We Rock the Spectrum – Australia’s newest all abilities gym for kids – Bubs On The Move
Taking your kids to the park or a play centre poses challenges for many families that others are unaware of. One of my own children struggled with loud noises until he was four. A loud speaker, party whistle, even a busker would make him anxious so we modified where we went and what we did in those first years. Anxiety is something parents of kids who struggle with social skills often experience taking their kids to a playground. I once had a single dad as a patient tell me that he had stopped taking his son with autism to the local playground because any time he went another parent would pick a fight with him about his son’s challenging behaviour. I wish We Rock the Spectrum had been around then because I’m sure it would have become his safe haven.
We Rock the Spectrum is an all abilities children gym that opened this weekend in Melbourne (Preston). The gym is a safe and fun place space for ALL children. As we enter We Rock the Spectrum the first thing I notice is a sign that says “Finally a place where you don’t have to say I’m sorry”. A really simple statement I know, but one that will bring a sigh of relief to parents of special needs kids. The gym is suitable for children from babies to kids aged 12. The brilliance of We Rock the Spectrum hinges on a a few key features – overt inclusion of children and families who have kids with special needs, a high children to helper ration – there are many appropriately trained adult staff on hand to assist children use the gym equipment (designed with occupational therapy input) and support parents if challenging behaviours occur. The presence of a quiet room is a bonus. Children prone to sensory overstimulation can retreat to a quiet space with low lighting when needed.