Meet the Owners!
We would like you to meet Mike and Lena White, newest owners of We Rock the Spectrum coming to Williamsburg, VA. Mike is a dedicated father, loyal New York sports fan and has traveled the world for his career working for the Department of Defense. Lena is a former Elementary School Teacher and Reading Specialist who recently decided to stay home with her children. Lena loves reading, yoga and spending time with her family-and their dogs Mica & Una.
As parents of four active little boys (Sean-8, Brayden-6, Nathan-4 & Declan-3) Lena and Mike have searched the world seeking the perfect sensory experiences that they were confident would cater to all four of their children. When their son Brayden was very young, Lena and Mike noticed some differences in his development from his older brother and other children his age. As Brayden continued to grow, he began demonstrating difficulties with regulating his emotions, aversions to certain smells, sounds and touch, would not initiate play with other children and was unable to maintain eye contact. He would become anxious over new experiences and some of life’s early challenges began to prove extremely difficult for Brayden. As a teacher with experience working with special needs students, Lena knew that there was something there, but couldn’t exactly put her finger on it. After countless internet searches, advice from friends, fruitless doctors appointments and pleading with school districts to look beyond what they initially thought were just behavioral “issues,” Brayden was first diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum, then with Sensory Processing Disorder and finally with ADHD Combined Type. Mike and Lena finally felt that they had a starting point through which they could get Brayden the services that he needed to be successful both at school and at play. After the diagnoses, all of the therapies that Brayden began to receive have helped transform him into the funny, confident and loving 6 year old he is today. Brayden especially LOVED OT (Occupational Therapy). He loved going to his OT’s sensory gyms and taking part in sensory play. Lena and Mike saw a major difference in Brayden’s behavior after he began regularly receiving the sensory input that he craved.
Upon moving to Williamsburg, The White family already knew it was a wonderful place to raise their children but quickly realized that it was lacking one MAJOR thing…Lena decided to once again do a quick internet search to find the nearest sensory gym and much to her dismay their was nothing in the immediate area! Fortunately, what did come up was the We Rock the Spectrum’s web page. Purely out of curiosity Lena clicked around, read about the gym and watched a few videos…then read the line “Finally a Place Where You Never Have to Say I’m Sorry” and through tears, immediately knew that she had to be a part of it! Lena contacted Dina Kimmel that very same day and the rest, as they say, is history.
Lena and Mike are beyond excited to start this journey of providing the greater Williamsburg area with a safe, fun environment for all children to play, interact, and fulfill their sensory needs. Even more importantly, they look forward to bringing together a network of parents that may have challenges similar to the White family a few years back. As many sensory issues are often misdiagnosed or go undiagnosed, many parents are left feeling helpless, exhausted and often don’t know how to best support their child(ren) or where to turn when the behaviors become too much for them to handle on their own. Lena says, “since having to educate myself and becoming an advocate for my own child out of necessity, I have now dedicated my life to assisting other parents, teachers and professionals working with children in paying closer attention to those challenging behaviors that are all too often overlooked, but very much significant. If we were to help just one other family add another piece to their puzzle in understanding how to best support their child(ren), we have done exactly what we set out to do.” –Lena White
Our Gym Includes:
- Suspended equipment with swings – for balance and vestibular treatment
- Crash mats and crash pillows – for fun, motor planning, and strength
- Zip line – for stress release and joint and body relaxation
- Trampoline – for building leg and core strength
- Indoor play structure – for climbing and increasing playground skills
- Sensory-based toys – for improved auditory processing and fine motor skills
- Fine Motor and Arts and Crafts Area – for improved hand-eye coordination