1. How did you first hear about We Rock the Spectrum Kid's Gym?
Our journey with We Rock the Spectrum started with a news article about the We Rock the Spectrum – Fenton gym. When we learned about We Rock the Spectrum’s mission, we quickly became interested. As a teacher involved in the special needs’ community, my wife, Lyndsey, knew it was the perfect opportunity for us. She was looking to work with children with special abilities again, now that our kids were getting older.
2. What inspired you to open up your We Rock the Spectrum gym?
We were inspired to open our own gym because of We Rock the Spectrum’s motto, “Finally a place where you never have to say I’m sorry”®. We loved the idea of a safe place for kids of all abilities to come together, a place where children and parents can learn from one another.
3. What is your background with the special needs community?
My wife, Lyndsey, has a bachelor’s degree in teaching special needs students in kindergarten to 12th grade. For 5 years, she taught elementary school students in an autism unit.
4. What has been the most favorite moment at your gym?
Our most recent Santa event has to be one of my favorite moments. For 3 years, we have used the same Santa and he always does a wonderful job with the children. But, this time around, the event ended up being so much more fun! One of our most frequent Rocker families programmed their child’s Christmas list into his Nintendo Switch, which he used to share with Santa! The lengths this mother went to so that her child could experience meeting Santa in his own way was truly an inspiring moment. This day warmed my heart and represented the true meaning of Christmas for me.
5. What is your favorite piece of equipment in the gym?
My favorite piece of equipment, which is also a fan favorite, is the boat swing! This swing encourages social interaction between the kids and allows for imaginary play. This boat has been on pirate and fishing voyages, survived hurricanes, and even carried Moana!
6. How have you seen We Rock the Spectrum benefiting your community?
Our gym has definitely become a resource for the special needs’ community in Columbus. We have become a place where public and private school students can go to for field trips and where therapists can bring their clients. We’ve also collaborated with Nationwide Children’s Hospital and SPARK and hosted Sensory Fun Nights to raise awareness for autism.
7. How has being a part of the We Rock family impacted your life so far?
Being a part of the We Rock family has been wonderful. We have met so many amazing families and kids throughout our journey. And these families have grown to become our personal friends.
8. What advice would you give to yourself when you first started the process of opening your WRTS?
I would tell myself and Lyndsey to be patient and vigilant. I would tell our past selves that although things may be a bit hectic in the beginning, it’s a part of the process. Once everything settles down, things will start to get better and better.