Sensory fun for children with and without autism can be had in Warrawong following Saturday's grand opening of the fifth We Rock the Spectrum sensory gym in Australia.
Founded 10 years ago We Rock The Spectrum provides sensory-safe play for kids with autism, special needs, and neurotypical development.
The first Australian gym opened in 2018 after a group of mums with special needs children heard about what was happening overseas.
They saw it as a way to create more inclusive play spaces for their children after struggling for years to find them.
Each of the gyms in Victoria and NSW features therapeutic equipment and sensory beneficial play opportunities specifically designed to work with many of the sensory processing issues that children on the spectrum face.
Autism mum Dina Kimmel is the chief executive and founder of We Rock the Spectrum and opened the first gym in California in 2010 after her son was diagnosed with autism and she struggled to find a place where both he and his sister could play together.
She said the motto for We Rock the Spectrum gyms as they spread around the world was "a place where you never have to say 'I'm sorry'."
We Rock the Spectrum's new Wollongong gym at Warrawong Business Park provide NDIS Registered sensory-beneficial play.
It is owned and operated by Hellen and Shane Walton.
Their son Ethan, was diagnosed with level two ASD and GDD at the age of two prompting Mr and Mrs Walton to make the conscious decision of dedicating their lives to Ethan's ongoing development and prosperity.
"While searching for places for Ethan to interact with other children and build friendships, we came across We Rock the Spectrum and knew we had to bring this special concept to him and our community," Mrs Walton said.
At We Rock the Spectrum the Walton's offer inclusive play sessions for all children, private facility hire, respite services, group therapy, excursions and sensory-safe parties.
Two hour open play sessions coast $25 per child and there are NDIS funding options available.
Bookings are required at the new gym with 12 pieces of uniquely designed, therapeutic equipment that promote learning, development, and sensory-safe play.
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