West Boca parents will have a new place to take their kids later this month. We Rock The Spectrum Kid’s Gym is for all kids, but it’s motivated with autistic children and their parents in mind.
The motto: Finally a Place Where You Never Have to Say I’m Sorry is not about what the kids do. It’s about the uncomfortable feeling their parents have when they feel the need to apologize for their child in a place full of people who don’t appreciate the challenges they face.
The Field family (Gail, Jayson (4) and John) discovered all of this when Jayson was diagnosed with a mild form of autism. Gail says they’re “turning a negative into a positive” by opening this gym.
While places like Monkey Joe’s in Loggers Run Plaza and Chuck E Cheese’s in West Boca Square are fun for “typical” kids, children with autism may experience sensory overload or other problems, or may act out in ways that others might not understand. We Rock The Spectrum will be run and staffed and patronized by people who get it because they live it.
Other kids are welcome, of course, and there will be programs for kids age 2 and under and their parents. Autism is generally not diagnosed until age 3 or later.
If just stopping in, it will be $12 for a day pass. The Fields have plans for a variety of programs, including after school for teens, tutoring, birthday parties, summer camp, and karate with the help of Tony Hall and East West Karate, located a few doors down. There will also be a small retail area, The Rock Shop, selling items from Melissa & Doug.
The Fields, residents of Boca Winds, will have their grand opening on April 19th from 10 am to 5 pm. Other neighbors in the plaza will be participating. Davito’s will cater the event, and Anthony’s Barbershop will be doing $15 haircuts with 20% of the proceeds going toward the non-profit component of We Rock The Spectrum. Home Depot may also be there and they’re talking about doing monthly how-to workshops out front.
We Rock The Spectrum has 11 locations. The West Boca franchise will be the first outside of California. They hope to do a “soft opening” a week or so before the big day.
We visited this morning. A few hours ago they posted a new picture from inside, with a box slide that John put together.
We wish the Fields the best in their new venture and will update our readers when we learn more.
The photos above are the ones we took. The corporate HQ also provided us with a couple of photos showing us what it should look like when it’s ready to go: