My business is We Rock the Spectrum Kid’s Gym for All kids. Our doors opened at the end of the year in September 2010. We are an open play sensory gym. What that means is that all the fun equipment we use — swings, climbing apparatus and toys — is based on occupational therapy. All children love to play at We Rock, but for children who are on the spectrum, they need it!
Dina Kimmel talks about We Rock The Spectrum Kid’s Gym and the Sensitive Santa and Sensitive Cupid programs going on at WRTS for the holidays. Click the video to hear the whole interview!
Since the inception of Women Empowered, I have come across many women from all walks of life and a considerable number of female entrepreneurs.
There’s a thriving female entrepreneurial community here in Los Angeles and many have inspirational stories that are the driving force behind their businesses. One woman in particular who has recently inspired me is Dina Kimmel, Founder and CEO of We Rock the Spectrum. Dina’s story was so powerful and filled with layers of empowerment, that I felt it was my duty to share her story with the rest of the world.
Check out the latest clip with our CEO and hear about the amazing non-profit she has started in honor of her daughter Sophia.
GLENDALE, Calif. (KABC) — Deborah Portnoy and Michael Cohen have over 25 years between them working with special needs populations. Their 14-year-old son, Harry, is autistic, as well.
So, they welcomed the opportunity to open We Rock The Spectrum Kids Gym, a so-called sensory gym that accommodates all children, but particularly those with special needs.
“When we heard about this opportunity we jumped at the chance to create something that would utilize both of our professional skills and then what we knew personally,” said Deborah Portnoy, co-owner of the facility.
I first met Dina Kimmel at a yard sale she was having. She had recently bought a nearby kids’ gym and was selling their old equipment to make way for the new. It would be a brand-new business venture for her and her enthusiasm was contagious. It was to be a different kind of kids’ gym – a sensory gym with high-end therapy equipment that would especially meet the needs of children with autism. That’s when I discovered that we both had young sons on the autism spectrum. I was excited by her idea, which was unlike anything I’d heard of before.
Dina Kimmel rocks, proving daily that this mother’s love knows no bounds. When her daughter, Sophia, was born in 2004, everything went as planned. Sophia developed normally, was an early talker (at age 1) and interacted appropriately with children and adults. Dina and her husband, Tim, were easing into parenthood. In 2007, the Kimmels welcomed son Gabriel. Sophia was happy to be a big sister, and Dina and Tim were thrilled to have a new baby boy. But something was different this time. “I took Gabriel to a mommy-and-me class when he was 18 months old, and I knew something was wrong,” says Kimmel. “The doctors wouldn’t listen to me.” Kimmel persisted, and in 2009 Gabriel was diagnosed with autism…
Boca Raton, Florida – The emphasis is on fun at the We Rock The Spectrum Kid’s Gym in suburban Boca Raton. But along with the jumping on the trampoline, riding the zip line, the laughing and shouting, therapy and instructions are going on here for children on the autism spectrum. “He’s holding on, which is good,” said Jennifer Guttenberg, an occupational therapist working with one of the children on the zip line. “I also asked him if he wants more, and he said ‘Yes,’ so we’re also getting the speech interaction and social interaction as well, which is good.” Guttenberg uses this type of gym equipment to help the children with autism she works with develop their senses.
On April 29th, 2014 we had “The Ribbon Cutting Ceremony” at our WRTS Corporate Office at 18859 Ventura Blvd in Tarzana . This was a huge moment for our company. We had a representative from the Mayor’s office, the Council members office, the Assembly office and the President of the Chamber attend with many other professionals and ambassadors of the chamber, as well as family and loved ones. Following the ribbon cutting was our event for our Non Profit MBRTS at McDonalds in Tarzana. They generously donated 20% of all food ordered between the hrs 4pm to 6pm. We look forward to the future and opening up a WRTS in an area close to you!
“Being the Grand Club Sponsors for Walk Now for Autism Speaks Los Angeles was one of the most incredible days of my life!” says founder Dina Kimmel.We stood in front of over 60 thousand people and know now more than ever that when a WRTS is opening, we are making a difference in the world and giving a home to so many families. “Finally a place where you never have to say I’m sorry” is a need in all communities says Kimmel. A big thank you to Kathleen Lantos Photography as we now get to relive one of the most incredible days in WRTS history! Check out this amazing video above, and see what WRTS and Autism Awareness is all about…