All posts by Wrts New Orleans

We Rock the Spectrum New Orleans will reopen Monday

KENNER– We Rock the Spectrum New Orleans will reopen June 1st for Private Playdates.

These private facility rentals offer an opportunity for children of all abilities to “feed their sensory diet in a safe, inclusive environment, within the parameters of social distancing.”

During Private Playdates, families have exclusive use of We Rock the Spectrum New Orleans for up to 5 children for 90 minutes. Between each appointment, the facility will be closed, cleaned, and disinfected. The gym says that additional precautions are in place and will be outlined when you make a reservation.

We Rock the Spectrum Kids Gyms was founded to provide a place for children of all ability levels to play and grow together. “In our experience, all children are able to benefit greatly from this equipment and playing together, particularly during these times. Private Playdates are the way to burn off energy, feed your sensory diet, and build lasting memories through safe, active family fun.”

Reservations can be made through our mobile app or by calling 504-535-4ALL (504-535-4255)


Things to do with your kids because their schools are closed. Thanks, Gordon. –

We can’t blame the school systems for closing Wednesday, Sept. 5. New Orleans wasn’t exactly slammed by Gordon, but these things can be hard to predict. Remember when they said Katrina was heading toward Florida?

So now the kiddos are home, and what are you gonna do all day? Assuming you can play hooky from work, or some wonderful grandparents or other relatives or friends are willing to pitch in, here are some ideas.

Family welcomes boy with autism to join private party – First Coast News

Eli was so excited for his date with his Aunt at We Rock The Spectrum in New Orleans that he had decided he wanted to wear a bow tie that day.

“I thought he was overdressed for our date to We Rock The Spectrum this morning (peep bow tie), but since I had on a dress I figured “fair enough,” Cutno wrote in a Facebook post.

There was just one slight hiccup. When the pair arrived at the sensory-safe gym, they noticed there was already a private party going on.

Renée Cutno said she was dreading telling Eli he had to go home; he had already taken his shoes off.

Read More Here

Programs offer kids with special needs opportunities to play, learn, create – The New Orleans Advocate

Brandi Boyd had a simple goal: to bring her three sons, 11, 5 and 2, to activities they could all enjoy. But it wasn’t easy. Her eldest, Xavier, diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, often feels uncomfortable in noisy crowds and bright venues.

So in September, after more than a year of planning, Boyd and her husband opened a franchise of “We Rock The Spectrum” — a playroom that’s custom-built for children who have trouble processing certain sensations but welcoming to all.

The gym is in Esplanade Mall and features a zip-line, crawl-through tunnels, a trampoline, swings and climbing structures, along with arts and crafts stations, aerobics classes and sturdy toys for tots.

“This place is designed with certain colors and a certain layout, so that it can be useful and fun,” said Boyd, explaining that the soft, neutral colors have a calming effect. Red is used in areas that are off-limits.

The layout allows parents to see their children from any angle of the room. Gentle games, like dressing up in costumes, are on one side of the venue, while climbing stations and trampolines are on the other, so everyone is safe.

The mobile version of Boyd’s gym — We Rock on Wheels — brings that sensory entertainment to festivals, birthday parties and other private events.

With more than two dozen locations nationally, Kenner’s We Rock the Spectrum is one of several local programs for children and adults with developmental disabilities. Most incorporate elements of physical activity and socialization, along with arts-based exercises that facilitate creative expression.


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Continue reading Programs offer kids with special needs opportunities to play, learn, create – The New Orleans Advocate

Get your ‘cash for candy’ at The Esplanade in Kenner – WDSU News

If you’re looking for a place to drop off excess Halloween candy, head to Kenner.

The Esplanade mall is taking unwanted Halloween candy and offering an incentive for children and their families. Organizers said for every pound of unopened candy, children will get $1. They hope children will buy a book or toy that will last longer.

Organizers will donate the candy to the Women and Children’s Shelter in New Orleans.

Children can drop off candy until Saturday. Organizers said the “cash for candy” event is an effort to help children learn about being healthy and helping people.

Candy can be dropped off at the We Rock the Spectrum Kid’s Gym at the mall. The Esplanade is located at 1401 W. Esplanade Ave. in Kenner.

More information about the mall can be found online.

Read Article Here

New sensory gym in Kenner is designed so all kids can play, without judgment

Brandi Boyd was tired. Tired of the stares from strangers. Tired of having to create “exit plans” in case her oldest son, diagnosed with autism, had a meltdown during an outing that resulted in the family’s hurried – and harried – departure.

“There are many places we’ve been where he couldn’t handle for too long,” Boyd said “It was too noisy, too bright or too whatever it may be. To calm himself, he may start chewing on his shirt or making funny noises, and then we start getting the dirty looks from other people.”

While in Texas last year, Boyd discovered an indoor play space where she said she didn’t have to worry about her son’s sensory overload. It was a refreshing discovery, and one she wanted to share.

We Rock the Spectrum Kid’s Gym, an indoor sensory gym that Boyd recently opened at the Esplanade Mall in Kenner, offers that respite for her and, she hopes, other parents of children with special needs.

(See More)


My Brother Rocks The Spectrum Foundation

My Brother Rocks The Spectrum Foundation is our 501(c)3 (tax id #46-4393642) non-profit organization that helps families receive the funding they need to participate in our social skills/activity groups, classes, camps and more. This allows children to be able to use the specialized sensory swings and activities WRTS offers. We offer these groups to children and young adults from 2 to 18yrs of age.

Our mission is to provide all children with any ability or disability a place they can build friendships, keep active and learn to use their energy in their bodies in a productive environment. WRTS uses its equipment and activities to integrate children in this environment also through their Open Play and Break Time programs. We also receive funding from other state programs like the Regional Center, that provide one to one attendant care and other specialized services required to ensure all children can find the benefits of healthy play.

All funds donated to MBRTS are distributed to all of the WRTS locations Nationwide to complete our mission of giving families a community and,  “finally a place where you never have to say I’m sorry.”

Visit our website!

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They work with organizations and businesses just like yours who do amazing work offline and need some help online. Finding a company that can do everything you need isn’t easy. Finding one that does it right, on time, and puts the same tender, love, and care into your business that you do is even harder. That’s the agency ATAK has chosen to be. That’s the solution you’ve just found.

If you need something designed beautifully, ATAK’s got you covered. If you need something built into your website, ATAK can do that too. If you want your message marketed to the world – ATAK will create it, tell you who to send it to, and figure out the best way to get it there. Visit ATAK Interactive at or call them today at 310.526.7493. You can also email to

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.

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 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!