Lafayette gym helps kids with autism and special needs

It's about inclusion for all children at the Lafayette We Rock the Spectrum gym.

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — It’s about inclusion for all children at the Lafayette We Rock the Spectrum gym.

“It’s just safe, I really like it here, we’ll be coming back,” said parent Shelly Harris.

Parents are glad this gym is now available for their children. It helps kids with autism, special needs and neurotypical development.

“It’s really a great time,” Harris said.

But families with children from all walks of life are encouraged to come.

“Oh, it’s amazing,” said Harris. “It’s just, it’s great to see all the interaction between the children, between the special needs children and not the special needs children.”

The equipment is designed to work with sensory processing issues children on the spectrum face. From swinging to zip-lining, there’s a fun activity for everyone at the gym to enjoy.

“It’s fantastic because a lot of times you’re just trying to encourage – push, push, push,” said parent Jim Walsh. “So when they can get in and just feel comfortable, that’s huge.”

Jim Walsh was able to watch his son open up and become comfortable while he played. The longer they stayed, the better experience they had.

“When we first got here it was a little bit of, ya know, like, I said, just so much noise and confusion,” Walsh said. “He had to just settle down into the room. And after that, now he’s owning the room, now we’re chasing him everywhere.”

This is what We Rock the Spectrum owner Meagan Carrero hoped for. She has a son who is on the autism spectrum.

“It’s hard to find a space for them to be able to go and where they can just go and be themselves,” she said.

And this space gives parents a sensory safe place for their children to play. Their motto?

“It’s a place you never have to say you’re sorry,” said Carrero. “The kids here are just allowed to go and be themselves, and express their feelings the way they express their feelings. And so we felt that that was very important for the community.”