FOREST HILL, Md. — The We Rock the Spectrum Forest Hill indoor gym is a kid’s dream play area. There are toys in every corner, swings, a trampoline and a mini zip line.
Owners Trey and Nikki Wooton say its a safe space where all kids are welcomed.
“We are for all kids, all abilities but all of our equipment is sensory-sensitive to kids with autism and other special needs,” said Nikki.
The equipment is specially-designed to help children with sensory processing disorders develop skills like socializing, body control and self-regulation, but the Wootons said children of any and all abilities can benefit from playing in the gym.
“We definitely want to emphasize that we are here for all kids, not just those with some type of special need, but all kids are encouraged to come and play here at We Rock,” said Trey.
George Hammerbacher brought his five-year-old son Jay to the gym for the first time on September 3. Jay doesn’t have special needs, he just has a lot of energy.
“It’s a fantastic place to not only burn energy but explore new things that we don’t have at home or we don’t have at school,” George said. “Structure is nice but he gets a lot of that at school. This is time he can just explore at his own pace, at his own level.”
The Wootons said the purpose of the gym being all inclusive is so that kids can interact with other children who might be different from them and learn how to accept everyone for who they are. They know their teenaged son Connor, who has autism, would have enjoyed a place like We Rock the Spectrum gym.
“We would have loved to have a place such as this where we could come to a safe place, where we know no one is going to be staring at us because our child may have some type of special needs,” Trey said.
Safety and sanitation are also two important components to the gym, the Wootons said. In a time when COVID-19 is still very much on the forefront of everyone’s minds, families can book private play sessions at the gym. Trey and Nikki said they spend a lot of their time sanitizing everything from the little toys to the big equipment.
“We go in and try to clean and spray as people come in and out, so we feel like we’re being as safe as we can,” said Nikki.
The slogan of the gym reads “Finally a place where you never have to say I’m sorry”. The Wootons believe kids should have a place to be kids, without any judgment.
“We want to teach every child that it is important to be able to get along with all kids regardless of what is going on in their lives,” said Trey.
We Rock the Spectrum offers open play sessions, birthday parties and drop-off appointments. They also sell toys for all ages and abilities. For more information on the gym, click here.