By Emily G. Peters
We Rock the Spectrum is a rarity: an integrated, all-inclusive gym for children. Their business name works as an affirmation, a mantra, a cheer: that children of all ability levels deserve a safe place to play together.
We Rock The Spectrum Pasadena is owned by Ani Charthern, a licensed and practicing speech language pathologist specializing in collaborative language and sensory based therapy. Her experience as a gymnast as well as her career working with children on the autism spectrum made her an ideal owner of We Rock.
“I first heard about We Rock the Spectrum while I was training at the flagship gym in Tarzana,” said Charthern, who soon met We Rock CEO and Founder Dina Kimmel. “I built an instant and strong connection to the We Rock vision and was certain I needed to become a part of the We Rock family. I became sole owner of the Pasadena location in 2014.”
We Rock offers a variety of therapeutic and recreational activities for their young “We Rockers” clientele. Their equipment is designed to aid children with sensory processing disorders while fostering a sense of togetherness and fun.
“Allowing children to play using the sensory based equipment encourages them to expand their mind and reach new heights of ability levels,” said Charthern. “They use their imagination to become their favorite characters while experiencing the exhilaration of climbing, jumping, swinging, crashing, crawling, running or zipping on any of our awesome equipment.”
The environment is all about empowerment for children and their families. Kids can enjoy “open play” day passes or partake in the We Rock Social Skills Program (WRSSP), designed to strengthen reciprocal communication, sportsmanship and other key skills. The gym also opens its doors for private birthday parties, playdates, “School’s Out” summer programs and something Charthern refers to as “We Rock Care.”
“We understand how difficult it is to balance the needs of siblings, spouses or yourself. Our Respite & Break Time Care is designed to provide a break for families with children with or without special needs,” said Charthern. “We’ve also created a more intensive level of support with our One-to-One Attendant Care for kids with greater behavioral or safety concerns.”
Charthern sees a bright future for We Rock. “Right now we provide in-home therapy and therapy within the kids’ gym,” she said. “I envision We Rock the Spectrum Pasadena not only being a fully inclusive sensory gym, but a full service clinic where clients can receive speech, occupational and behavioral therapy.”
With approximately one in 68 children in the U.S. having an autism spectrum disorder, establishments like We Rock the Spectrum are more timely than ever. Their mission of physically and mentally engaging kids aims to forge friendships across (and beyond) the spectrum.
“By allowing children of all ability levels to play together, they’re able to learn from each other and become positive role models for each other,” said Charthern. “I love knowing that our families have a place to come to network, play and receive valuable information for advocating for their children.” Rock on, We Rockers.
We Rock the Spectrum Gym is located at 2381 E. Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena. Contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org | 626.304.2746 | www.werockthespectrumpasadena.com and follow on Instagram @wrtspasadena and Facebook @werockthespectrumpasadena.