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New Tucson gym caters to kids with autism and other special needs

February 10,2021

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Arian Kottabi and his daughter Lola said they were ready to get out of the house.

“For a lot of families, 2020 was hard. Especially in regard to socialization of their little ones,” said Kottabi.

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

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

Wagner said it all started when she stumbled into a video of the concept on YouTube.

“In that moment I said, ‘That is it.’ I am doing this. This is what Tucson needs. This is what my family needs. This is what a lot of families need,” said Wagner.

We Rock the Spectrum is filled with equipment that helps kids with sensory processing disorders, but the space welcomes all children.

“We have certain swings that help you with your balance. Most kids catch onto that around ages two, three or four, but some kids take longer. This is a place for all kids. For some who knows how to do it, it’s just fun to play on. For some, it will help them learn and that’s amazing, said Wagner.

Much of the gym’s equipment was put on back-order because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This delayed the business’ opening for about one year. Wagner said she always stayed positive and kept her dream alive for families around Tucson.

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

“I have a feeling this is not going to be our last time here. My daughter is having a good time,” said Kottabi.