GLENDALE, Calif. (KABC) — Deborah Portnoy and Michael Cohen have over 25 years between them working with special needs populations. Their 14-year-old son, Harry, is autistic, as well. So, they welcomed the opportunity to open We Rock The Spectrum Kids Gym, a so-called sensory gym that accommodates all children, but particularly those with special needs. “When we heard about this opportunity we jumped at the chance to create something that would utilize both of our professional skills and then what we knew personally,” said Deborah Portnoy, co-owner of the facility.
Dina Kimmel rocks, proving daily that this mother’s love knows no bounds. When her daughter, Sophia, was born in 2004, everything went as planned. Sophia developed normally, was an early talker (at age 1) and interacted appropriately with children and adults. Dina and her husband, Tim, were easing into parenthood. In 2007, the Kimmels welcomed son Gabriel. Sophia was happy to be a big sister, and Dina and Tim were thrilled to have a new baby boy. But something was different this time. “I took Gabriel to a mommy-and-me class when he was 18 months old, and I knew something was wrong,” says Kimmel. “The doctors wouldn’t listen to me.” Kimmel persisted, and in 2009 Gabriel was diagnosed with autism. Read more
Watch Dina Kimmel on Autism Live. Dina Kimmel from We Rock the Spectrum Kid’s Gym, shares her mission to create a gym that meets the needs of kid’s on the spectrum, after her son was diagnosed with Autism. Autism Live is a production of the Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD), headquartered in Tarzana, California, and with offices throughout, the United States and around the globe. For more information on therapy for autism and other related disorders, visit the CARD website at http://centerforautism.com
“Being the Grand Club Sponsors for Walk Now for Autism Speaks Los Angeles was one of the most incredible days of my life!” says Founder, Dina Kimmel.