Category Archives: Why We Rock

Check out what makes We Rock the Spectrum, well, ROCK! Learn about our classes, camps, birthday parties, special services, and more!

How Warrior Moms and Dads Became Successful Entrepreneurs

When I began the first We Rock the Spectrum, it came from a place of need. My son needed a place that would continue the amazing work he was doing with his occupational therapist. He needed sensory play almost every day. I thought others in our community may share the same need, and I opened up our first gym in Tarzana, California in 2010. About four years into our journey, I realized that this need was bigger than I had imagined. It wasn’t just local, or national, it was global. That’s when I decided to franchise We Rock the Spectrum. Like any new venture, I did not know what to expect when making this move, but my hope was that there were people like me, motivated entrepreneurs, who were at a loss of what they could do professionally while caring for their children on the autism spectrum, who needed We Rock the same way I did years earlier. My intuition was right, and since my …

We Rock the Spectrum Is Expanding to Australia!

We’re so excited to announce that We Rock the Spectrum is opening in our 5th country… Australia! Let’s get to know Sally Johnson, our new international owner! After Sally and her husband’s son, Digby, was diagnosed with autism and ADHD at the age of two, she dreamed of an inclusive place that she could take him where he could play freely on suitable sensory equipment and where she could meet families on a similar journey. Many years later, she learned that such a place existed – We Rock the Spectrum – but that there were none in Australia. Sally reached out to fellow autism mum and WRTS founder, Dina Kimmel, and the concept for We Rock the Spectrum — Australia was born! With an extensive background in marketing and brand management and deep routes in the Australian autism acceptance community, Sally is hugely passionate about bringing the We Rock concept to Australia. “Within my own community, I see the desire families have to connect with …

Welcome New Corporate Team Member: Shane Stahl

We are proud to announce the newest member of our West Coast Corporate Team, Shane Stahl! He will serve the role of Tech Specialist for We Rock the Spectrum. Shane was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley. He attended Van Nuys High School and received his degree in Business Economics from UC Irvine. Shane has always had a knack for technology. In college, he developed a love for marketing and refined his passion during his internship with a digital marketing agency. Upon graduating from UC Irvine, he decided to combine his passions of technology and marketing by taking the role as the in-house Tech Specialist at the We Rock the Spectrum Corporate Office. He has become an integral part in assisting owners in accomplishing their marketing goals. Shane has experienced firsthand the benefits of inclusion while attending CHIME Charter Elementary School, a model inclusion school in Southern California. During his time at CHIME Charter, he made many life-long friends some of which were …

Thank You for Attending the Rockin’ Resource Fair!

Over the weekend, we held our very first Rockin’ Resource Fair! The event was an amazing success and we’d like to thank everyone who came out and made it possible. The fair hosted more than 30 resource vendors from around Southern California who came with every kind of resource that our local families could need — from educational materials to legal services to clothing for special needs individuals. Fair attendees were also treated to delicious food from Dogtown Dogs, Matt’s Coffee Express, the Grilled Cheese Truck, and more. And to keep the crowds singing and dancing all day long, the Conductors and Orlando Boom from Orlando Boom’s Drum Circle kept it rockin’. Needless to say, every single one of these organizations ROCK. Holding our entire fair together were our awesome volunteers who greeted guests, assisted the kids on the sensory equipment, and connected parents with the valuable resources that they needed. Most importantly, we wanted to show our appreciation for you, We Rockers, for coming …

We Rock the Spectrum Will Open in Dubai in the Fall of 2017

Los Angeles, CA – June 1st, 2017: We Rock the Spectrum, an international children’s gym franchise, announces its expansion into Dubai and Saudi Arabia. A little less than two and a half years ago, a mother from California decided to franchise her business that was designed to provide an inclusive play area for children of all abilities. When Dina Kimmel’s son, Gabriel, was diagnosed with autism at the age of two, she personally saw the lack of places available that she could take Gabriel and his neurotypical sister, Sophia. This led her to create a gym that features sensory-safe play equipment and welcomes all kids, no matter their ability. Today, there are more than 69 locations across the world, including the first international location, which opened in Malaysia in December of 2016. “We Rock the Spectrum aims to be a leader in inclusion worldwide. After meeting Dr. Nashila Jaffer, the master franchisee for Dubai and Saudi Arabia, we recognized she shared the same beliefs and knew …

Progressive Employment: Hiring Individuals with Special Needs

At We Rock the Spectrum, the philosophy of full inclusion resonates throughout every aspect of our business — from our gyms across the world to our corporate offices. Our mission is to ensure that everyone feels welcomed and accepted. This is why progressive employment is an important part of our company. We emphasize to all our gym owners the importance of hiring individuals with special needs. “We Rock the Spectrum only starts in the gym,” says CEO and Founder Dina Kimmel, “it then goes onto progressive employment, to donating swings to different countries for children in need, and further on. When we interview potential franchise candidates, we let them know that they must be on board with creating positions for adults with special needs — whether it’s volunteer or employment. The unemployment rate for workers with disabilities is two times that of neurotypical and able-bodied workers. Not only does this further the marginalization of individuals with special needs, but it puts businesses at a disadvantage …

Malaysia Grand Opening a Huge Success!

On December 22nd, 2016, We Rock the Spectrum opened its first international location in Ara Damansara, Malaysia. This was the first gym to open outside of the continental United States. CEO and Founder, Dina Kimmel, attended the grand opening with her family. Rahmah Mahmood, Nori Abdullah, and Hana Jamaluddin, the owners of We Rock the Spectrum – Malaysia, were also in attendance along with the Minister of Youth and Sports, Khairy Jamaluddin and the Former Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. We Rock the Spectrum’s journey to Malaysia was filled with countless blessings and meant-to-be moments. Through a series of serendipitous events, We Rock the Spectrum – Ara Damansara took the brand Dina Kimmel built seven years prior — and her mission — global.   It started in the summer of 2015, when Khairy Jamaluddin attended the Special Olympics in Los Angeles, California with his wife and three boys. During their downtime, he was looking for a place to take his children to play nearby. That’s when a simple Google …

Introducing the We Rock the Spectrum Franchise’s School’s Out Program

At We Rock the Spectrum, our mission is to create environments worldwide that are inclusive, safe, and beneficial for all. We work to create places where children can play and learn together. That is why we provide services that cater to children of all abilities. For many parents of neurotypical children, they have multiple options of places where they can take their kids when school is not in session: daycares, after-school programs, summer camps. Unfortunately for parents who have children with special needs, there is a lack of resources available for them to take their children. That’s why we developed our School’s Out Program at We Rock the Spectrum — so that all families have a place to take their children. This program is designed to cater to children of all abilities. We do not turn parents or children away because of behavioral issues. We work to create inclusive environments that promote awareness and understanding. We believe that providing opportunities for neurotypical children to play alongside children with special needs promotes empathy …

Introducing: We Rock On Wheels!

We Rock on Wheels is an on-the-go kid’s gym that provides children with autism, special needs, and neurotypical development a place to play and grow together. Each bus features specially-designed, sensory-safe equipment that is fun to use while also helping to improve areas of strength, movement, sensory processing, communication and more. Our mission is to provide all children a place where they can feel safe and accepted for who they are. With We Rock on Wheels we bring the sensory play to you! Learn More!

My Life with Autism: By Trevor Davis

Trevor Davis is an author and young adult with autism. We met Trevor through his sister, Natalie Davis, a Kansas City-based TV anchor who did a segment recently on the WRTS – Kansas City Grand Opening. We asked Trevor to share his story with our community. Below are his touching words and a glimpse into the life of a young man with Asperger’s. — I hate talking about my Autism; like, REALLY HATE IT! I don’t want to be different. All my life, I just wanted to be a normal kid like any other. But the fact is, I have Asperger’s Syndrome (which is an Autism Spectrum Disorder), and it’s part of who I am. Here are my weaknesses: I struggle with reading comprehension, social skills, and changes in routine. I have trouble making friends because I prefer to do activities alone. My best friends are my sister Natalie and my dog Max. When it comes to changes in routine, any new idea is a …