An indoor kids’ gym in Spring Branch provides a place for children with autism spectrum disorder to play.

We Rock the Spectrum Houston/Memorial, at 1022 Wirt Rd., Suite 314, is equipped with uniquely designed sensory equipment specifically to aid children with autism and/or sensory processing disorders.

Many adults with a child diagnosed on the spectrum may find themselves apologizing to others for the actions of their autistic child. But such concerns are left at the door at We Rock the Spectrum Houston/Memorial because, as the writing on the wall states, “A place where you never have to say ‘I am sorry.’ ”

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in every 36 children has been identified with autism spectrum disorder. While the number of children with autism continues to grow, so does the need for businesses and institutions to provide children and families with services that can address their needs.

Meanwhile, Spring Branch continues to draw families with children as residents. The area includes several award-winning public and private schools; the private options include schools that cater to students with “neurological differences.”

We Rock the Spectrum Houston/Memorial is part of a national franchise and the only outlet in Houston.

Gym Manager Tori Orosco, a mom to a child diagnosed on the spectrum, said, “Although our equipment is for children with sensory disorders, all children benefit from our gym. The inclusive philosophy is designed to meet children at all levels and abilities. The small area allows parents a stress-free experience with an open area that is perfect to supervise their child at play.”

We Rock the Spectrum Houston/Memorial is equipped with varied activity “areas” and “stations.” Suspended equipment like swings are available in an open play area. These encourage and build balance.

The perfectly sized trampoline enables children to build leg and core strength. The small zip line takes children off a platform to a cushioned pad.

A mini rock-climbing wall provides a safe place for climbers to reach a new height. A small pen gives little ones a chance to work with colors while emerged and surrounded by colorful plastic balls. A large rope climbing area helps with mobility and balance skills.

The puzzle play area is stocked with wooden puzzles featuring animals and letters. The fine arts and crafts table area is available for the little artists to create their latest masterpieces.

Sensory exploration can be highly beneficial to children with autism. Playing with bubbles, fidget toys, Play-Doh, and shaving cream help children learn to identify and process sensory information in an effective way. These sensory activities can benefit all children but are particularly helpful for children on the autism spectrum.

Spring Branch resident and grandmother Mary P. said:

“The heat this summer made it really difficult to spend time outdoors with our grandson. We purchased the unlimited monthly membership and were able to take him to run off energy and play at the gym no matter what the weather was outside. Plus, he is an only child so interacting with other children is an added benefit. He loves coming here.”

The indoor kids’ gym makes a perfect venue for any child’s birthday party. Area schools and playgroups can schedule educational field trips to the facility. Needing time to run some errands, parents can reserve one-on-one play with a staff member for an hourly fee. This service requires a 72-hour notice. Contact the gym for prices and availability.

We Rock the Spectrum Houston/Memorial also offers kids’ camps throughout the year.

“We try to coordinate with teacher workdays and other school holidays for our camps. We have a Labor Day Camp coming up along with Thanksgiving break and winter break. You can find camp information on our website. Be sure to click on the information for the Houston location,” Orosco said.

Admission to the gym is $14 for per child and $12 for each additional child. The daily entrance fee allows for children to play, leave for lunch or nap time and return the same day for additional playtime. Families can purchase multiple day visits and unlimited visits through monthly memberships.

The gym is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m to 6:00 p.m. Weekend hours vary based on private birthday parties and scheduled events.
Phone: (713) 766-6635

– By Jessika Leal–