both boys are diagnosed on the Spectrum. Tatiana and Boris have made it a priority to spread awareness and to support other Autism parents. They heard about all the great work that We Rock was doing in America and knew they HAD to bring the franchise to Canada!

Dina Kimmel and Grace Covino made the trip to Canada from our Corporate office two days prior to opening. Their guidance and help with setting up the gym was invaluable! This gym is the biggest We Rock gym in square footage so far. Dina gave it the prize of “most ready to open its doors”!

The day was a success with local businesses and vendors providing entertainment and resources for the Oakville community. There was an amazing turn out for the event. With the Korosec’s in charge and Dina there to represent, Oakville really experienced the full effect of the We Rock way!

“We want to help as many kids as possible play and develop in a safe and comfortable environment,” says Tatiana. And she has done just that by providing this wonderful space for children and families of ALL abilities! Congratulations to the Korosec family on a ROCKIN’ grand opening!

6 Sports for Children With ASD to Try

There are countless benefits to getting involved in sports at a young age. Kids learn invaluable skills like coordination, communication problem-solving, and encourages a healthy lifestyle! However, we understand that these skills may not come as easily to children who are on the spectrum. The core features of ASD effect social, communicative, coordinative and behavioral skills, which are heavily relied on for many team sports.

Sports that require an advanced amount of communication and coordination can cause sensory overload and make it potentially difficult for kids diagnosed with autism to find the enjoyment that their typically developing peers do. This doesn’t mean that they should miss out on the chance to get involved! While there are sports that may not be suitable for children on the spectrum, we’ve compiled a list of six sports that have been proven to be a good fit for children with ASD:  

Swimming

Learning to swim is an extremely valuable skill for all children to know and translates into a great team sport as well. It is considered a very therapeutic activity and teaches kids the repetitive motions of different strokes and how to stay afloat. Becoming part of a swim team may seem like a frightening endeavor at first, but this sport allows children to compete on their own terms and improve at their own pace.

Swimming has been known to improve coordination, social skills, self-esteem, and cognitive skills that they can use for the rest of their lives. Read more about other personal experiences and programs available here!

Track & Field

Similar to being part of a swim team, track & field teams give kids the choice to socialize with teammates if they would like to, but it is not necessary to succeed. Accomplishments are made at an individual level. There is always the option to participate in relay teams where athletes can work together towards a common goal. 

Running is one of the best full body workouts and is especially helpful in combating diabetes and obesity, common concerns for those diagnosed with autism. Some of the most important long-term benefits that track & field will provide for your child are a decrease in self-stimulatory behavior, decrease in aggression, and an outlet to burn off any built up tension and energy.

Biking

For children of all levels and abilities, learning to ride a bike is a great way to learn balance, independence, and stamina. While the stresses of learning to ride can be especially heightened for children on the spectrum, there are plenty of resources that have great tips and ideas on how to make it a little easier. Check out howtolearn.com’s suggestions!

Once your child learns to balance and ride on their own, cycling provides many awesome physical and mental benefits! The necessity for constant motion strengthens leg and core muscles, fine-tune’s motor skills, and teaches balance. Additionally, kids will learn the value of determination and how to succeed on their own.

Bowling

For kids that are not quite ready to commit to a team sport but may eventually want to, bowling is a sport that will ease them into an athletic social setting! It is an easy sport to teach and learn. The repetitive action of rolling the ball down the lane and watching the pins fall is often a very rewarding result and kids enjoy the celebration when they get their first strike! Kids will learn the importance of patience, as they are required to wait for others to go before they can have their turn.

Bowling is known to improve social, coordination, and behavioral skills. Since the bowling alley is normally a loud environment, parents do not have to worry as much about their own child’s noise levels. However, the noise and light levels may be a challenge for some children. 

Martial Arts

Martial Arts is one of the most highly recommended sports for children with ASD. The repetition and movements required to learn it are a great way to keep children healthy in both body and mind. The mental drills that are taught combat stress and anxiety and a calm demeanor is often encouraged during sessions. 

Kids are taught the value of structure and discipline. While this sport does put children in contact with others, it begins with one-on-one training by a professional until they reach an advanced level. By putting them in competition with themselves to remember the right movements and hit the right spots, they are developing invaluable mental and physical skills.

Horseback Riding

Though this sport tends to be on the pricier side, horseback riding is considered to be extremely therapeutic. Even those with high-functioning autism have been known to excel at this activity. Horses and their handlers, who are specifically trained for this type of sport, calm riders, encourage them to focus on every moment and movement, and to accept the training process. Additionally, children learn how to care for the horse and develop connections with the animals.

The We Rock the Spectrum Kid’s Gym is also here to help kids of all levels and all abilities stay active! Our specially designed sensory equipment encourages many valuable life skills, such as motor control, upper and lower body strength, and socialization. There are 10 pieces of specially designed sensory equipment at our gyms: the zip line, zip box and slide, crash pit, trampoline, tunnel, carpet swing, hammock swing, climbing structure, bolster swing, and swivel rotators and carabiners with webbing. In addition to these, many gyms include rock walls and various fun activities to create a healthy and fun environment. You can find our all inclusive spaces at 70+ locations across the U.S. and the world.

Choosing the right sport for your child can be a daunting task,. The most important thing to consider when choosing a sport is how much your child will enjoy and grow from the experience.The sports listed above are all great starts to get your child involved in an active and healthy lifestyle. Remember that ultimately, sports are meant to be a fun activity! 

Resources:

https://www.verywellhealth.com/best-sports-for-kids-with-autism-260157

https://myasdf.org/site/our-programs/swim-lessons/

https://www.howtolearn.com/2012/07/teaching-a-child-with-autism-how-to-ride-a-bike/

https://bethebestsport.org/why-track-field-can-be-good-for-autistic-children/

https://bethebestsport.org/benefits-of-bike-riding-for-children-with-special-needs/

https://kidmunicate.com/autism-bowling-social-story/

https://www.autismspeaks.org/expert-opinion/horseback-riding-autism-therapy