All posts by wrts pasadena

Kids Rock

Wishing on a Truck 
Truck Adventures — an event in which fire trucks, police cars and construction vehicles go on display for children to see, touch and explore — is being held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Santa Anita Park to benefit the Make A Wish Foundation of Greater Los Angeles.
During this unique, fun-filled event, children of all ages will be able to get up close to — and even sit in — more than 50 trucks and other vehicles that they see on the road everyday.
Some of Saturday’s participants and sponsors include the Arcadia Police and Fire departments, the Los Angeles County and Pasadena Fire departments, Toyota, Nickelodeon, Time Warner, Direct TV, City of Hope, AAA, LAPD SWAT, Brinks Armored Trucks, the US Forestry Service, Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Scientific Investigation Division and Waste Management, among others.
There will also be other activities, such as rock climbing, kid’s art, video games and several award–winning food trucks.
The Greater Los Angeles Chapter of Make A Wish celebrated its 30th anniversary last year, during which time it granted 8,300 wishes to deserving youngsters.
Santa Anita Park is at 285 W. Huntington Drive, Arcadia. For more information, call (626) 574-7223.
Kids Rock
When We Rock the Spectrum Kid’s Gym says no kid will be left behind when it comes to having fun, they really mean it.
“We are the only open sensory gym and our unique concept combines occupational therapy equipment with good old-fashioned fun,” says Dina Kimmel, chief executive officer and founder of WRTS, which recently opened a new facility in Pasadena. Another WRTS facility is also planned for Glendale.
WRTS was created to address the rise in the number of children being diagnosed with autism and sensory processing disorders, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimating that one in every 50 children in the US has been diagnosed with autism or autism-related disorders. With open play services, WRTS also specializes in sensory equipment that helps create an environment in which each child can benefit from inclusive activities. According to its Web site, WRTS is the only sensory gym for children 1-year-old and up.
“We believe that all kids are not alike and we offer a place where all kids can have fun and benefit from an active environment. WRTS offers specific guidance and a mentoring program for parents with newly diagnosed children on the spectrum,” according to the site.
As Kimmel says, “Our full-inclusion facilities are the first and only of their kind where all children can play without discrimination. ‘Finally, a place you never have to say I’m sorry’ is our motto.”
The WRTS Pasadena facility is located at 2381 E. Colorado Blvd. For more information, call (626) 304-2746 or visit werockthespectrumPasadena.com.
The Glendale facility, which has not yet opened, is planned for 413 S. Central Ave., Unit E. Call (818) 945-5444 or visit werockthespectrumGlendale.com.
For more on the gym and actually starting one, visit werockthespectrumkidsgym.com.
Fancy That!
As one faithful follower described it, a trip to Fancy That! In South Pasadena was like stepping into a Harry Potter world with a lot of hidden secrets.
Considered to be one of the area’s most unique stores, Fancy That! closed its Mission Street shop after six years but not the business, moving the entire operation online.
Especially now, “We want to be your ‘go-to’ store for the best of the best in gifts, seasonal décor and special occasion celebrations like birthdays,” according to its Web site. “Visit us often as we build our store holiday by holiday, season by season.”
Visit Fancy!

PCDA

PCDA is a multi-disciplinary agency that provides a wide range of services to children with special needs, from birth to 21 years of age. All services at PCDA follow the DIRFloortime philosophy, which emphasizes social-emotional development and relationships. Services include speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, feeding services, music therapy, adapted music lessons, counseling, sibling support, early intervention, SEDI-Floortime for 3-12 year olds, Teen Club 12-18 year olds, Young Adult Program 18-21 year old, Social Skills groups, Adoption Support, Traumatic Brain Injury, developmental screenings and assessments, and other specialized services. PCDA was established in 1997 and provides services over a wide geographic area, as well as their clinic in Pasadena. For more information call 626 793-7350 or email pcda@pasadenachilddevelopment.org.

Agnesa Papazyan, Psy.D. a.k.a Dr. Aggie

Dr. Papazyan has been working with children and families within various medical and outpatient therapeutic settings since 2002. She began as a behavioral consultant providing Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) and parent training services to children and their families with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), ADHD, as well as other related neurodevelopmental and behavioral concerns. Dr. Papazyan is bilingual in Armenian and English. She received her Bachelors of Science from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Dr. Papazyan earned a Masters of Science and Doctorate degrees in Clinical Psychology from the University of La Verne (ULV). She has successfully and passionately provided individual, group, and family therapy services, as well as diagnostic evaluations to children and adolescents diagnosed with various medical, emotional, and behavioral concerns.

She is passionate about her work in the field of ASD and other neurodevelopmental disorders and is always eager to share her knowledge. Dr. Papazyan recently moved back to Los Angeles after completing her residency in pediatric psychology at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan and fellowship in individual and family therapy and diagnostic assessments at the Autism Clinic at The Children’s Center in Michigan. She also received pediatric psychology clinical training during her externship at CHOC Children’s Hospital in Orange County, where she worked with children with medical, emotional, and behavioral difficulties. Dr. Papazyan developed the WRTS Kid’s Gym’s comprehensive social skills group, We Rock Social Skills Program (WRSSP), which is designed to develop and strengthen social skill functioning within a structured sensory integrative group setting at the WRTS Kid’s Gym.

The WRSSP group members have the opportunity to utilize appropriate sensory equipment at the gym during structured and developmentally appropriate social skill activities. Dr. Papazyan is also collaborating with Coach Kee, a certified child fitness specialist, in the development and implementation of Social Fitness Training (SFT), to assist children and adolescents with the mind & body connection in social, emotional, and physical behavioral regulation. Dr. Agnesa Papazyan can be reached at Dr.aggie@werockthespectrumkidsgym.com

People’s Care Autism Services

People’s Care Autism Services strives to enhance the lives of children diagnosed with Autism and other developmental disabilities and their families so that they may achieve independence, inclusion and an improved quality of life. The specific goals and objectives are to:
Decrease behaviors that interfere with the child’s family life, safety, health, access to their community or otherwise limit their lives.
Increase skills in the areas of communication, socialization, self-help and community integration.
Teach parents strategies to decrease their child’s interfering behaviors and to increase their skills.

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How Siblings of Children with Autism are Affected

How Siblings of Children with Autism are Affected

As parents of children with Autism, we understand they require specialized care and attention. Depending upon which part of the spectrum a child falls under, the extent of the support will vary from helping them accomplish daily tasks to needing assisted care on a continual basis. Regardless of the extent of the therapy solutions, parents try anything and everything to give their children the support they need to reach their full potential.

But what about the siblings of the children with autism?

Just like how parents’ lives change when they discover their child has autism, their other children are also affected but in a much different way. Siblings have to stand by and watch, feeling helpless as their beloved brother or sister is affected by a disorder they will not fully understand until later in life. This has the potential to cause anxiety and difficulty in expressing emotions, which can lead to the siblings lashing out at their parents or brother and sister.

Parents who have children that fall into these categories are often at a loss as to how they should address the problems their children are facing. On one hand, they know their child with autism needs the added attention and Occupational, Behavioral, or Speech therapy required. On the other hand, their neurotypical children are feeling neglected and possibly left out – which is also tough on the parents.

While the sibling who has autism is receiving the care and attention they need from therapy, the neurotypical siblings finds themselves watching, almost in the shadows, while the other child receives a large part of the attention. Even though many siblings of children with autism try to understand the need their brother or sister has for the added attention, feelings of jealousy, depression, anger and resentment often arise.

This was the case in my family prior to the creation of We Rock the Spectrum Kid’s Gym. My son Gabriel, who has autism, was receiving therapy from professionals as well as utilizing a sensory gym I had set up in my own home. Prior to the in-home gym, Gabriel would receive the lion’s share of attention while my daughter Sophia often stood by and missed out on some of her own activities. Even though Sophia tried hard to understand, she stated on more than one occasion, “I wish I had autism.” This broke my heart as I immediately knew this was her way of letting me know she felt left out and alone.

I want both of my children to feel that they are perfect the way they are, which inspired me to create an in-home gym full of fun, sensory equipment for Gabriel to improve his own skills but to also give Sophia a place where she can play with her brother and friends. It wasn’t quite everything Sophia needed, but it was a step in the right direction and drove me to create and found a gym that changed my family’s lives for the better, We Rock the Spectrum Kid’s Gym.
We Rock the Spectrum not only allows children to play together, but offers a place where play dates can be arranged for a group. We did this early on with Sophia and Gabriel. He would get his necessary therapy in the gym, and she would be able to feel like a kid again and play with her friends.

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Because the gym is monitored, safe, and regulated by the dynamic staff, children can make their own play dates with their own friends from school, camp, or other social groups and meet to play and have a great time. With the option to set up play dates for your children and their friends, parents no longer have to worry about telling their typically developing children they cannot have a play date because of a therapy need of their sibling with autism.

By having the ability to play together at We Rock the Spectrum, families with children who fall into both categories now have the ability to say “yes” much more often than ever before, allowing all children to play, have fun, and feel important. Benefiting the entire family, We Rock the Spectrum Kid’s Gym helps to create a more positive dynamic at home and allows children who are typically developing to feel they are receiving similar attention as their sibling with autism.

My Brother Rocks the Spectrum

My Brother Rocks the Spectrum Foundation’s mission is to assist families who need additional financial assistance for the therapy and care of their children with special needs to receive the support they deserve.

My Brother Rocks the Spectrum Foundation was created in honor of Sophia, my daughter who rocks every single day. Sophia has watched as her brother Gabriel has grown and developed from the time he was diagnosed with autism to how capable he is today. Not only have Sophia and Gabriel been the inspiration for my creation of We Rock the Spectrum Kid’s Gym, but Sophia has become a young therapist in her own right. It wasn’t always easy, but her curiosity to learn, determination to assist her brother, and desire to help others has led her to have a positive influence on many of the children at We Rock the Spectrum. Over and over again, we see children who are typically developing assisting their friends and siblings who have special needs, a dynamic that is allowed to foster and grow in our gyms by having an all-inclusive philosophy and gyms full of amazing parents and staff. Here is what Sophia had to say: “I feel great because I can help my brother and I can help other kids, even kids with Down Syndrome. I am not a Junior Helper any more, I am now a Coach.”

The foundation helps to fund a variety of activities at the gym for families who qualify and need the assistance, including monthly memberships and equipment. The foundation also helps families finance the personal aide some children with special needs require in order to attend a camp or activities at the gym. As the cost for a full-time or part-time aide for a child can become extremely expensive, the foundation is able to help defer some of these costs in order to allow all children to experience the benefits found at the gym through camps and play time.

Through both the We Rock the Spectrum Kid’s Gym and My Brother Rocks the Spectrum Foundation, all children, whether suffering developmental disabilities or not, are able to take full advantage of the fantastic, specially designed equipment, open play area, arts and crafts section and come away with a feeling of peace, happiness and accomplishment!

7 Ways We Rock the Spectrum Helps Children with ADHD

We created the We Rock the Spectrum Kid’s Gym (WRTS) franchise with a unique purpose: to provide children with autism and other special needs an inclusive play environment they could enjoy with their peers. At WRTS, children are able to take advantage of sensory play equipment in order to grow and develop the skills they will need later in life. Our all-inclusive philosophy allows children of all ability levels to play and grow together.

Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the many conditions where WRTS can help children overcome challenges. Children with ADHD have trouble focusing and often times act without thinking. ADHD symptoms can range widely. These include:

  • Difficulty paying attention to details and tendency to make careless mistakes in school or other activities which produces work that is often messy and careless
  • Easily distracted by irrelevant stimuli, frequently interrupting ongoing tasks to attend to trivial noises or events that are usually ignored by others
  • Inability to sustain attention on tasks or activities
  • Difficulty finishing schoolwork or paperwork or performing tasks that require concentration
  • Frequent shifts from one uncompleted activity to another
  • Forgetfulness in daily activities (for example, missing appointments, forgetting to bring lunch)
  • Failure to complete tasks such as homework or chores
  • Frequent shifts in conversation, not listening to others, not keeping one’s mind on conversations, and not following details or rules of activities in social situations

“Children with ADHD have a hard time self-stimulating,” says Jess Lofland, owner of We Rock the Spectrum ~ Woodland Hills. “This is why the activities inside We Rock the Spectrum are so beneficial to children with ADHD. The safe, stimulating environment gives them what they cannot give themselves – a real focus. The end result is a feeling of capability that will lead to a healthier development.”

We Rock the Spectrum helps children with ADHD in a variety of ways. We’ve listed seven of these below, with an added bonus because we love you ;-)

 

 

1. Body Regulation Assistance
WRTS assists children with ADHD by helping them with body regulation assistance from the sensory equipment. The sensory equipment at WRTS is specially designed to aid children in their development. Children with all types of issues are able to positively react and grow from the use of this sensory equipment.

2. Break from School
Having a release from work after school gives these children the release their bodies need in order to focus and regulate themselves. Before starting their homework, a trip to the gym helps children with ADHD better focus later on. With the after school programs held at WRTS, children can come to the gym and enjoy some play time before diving back into their studies.

3. Complements Occupational Therapy
Our sensory equipment is meant to complement Occupational Therapy, not replace it. The sensory equipment offers challenges that can be left out from other therapy and helps stimulate a child’s brain and assists them in overcoming ADHD, giving parents an option that can be more beneficial in the long run than medication. The equipment offers a highly stimulating environment where focus is required. This causes the child with ADHD to narrow their focus and work to figure out various pieces of equipment on their own.

4. Social Skills Enhancement
The fourth way WRTS helps children with ADHD is to assist them with their social skills. Many times we see children with ADHD have trouble making friends or keeping them. With our all-inclusive approach and a dynamic staff that carries out our philosophy inside every gym, children are able to learn appropriate behaviors that can aid them in making friends while at the gym. These behaviors frequently extend to the school environment, where an increase in friends is also common.

5. Provides a Community for Children and Parents
WRTS is a community for all kids. Our inclusive approach helps children make friends with their peers and our gym becomes a place where friends can congregate together. The same is true with parents. Parents with children diagnosed with ADHD can often feel aligned or left out (which is the case with many parents whose children have been diagnosed with a disorder) and the team and parents of WRTS make up a fantastic support network of like-minded adults who have the goal of assisting their children.

6. The Comfort of “Fidget Toys”
Many children with ADHD, regardless of the severity, can benefit from having a comfort toy they can hold and maneuver in their hands while at school or at home. This helps them remain calm and focused while feeling secure and allows the skills they learn at WRTS to translate to the school environment. We supply an assortment of these toys in each We Rock the Spectrum for this very reason. The use of “fidget toys” offers the necessary distraction for the body while their minds hone in on what is being asked and instructed.

7. A Focused Approach to Creativity
The Arts and Crafts area of WRTS allows children to have a creative outlet and the ability to decompress while staying focused on the item they are creating. Allowing their hands to work and create while their mind does the guiding aids children with ADHD in their ability to focus, along with giving them a unique and new activity to participate in.

BONUS: The Guidance of the WRTS Staff
When the staff notices a child spending a great deal of time on only one activity they work to persuade them to try other things, which helps their minds continually adapt and experience stimulation from this change in activities. Our staff is always monitoring the activities going on inside the gym and will work with children that need the extra attention to grow. This helps children to be allowed to experience a variety of social interactions and which helps to meet the needs of the children with ADHD.

In conclusion, when children are provided with the stimulation from We Rock the Spectrum that they cannot get themselves, they begin to grow. This positive experience makes them feel able and capable in ways they might not feel in other social situations. A confidence is developed as a routine of success is established, and there is a real improvement in a child’s self-esteem.

Do you have a child with ADHD? What other benefits have you seen We Rock the Spectrum provide?  We’d love to hear from you.  Give us a call at 818-996-6620 or email us at info@wrtsfranchise.com.

We Rock the Spectrum is for All Parents!

The team at We Rock The Spectrum Kid’s Gym offers a long list of activities for special needs children to participate in and enjoy with their typically developing peers. This allows parents of special needs children to have a place to take all their children and know they won’t be separated, but instead offered the opportunity to play, grow and develop together. The We Rock The Spectrum Kid’s Gym has a ton of equipment and activities to do with special needs children including sensory-based gym equipment and strength improving equipment as well.

As a result of playing and participating in activities for special needs children offered by We Rock The Spectrum Kid’s Gym, children will be able to improve their attention span, on task behavior, coordination, poster, motor planning, muscle tone, and motor development. This all takes place while the kids are playing and being fully active inside the gym. With a whole list and range of great play equipment to give the staff and parents plenty of activities to do with special needs children and children that are typically developing.

Some of the biggest differences between traditional indoor play gyms and the gym at We Rock The Spectrum Kid’s Gym are the unique style of equipment to use. Most indoor play gyms don’t have the right equipment in place for special needs children. The We Rock The Spectrum Kid’s Gym offers the first gym of its type for children to take advantage of regardless of skill or development level.

The specialized equipment, sensory based toys, arts and crafts area and programs that are set up for kids of all ability levels are designed and perfected to help all children grow and develop, especially children who have special needs. Take a look at what is offered at We Rock The Spectrum Kid’s Gym and find out how they can help your children grow, develop and most of all have fun.

Birthday Parties at We Rock The Spectrum are For All Kids!

Birthday parties are getting bigger and bigger each year with parents trying to find a great way to celebrate the special day for their children. If you are looking for great ideas for kids birthday parties you should check out the facilities at the We Rock The Spectrum Kid’s Gym. Their facility offers four different birthday party packages to choose from in order to celebrate your child’s special day.

The packages offered at We Rock The Spectrum Kid’s Gym start with a package that does not offer any staff assistance, but simply the use of the facility leaving you responsible for the cleanup and works its way up to a fully staffed party where all the children take home some party favors. So far this sounds like a typical party that can be held at a restaurant, club or party hall, but the biggest difference is the staff and facility.

Any party at We Rock The Spectrum Kid’s Gym offers the full use of the equipment included in the gym except for the zip line. This means the party of children can utilize the swings, climbing structures, crash mats and pillows, tunnels, arts and crafts area and small sensory based toys. Kids are able to let loose and be kids during any party at the gym. A party with the staff of We Rock The Spectrum Gym will be even more fun than one without and offers you the opportunity to really enjoy the party without having to be bothered with cleanup and hosting.
As a gym that specializes in helping kids of all ability levels to develop the gym offers a birthday party option that even caters to children of special needs. Let your children have a great time with a party at We Rock The Spectrum Kid’s Gym regardless of their ability, and watch them and the whole party have a great time and make lasting memories.

Fun Activities for Kids with Autism at WRTS

By partnering with many non-profits and companies that are associated with and fully committed to helping children who have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, the staff at We Rock The Spectrum Kid’s Gym continues to be the leader in the development of children on the Spectrum. Their use of unique and fun equipment, toys, creative activities, and classes has made them a stand out and destination for parents of children on the Spectrum to help children grow and develop beyond the parents’ imagination.

Not only does the We Rock The Spectrum Kid’s Gym team offer programs for children on the Spectrum, but they advertise and fully believe in being an all-inclusive gym for all kids to enjoy and through this have become a great place for parents to bring their children regardless of their development or ability. By offering programs that begin to work on child development from as early an age as twelve months old, the team helps to begin and keep the growth going and can do so for kids up through age eighteen as well.

The We Rock The Spectrum Kid’s Gym offers a ton of great equipment such as climbing structures, crash mats and pillow, tunnels, swings, sensory toys, and even an arts and crafts area all designed for kids to play and enjoy while they develop. That is truly the key to child development regardless of ability, making it fun while they learn and the children will retain the development better and even want to come back for more and this team really gets and gives that message every single day. With an awesome staff of enthusiastic and caring professionals no parent can ever go wrong by choosing the We Rock The Spectrum Kid’s Gym team. In fact once a family has decided to start attending the gym the only regret they have is not doing so sooner.