Did you know We Rock The Spectrum The Woodlands relocated with new owners!? WRTSTW is now on F.M. 1488 and had their Grand Opening on May 22nd. We Rock The Spectrum is an amazing indoor play / sensory gym designed to be a place for all children – toddlers to preteens with sensory play for all needs. Taffta Thornburgh is the new owner along with her husband, Dustin, and what I love about them is that they didn’t just open a play facility, they opened a gym that they feel very passionate about and can allow them to further their work with children. Taffta is an Occupation Therapist and also owns Best Practices Behavior and Occupational Therapy that offers behavior intervention as well as direct private occupational therapy. And, her and her husband also recently launched PEERS in The Woodlands, which is an intensive 14 week social skills curriculum for teens and their parents. It previously had a telehealth format, but now they will be able to offer PEERS to teens and young adults at their gym. Taffta says her goal at WRTSTW is to be a hub of play and acceptance 🤍.
Check out her interview below to learn more about WRTSTW, the inspiration behind opening the gym, and how Taffta balances her OT work, owning a gym and other businesses, and being a mama to 3 girls.
Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in the North Houston area?
I was born and raised in Louisiana but lived briefly in North Houston as a child (preschool and kindergarten). I moved to Southern California in my mid 20s where I met my husband, Dustin (a native of Southern California), got my masters in occupational therapy, and began our family. In the summer of 2018, we decided Texas was a better fit for us. We immediately fell in love with our new community and knew right away we wanted to find a platform to give back and provide resources. We signed our franchise agreement for the kids gym just before the pandemic began and worked for 14 months to get it open!
Are you a parent, too? How old are your kid(s)?
I am a mom! I have three girls. Twins who are 11 and another daughter who is 10. We managed to have 3 children within a 14 month span.
What did you do before becoming a business owner?
I am an occupational therapist and before moving to Texas, I worked in the public school system in Los Angeles for 13 years. After moving to Texas, I switched my focus to home health and private practice. In 2019 my husband and I started Best Practices Behavior and Occupational Therapy to offer behavior intervention as well as direct private occupational therapy. We recently launched PEERS in The Woodlands, an intensive 14 week social skills curriculum for teens and their parents. It was previously a telehealth format, but now we will be able to offer PEERS to teens and young adults at our gym.
When did you open the doors to We Rock The Spectrum The Woodlands and what was the inspiration behind it?
WRTSTW just opened May 22, 2021! I focused on sensory integration and school therapy while in school for OT and had the opportunity to provide sensory integration therapy in a clinic setting while in the Los Angeles public school setting, but I was never quite sure I could open a private practice clinic on my own. While working with a private client I mentioned to the mom that I would love to try out swings in therapy and we made plans to visit the previous WRTS location on Sawdust. However, we learned it was closed and the mom encouraged me to look into acquiring it. Overall I’ve been most inspired by the families I’ve met in my work, at my daughters’ schools, or out in public. Further, working in homes with families and seeing the struggles and concerns in person really changed my perspective, and opening a new gym seemed to check all the boxes of things I wanted to do as a therapist, mom, and member of the community.
What makes your indoor play facility unique from others in the area?
We truly are designed to be a place for all children. We have activities for toddlers up to preteens, but we are also designed to be flexible for children with all needs. We have a calming room with light features for children who need space or are over stimulated. We have a toddler and make believe area, a spring free trampoline, and a zip line. All swings can be adjusted for children upon request. Our goal is to a be a hub of play and acceptance. We want families to come try out various types of input and sensory experiences and pick our brains to help problem solve or search for resources.
Why was it important to you to open a gym that offers sensory friendly play?
Technically everything we do is sensory. And regardless of whether or not there is a diagnosis involved, each and every one of us has sensory preferences and avoidances. It is not always obvious that increasing movement or touch can make a big impact, so it is important for us to provide a safe atmosphere for families to discover how sensory experiences can help them. Finally, play is so important for kids, so combining play with increased sensory input is even more beneficial!
Do you offer birthday parties and/or events?
We do! In fact, we encourage everyone to check our website or social media for our weekend hours in the event we have birthday parties planned. Birthday parties are a 2 hour minimum for 10 kids with $10 for each additional child. Packages range from $150-$250 per hour. We have a party package called Rock Unique for children with special needs as well ($175/hour). Soon we are starting Mommy & Me Movement classes, sensory/art days, and a sensory themed summer camp. Our camps will be a drop off model for three hours each day for 5 days. We will also offer a Social Emotional/Self-Regulation camp and a handwriting workshop before school starts in the fall. We also plan to eventually offer monthly sensory friendly haircuts.
What is your goal for each child and care giver that comes in to experience We Rock The Spectrum?
Best advice for someone wanting to take the leap of faith into entrepreneurship or wanting to open their own business?
You can do it! I can only best compare it to planning to have children. You might have a beautiful birth plan, but in reality, there will likely be complications, it might take way longer than anticipated, and in the end you just want to push the baby out already. But when it’s all said and done, no matter what, you know you’ll love your baby and the process will have been worth it.
How do you balance being a business owner and parent?
My husband is just as passionate about this as I am so we make a great team. And speaking of team, our girls are so excited to be a part of this gym. They are great little helpers with the small children who visit our gym. Our parents have also helped us immensely in getting this business opened.
Any Deal or Events North Houston Moms can be on the lookout for?
Look out for our camps, classes, and sensory friendly haircuts. We will be advertising soon.
Future plans for your business?
We have so many ideas to implement first. But I really want to be a place to help problem solve. If I hear a need that we can fulfill, whether it be a class or a new piece of equipment, I would feel like I am accomplishing my goals with the business.
To learn more about WRTSTW, Best Practices Therapy, and/or PEERS The Woodlands:
Websites: www.werockthespectrumthewoodlands.com ; www.bestpracticestherapy.com ; www.peersinthewoodlands.org
Instagram: @wrtswoodlandstx ; @bestpracticestherapy ; @peersinthewoodlands
Facebook: @wrtswoodlandstx ; @bestpracticestherapy ; @PEERSInTheWoodlands