ROSWELL, Ga. - There’s nothing quite like the sounds of children having fun — and squeals of delight are basically the daily soundtrack at Roswell’s We Rock the Spectrum Kid’s Gym.
“There’s so many parents that walk in and they’re like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is exactly what we need. This is what we’ve needed for a long time,’” says gym owner Angela Erisman.
We Rock the Spectrum is a children’s gym franchise with dozens of locations across the United States and internationally. Its goal is to cater to kids of all abilities, including those on the autism spectrum.
“We provide sensory experiences, movement, fitness,” says Erisman. “All kids can play together, grow together, learn together, and really, we’re safe and fun.”
Angela and Jeff Erisman are the owners of the Roswell gym, which is the first in Georgia. As the parents of two boys on the spectrum, they understand better than most how overwhelming these kinds of indoor play facilities can be.
“They’re designed for the child who knows exactly what to do, how to do it, and follows directions. Whereas, when I brought one of my sons to a different place, he always…thought outside the lines. And that’s wasn't always safe for him.”
But the Erismans say “outside the lines” is welcome at their gym; whether it’s quiet time with headphones, flopping belly-down on a swing, or wearing a crawling tunnel as a spacesuit, there’s no wrong way to play, something they say builds confidence in kids.
“I had a little boy in here over the weekend, and his mom really didn’t think he was going to be able to do the zipline,” says Erisman. “20 minutes later, I turned around, he was coming down the zipline and he had the biggest grin on his face.”