The new Tucson gym is aimed at children with autism and other special needs

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) – Arian Kottabi and his daughter Lola said they were ready to leave the house.

“2020 was difficult for many families, especially when it comes to socializing their little ones,” said Kottabi.

The Kottabi family visited We Rock the Spectrum – Tuscon. It’s a new gym on the East Side specially built for children with autism and other special needs.

“I have children. One has special needs. She has microcephaly and autism. I have a son who is more neurotypical. For the longest time we’ve wondered what we could do together,” said We Rock the Spectrum – Tucson owner, Destiny Wagner.

Wagner said it all started when she came across a video of the concept on YouTube.

“At that moment I said, ‘That’s it.’ I’ll do that. Tucson needs that. My family needs that. A lot of families need that, “said Wagner.

We Rock the Spectrum is filled with devices that help children with sensory processing disorders, but the space welcomes all children.

“We have certain swings to help you balance. Most children understand this by the age of two, three or four, but some children take longer. This is a place for all children. For some who know how to do it “It’s just fun to play. For some, it’ll help them learn and that’s amazing,” Wagner said.

Much of the gym equipment has been reordered due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This delayed the opening of the store by about a year. Wagner said she always stayed positive and kept her dream alive for families in the Tucson area.

“I want us all to feel very comfortable. It’s an inclusive and safe environment for families,” said Wagner.

“I have a feeling this won’t be our last time here. My daughter is having a good time,” said Kottabi.

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