HICKORY, N.C. — When kids who have special needs want to run around and have fun, finding a playground that serves all abilities can be tough to find for parents.

What You Need To Know

  • According to the CDC about 1 in 6 children ages 3-7 have one or more developmental disability
  • Two Hickory moms with history and experience with children with sensory disabilities launched We Rock the Spectrum, an indoor playground safe for families
  • The new building includes a safe indoor playground, security gates and even a bathroom with an adult changing table

According to the CDC about 1 in 6 children ages 3-7 have one or more developmental disability in physical, learning, language or behavior areas. 

Amy Hayton is a mother of four, and a lot of her energy is spent on her children. Her youngest is Leah, 8, who was born with Down syndrome. 

"She is also developmentally delayed, she has a hard time with loud noises and we've tried to go to the trampoline park, but it's such a sensory overload for her," Hayton said. 

Recently an indoor playground, We Rock the Spectrum opened in Hickory. It was created for families with children with sensory disabilities ranging from autism to Down syndrome to ADHD. 

The Hayton family visits several times a week. 

“Being able to come participate in activities has been awesome for her," Hayton said. 

Co-owner Kathryn Grandgenett knows exactly what these families are going through. Her 12-year-old son has autism.

“Every kid on the planet wants to have a feeling of belonging. As an autism mom, it is hard to find a place where you can really relax and put your feet up and let your kid play," Grandgenett said. 

The owners included massage chairs, so parents can get some TLC. 

For Hayton the layout and design of the place gives her peace of mind. 

“Most of the places I take her, I have to follow her around the whole time and make sure that she doesn’t get into something that would be dangerous, and that’s not the case here. Everything is totally safe," Hayton said.