All posts by wrts studiocity

Indoor Playground Equipment For All Kids

As a parent have you ever heard your children whine about having to go outside to play? “It’s too hot, it’s raining, but Mom I just saw a tornado” are all excuses some kids might use to not want to go outside. Ok the last one was a bit far-fetched and only meant as a bad joke, but the reality is sometimes the weather doesn’t permit kids to be outside and play, but there is a great alternative to being outside, a gym that is full of indoor kids playground equipment would be the perfect place to take kids.

We Rock The Spectrum Kid’s Gym is such a place. They have a building full of kids indoor playground equipment for all kids to enjoy. This gym is one of the best places to take kids of any ability level and let them play and explore to help them use up some of that energy we all wish we had that somehow is found inside kids. The equipment found at We Rock The Spectrum Kid’s Gym ranges from tunnels, hiding places, soft landing areas, climbing structures, suspended swings, sensory-based toys, and even a zip line. All of this great indoor kids playground equipment will have you kids having a great time, growing and developing and leaving with a smile.

We Rock The Spectrum Kid’s Gym was developed to help children of all ability levels grow and learn. Specializing in working with children who have special needs, especially Autism Spectrum Disorder, the team at the gym not only focusses on being able to help children with special needs, but also typically developing children as well. They have found the equipment and programs they offer are not only great for special needs kids, but for kids of all ability levels. Their activities, programs, and staff help to promote the growth of children regarding communication, behavior modification, social interaction, motivation, neurological growth, concentration, self-care, and physical strength which all children can benefit from.

The We Rock The Spectrum Kid’s Gym offers not only great equipment and an attentive and highly trained staff but they also have plenty of classes, open play times and even offer the opportunity to have a birthday party at the gym. How cool would that be for your child to have their birthday party in a place that has an amazing amount of kids indoor playground equipment to use? It would certainly be a lot different than a typical kids birthday party at a restaurant that doesn’t have any fun equipment for the kids to play on.

Bringing your kids to We Rock The Spectrum Kid’s Gym to expel some energy, take part in growing and developing activities, enjoying some open play time, or even scheduling the facility for a birthday party makes this gym an outstanding destination location for you and your kids. Come on down and check them out and see what kind of activities and programs you and your kids will enjoy.

10 Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew By Ellen Notbohrn

The child who lives with Autism may look “normal” but his or her behavior can be perplexing and downright difficult. Today, the citadel of autism, once thought of as an incurable disorder, is cracking around the foundation. Every day, individuals with autism show us they can overcome, compensate for, and otherwise manage many of the condition’s most challenging aspects.
Equipping those around our children with a simple understand of autism’s most basic elements has a tremendous effect on the children’s journey toward productive, independent lives. Autism is an extremely complex disorder, but we can distill it to three critical components:

  • Sensory processing difficulties
  • Speech/language delays and impairments
  • Child/social interaction

Here are 10 things every child with autism wishes you knew.
1. I am a child with autism. I am not autistic. My autism is one aspect of my total character. It does not define me as a person. Are you a person with thoughts, feelings, and many talents, or are you just fat (overweight), myopic (wears glasses), or klutzy (uncoordinated, not good at sports)?
2. My sensory perceptions are disordered. This means the ordinary sights, sounds, smells, tastes and touches of everyday life that you may not even notice can be downright painful for me. The very environment in which I have to live often seems hostile. I may appear withdrawn or belligerent to you, but I am really just trying to defend myself. A “simple” trip to the grocery store may be hell for me. My hearing may be acute. Dozens of people are talking all at once. The loudspeaker boom today’s special. Music whines from the sound system, Cash registers beep and cough. A coffee grinder is chugging. The meant cutter screeches, babies wail, carts creak, the fluorescent lighting hums. My brain can’t filter all the input and I’m in overload! My sense of smell may be highly sensitive. The fish at the meat counter isn’t quite fresh, the guy standing next to me hasn’t showered today, the deli is handing out sausage samples, the baby in line ahead of us has a poopy diaper and they are mopping up pickles on Aisle 3 with ammonia. I can’t sort it all out. I am nauseous. Because I am visually oriented, this may be my first sense over- stimulated. The fluorescent light is too bright it makes the room pulsate and hurt my eyes. Sometimes the light bounces off everything and distorts what I’m seeing. The space seems to be constantly changing. There’s a glare from the windows, moving fans on the ceiling, so many bodies in constant motion, too many items for me to focus. I may compensate with tunnel vision. All this affects my vestibular sense, and now I can’t tell where my body is in space. I may stumble, bump into things, or simply lay down to try to regroup.
3. Please remember to distinguish between won’t (I chose not to) and can’t (I’m unable to). Receptive and expressive languages are both difficult for me. It isn’t that I don’t listen to instructions; it’s that I can’t understand you. When you call to me from across the room, I can’t understand you. Instead, come speak to me directly to me in plain words. “Please put your book in your desk. It is time to go to lunch.” This tells me what you want me to do and what is going to happen. Now it’s much easier for me to comply.
4. I am a concrete thinker. I interpret language literally. It’s very confusing for me when you say, “Hold your horses, cowboy!” when what you really mean is “Please stop running.” Don’t tell me is a piece of cake when there is no dessert in sight and what you mean is, “This will be easy for you to do.” Idioms, puns, nuances, double entendres and sarcasm are lost on me.
5. Be patient with my limited vocabulary. It’s hard for me to tell you what I need when I don’t know the words to describe my feelings. I may be hungry, frustrated, frightened, or confused, but right now those words are beyond my ability to express. Be alert for body language, withdrawal, agitation or other signs that something is wrong. There is a flip side to this. I may sound like a little professor or a movie star, rattling off words or whole scripts well beyond my developmental age. There are messages I have memorized from the world around me to compensate for my language deficits because I know I am expected to respond when spoken to. they may come from books, television or the speech of other people. Its echolalia. I don’t necessarily understand the context or the terminology I’m using. I just know it gets me off the hook for coming up with a reply.
6. Because language is difficult for me, I am very visually oriented. Show me how to do something rather than just telling me. And please be prepared to show me many times. Lots of patient repetition helps me learn. A visual schedule is extremely helpful as move through my day. Like your day planner, it relieves me of stress of having to remember what comes next, makes for a smooth transition between activities and helps me manage my time and meet your expectations.
7. Focus and build on what I can do rather than what I can’t do. Like any other human, I can’t learn in an environment where I’m constantly made to feel that I’m not good enough or that I need fixing. Trying anything new I am almost sure to be met with criticism, however constructive, becomes something to be avoided. Look for my strengths and you will find them. There’s more than one way to do things.
8. Help me with social interactions. It may look like I don’t to play with the other kids on the playground, but sometimes I simply don’t know how to start a conversation or enter a play situation. If you can encourage other children to invite me to join them I may be delighted to be included.
9. Try to identify what triggers my meltdowns. This is termed “the antecedent”. Meltdowns, blowups, or tantrums are even more horrid for me than they are for you. They occur because one or more of my senses has gone into overload. If you can figure out why my meltdowns happen, they can be prevented.
10.If you are a family member, please love me unconditionally. Banish thoughts such as, “if he would just…” and “why can’t she…?”. Without your support, my chances of successful, self-reliant adulthood are slim. With your support and guidance, the possibilities are broader than you might think. I promise you I am worth it.
It all comes down to three words- patience, patience, patience.
Work to view my autism as a different ability rather than a disability. Look past what you may see as limitations and see the gifts autism has given me. I may not be good at eye contact or conversation but have you noticed that I don’t lie, cheat at games tattle on my classmates or pass judgment on others?
You are my foundation. Think of the social rules, and if they don’t make sense for me, let them go. be my advocate, be my friend and we’ll see just how far we can go. I probably won’t be the next Michael Jordan, but with my attention to detail and capacity for extraordinary focus. I might be the next Einstein. Or Mozart. Or Van Gogh.
They had autism, too.

Finally a Place Where You Never Have to Say I’m Sorry is Not Just a Slogan!

At We Rock The Spectrum Kid’s Gym, the slogan of “Finally a Place Where You Never Have to Say I’m Sorry” is not just a slogan, but words the staff lives by to create their culture and environment around. As the best kids fitness gym in the area their facility is full of awesome equipment for climbing, running, jumping, lifting, pulling and pushing to help develop the larger muscle groups of children who frequent their gym. But they don’t stop there they also have plenty of stuff to help with problem solving, social development, sensory skills, find motor skills, and creativity. All of this is achieved through a gym that is full of equipment, toys, an arts and crafts area, and the highly attentive and motivated staff that prides themselves on providing an all inclusive environment.

By creating an environment that stands up and lives by their slogan the We Rock The Spectrum Kid’s Gym staff offers developmental opportunities for children of all ability levels. If you are a parent who has a special needs child, this is the place to go, they specialize in helping special needs children be able to develop and grow through the use of their sensory, strength building, creative, and other equipment and programs. If you happen to be a parent that has both a special needs child and one that is normally developing, the staff is poised and ready to help with both children. Their all inclusive philosophy allows all children, regardless of ability level, to be able to play, grow, develop and have fun together.

Never having to say “I’m Sorry” is so important to the team at We Rock The Spectrum Kid’s Gym they take the worry out of your decision for you. You will not find programs that intimidate children of lesser abilities, or ones that segregate children who want to play together, instead you will find a fun, enticing, inclusive environment full of awesome equipment meant to help children grow and learn while they play and use up the energy we all know kids have that we as adults wish we had much of the time.

We Rock The Spectrum Kid’s Gym is the perfect place to take your children to grow and improve their skills and fitness level. As a leading kids fitness gym their programs, staff, and equipment ensures children are able to continually develop their strength and skills through the use of large gym equipment such as the trampoline, climbing structures and zip lines. They will be able to develop their fine motor and sensory skills by using the many smaller toys and games that are aimed at decision making and improvement of smaller motions that are just as important to develop as the larger movements.

The facilities offered by We Rock The Spectrum Kid’s Gym is truly second to none and allows parents a great place to take their children for play and development.

WRTS Corporate Office Ribbon Cutting!

On April 29th, 2014 we had “The Ribbon Cutting Ceremony” at our WRTS Corporate Office at 18859 Ventura Blvd in Tarzana . This was a huge moment for our company. We had a representative from the Mayor’s office, the Council members office, the Assembly office and the President of the Chamber attend with many other professionals and ambassadors of the chamber, as well as family and loved ones. Following the ribbon cutting was our event for our Non Profit MBRTS at McDonalds in Tarzana. They generously donated 20% of all food ordered between the hrs 4pm to 6pm. We look forward to the future and opening up a WRTS in an area close to you! See our link below to see the wonderful photos our photographer Kathleen Lantos captured.

Read More!

“Finally a Place Where You Never Have to Say I’m Sorry” TM

We Rock the Spectrum Kid’s Gym is committed to providing a safe, nurturing, and fun environment to foster learning, exploration and safe sensory experiences. Through our nonprofit My Brother Rocks The Spectrum Foundaion, we provide social skills groups and activities for children across the spectrum.
We Rock the Spectrum Kid’s Gym provides children with a fun and motivational environment to help them in the areas of strength, movement, sensory processing, communication, positive behavior modification, social interactions, and self-care skills. Our unique equipment assists all children in their neurological growth and development.

Our activities, programs and retail location “The Rock Shop” make it possible for us to provide social and physical opportunities through state funded programs. As a result WRTS is an amazing example of how we can help all children grow and develop by providing an all inclusion environment.

Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT)

Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) is an empirically-supported treatment for young children with emotional and behavioral disorders that places emphasis on improving the quality of the parent-child relationship and changing parent-child interaction patterns. PCIT International was created to promote fidelity in the practice of Parent-Child Interaction Therapy through well-conducted research, training, and continuing education of therapists and trainers. By creating an interface between the scholarly activities of PCIT researchers and the expertise of front-line clinicians, PCIT International promotes healthy family functioning.
Website:

www.pcit.org

National Alliance on Mental Illness

NAMI is the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. NAMI advocates for access to services, treatment, supports and research and is steadfast in its commitment to raise awareness and build a community for hope for all of those in need. NAMI is the foundation for hundreds of NAMI State Organizations, NAMI Affiliates and volunteer leaders who work in local communities across the country to raise awareness and provide essential and free education, advocacy and support group programs. Website:

www.nami.org

Team Member Spotlight – Tina Norwood

We Rock the Spectrum Kid’s Gym wouldn’t be what it is today without an amazing team working behind the scenes at our corporate office and front and center at the gym. Having the right team members in place is key to any successful business, but when it comes to working with children, it takes a bit more than just showing up. That bit more is heart, soul, passion, and a genuine interest in helping others. We have a big responsibility to fulfill in our community and we take pride in trailblazing ahead. In life, you meet certain people and just know that they were meant to be come into your life for a reason. We knew this when we met Tina Norwood. Tina is our Administrative Assistant, but more importantly, part of our We Rock family.

tinaTina was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley. She comes from a long line of teachers and professors on her father’s side, so it was no surprise when she realized she had a natural knack and eagerness to want to teach others. Her mother being deaf, (who is her continued inspiration) makes her no stranger to discrimination and wanting and fighting for inclusion. Tina comes from a large family and is the eldest of 6.

In addition to her work with We Rock, Tina continues to help the deaf unblock any language barriers to help better their lives and create a better understanding toward them from the hearing world. Tina has been working for We Rock the Spectrum Kids Gym since its inception in August 2010. It has given her the ability to use her other language, “signing”, as many Autistic and special needs children sign.

Today, we’d like to share Tina’s story with you all.

1. What inspired you to get involved with WRTS?
I already had a deep love for working with children, and was part of We Rock since the beginning so I guess you can say it was meant to be.

2. How long have you been working with WRTS?
Since its inception, which makes it four and a half years now.

3. What is your current role?
I am the head coach at the Tarzana location and I am also the Administrative Assistant for WRTS LLC.

4. Describe a typical day at WRTS?
Every day is different but the same in its own unique way. I’m lucky to come to work and receive tons of smiles from new and familiar faces. Watching everyone come together and have a good time all while learning about one another is the most rewarding.

5. How has working with WRTS impact your life?
It has really opened my mind and heart to seeing how unique we all really are – this is what I love most about my job. It has also shaped my life in the sense that I feel like I am better prepared for life, and one day, as a mother.

6. What do you love most about the work that you do?
I love meeting new kids and their parents, and watching the ones I already know grow. Being able to witness their growth brings me so much joy in knowing what a difference We Rock truly makes in our community. I love that I leave each day learning something new, however big or small it may be, it touches my heart in a big way.

7. Do you have a mentor? If so, who and why do you admire them?
Without a doubt, Dina Kimmel is my mentor. She believed in me from the beginning and continues to do so, and I am so thankful for the position I have been given and the knowledge that I have gained as a result. If it weren’t for Dina’s support, guidance, and belief in me, I wouldn’t be able to be a part of this wonderful journey, and certainly wouldn’t be where I am today.

WRTS 2014 Walk Now For Autism Speaks Los Angeles

“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.We stood in front of over 60 thousand people and know now more than ever that when a WRTS is opening, we are making a difference in the world and giving a home to so many families. “Finally a place where you never have to say I’m sorry” is a need in all communities says Kimmel. A big thank you to Kathleen Lantos Photography as we now get to relive one of the most incredible days in WRTS history! Check out this amazing video above, and see what WRTS and Autism Awareness is all about…

10 Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew By Ellen Notbohrn

The child who lives with Autism may look “normal” but his or her behavior can be perplexing and downright difficult. Today, the citadel of autism, once thought of as an incurable disorder, is cracking around the foundation. Every day, individuals with autism show us they can overcome, compensate for, and otherwise manage many of the condition’s most challenging aspects.
Equipping those around our children with a simple understand of autism’s most basic elements has a tremendous effect on the children’s journey toward productive, independent lives. Autism is an extremely complex disorder, but we can distill it to three critical components:
• Sensory processing difficulties
• Speech/language delays and impairments
• Child/social interaction
Here are 10 things every child with autism wishes you knew.
1. I am a child with autism. I am not autistic. My autism is one aspect of my total character. It does not define me as a person. Are you a person with thoughts, feelings, and many talents, or are you just fat (overweight), myopic (wears glasses), or klutzy (uncoordinated, not good at sports)?
2. My sensory perceptions are disordered. This means the ordinary sights, sounds, smells, tastes and touches of everyday life that you may not even notice can be downright painful for me. The very environment in which I have to live often seems hostile. I may appear withdrawn or belligerent to you, but I am really just trying to defend myself. A “simple” trip to the grocery store may be hell for me. My hearing may be acute. Dozens of people are talking all at once. The loudspeaker boom today’s special. Music whines from the sound system, Cash registers beep and cough. A coffee grinder is chugging. The meant cutter screeches, babies wail, carts creak, the fluorescent lighting hums. My brain can’t filter all the input and I’m in overload! My sense of smell may be highly sensitive. The fish at the meat counter isn’t quite fresh, the guy standing next to me hasn’t showered today, the deli is handing out sausage samples, the baby in line ahead of us has a poopy diaper and they are mopping up pickles on Aisle 3 with ammonia. I can’t sort it all out. I am nauseous. Because I am visually oriented, this may be my first sense over- stimulated. The fluorescent light is too bright it makes the room pulsate and hurt my eyes. Sometimes the light bounces off everything and distorts what I’m seeing. The space seems to be constantly changing. There’s a glare from the windows, moving fans on the ceiling, so many bodies in constant motion, too many items for me to focus. I may compensate with tunnel vision. All this affects my vestibular sense, and now I can’t tell where my body is in space. I may stumble, bump into things, or simply lay down to try to regroup.
3. Please remember to distinguish between won’t (I chose not to) and can’t (I’m unable to). Receptive and expressive languages are both difficult for me. It isn’t that I don’t listen to instructions; it’s that I can’t understand you. When you call to me from across the room, I can’t understand you. Instead, come speak to me directly to me in plain words. “Please put your book in your desk. It is time to go to lunch.” This tells me what you want me to do and what is going to happen. Now it’s much easier for me to comply.
4. I am a concrete thinker. I interpret language literally. It’s very confusing for me when you say, “Hold your horses, cowboy!” when what you really mean is “Please stop running.” Don’t tell me is a piece of cake when there is no dessert in sight and what you mean is, “This will be easy for you to do.” Idioms, puns, nuances, double entendres and sarcasm are lost on me.
5. Be patient with my limited vocabulary. It’s hard for me to tell you what I need when I don’t know the words to describe my feelings. I may be hungry, frustrated, frightened, or confused, but right now those words are beyond my ability to express. Be alert for body language, withdrawal, agitation or other signs that something is wrong. There is a flip side to this. I may sound like a little professor or a movie star, rattling off words or whole scripts well beyond my developmental age. There are messages I have memorized from the world around me to compensate for my language deficits because I know I am expected to respond when spoken to. they may come from books, television or the speech of other people. Its echolalia. I don’t necessarily understand the context or the terminology I’m using. I just know it gets me off the hook for coming up with a reply.
6. Because language is difficult for me, I am very visually oriented. Show me how to do something rather than just telling me. And please be prepared to show me many times. Lots of patient repetition helps me learn. A visual schedule is extremely helpful as move through my day. Like your day planner, it relieves me of stress of having to remember what comes next, makes for a smooth transition between activities and helps me manage my time and meet your expectations.
7. Focus and build on what I can do rather than what I can’t do. Like any other human, I can’t learn in an environment where I’m constantly made to feel that I’m not good enough or that I need fixing. Trying anything new I am almost sure to be met with criticism, however constructive, becomes something to be avoided. Look for my strengths and you will find them. There’s more than one way to do things.
8. Help me with social interactions. It may look like I don’t to play with the other kids on the playground, but sometimes I simply don’t know how to start a conversation or enter a play situation. If you can encourage other children to invite me to join them I may be delighted to be included.
9. Try to identify what triggers my meltdowns. This is termed “the antecedent”. Meltdowns, blowups, or tantrums are even more horrid for me than they are for you. They occur because one or more of my senses has gone into overload. If you can figure out why my meltdowns happen, they can be prevented.
10.If you are a family member, please love me unconditionally. Banish thoughts such as, “if he would just…” and “why can’t she…?”. Without your support, my chances of successful, self-reliant adulthood are slim. With your support and guidance, the possibilities are broader than you might think. I promise you I am worth it.
It all comes down to three words- patience, patience, patience.
Work to view my autism as a different ability rather than a disability. Look past what you may see as limitations and see the gifts autism has given me. I may not be good at eye contact or conversation but have you noticed that I don’t lie, cheat at games tattle on my classmates or pass judgment on others?
You are my foundation. Think of the social rules, and if they don’t make sense for me, let them go. be my advocate, be my friend and we’ll see just how far we can go. I probably won’t be the next Michael Jordan, but with my attention to detail and capacity for extraordinary focus. I might be the next Einstein. Or Mozart. Or Van Gogh.
They had autism, too.