GREENWOOD, Ind. – This weekend, families of children with autism, special needs and other development disorders will have a new, safe place for their kids to play.
The “We Rock The Spectrum” gym officially opens in Greenwood on Saturday.
The hope for the owners is that the facility can meet a need and make a child’s life better.
“When I heard about this gym, I instantly knew that this was something needed for our community,” said owner Amy Phillips. “I felt extremely passionate about the idea. I’ve been a special needs educator for 18 years.”
The Perry Township teacher is extending her reach beyond the classroom.
“There’s a lot of families that deserve this, and I wanted to be the one to bring that to them,” she said.
The items are tailor-made for children with sensory processing issues. A zip line helps with upper arm strength, while a crash pad provides a soft place to land.
Swings are designed to comfort and cradle children.
“When they’re able to sit in that, they can relax,” said Philips, “A lot of times, you would have to go to a physical therapist or an occupational therapist to have access to this type of equipment.”
The gym also has a calming room, a place where children can relax if they’ve had too much.
“Kids with special needs sometimes need to have a break. They get overstimulated,” said Amy Phillips.
Amy said since announcing her plans, parents of children with special needs across the Indianapolis metro area have been reaching out. She and her husband Nick want this to be a spot where every child and family feels accepted.
“This is a place that they never have to say they’re sorry,” said Nick Phillips, “They can play here in the gym and be themselves, so there is hope. And it’s here.”
The grand opening is Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the facility in Greenwood located at 210 South Emerson Avenue in Suite D.