Maria Sylvia and Praveen are the owners of We Rock the Spectrum in Edmonton, AB, Canada! Maria has her master’s in physics and is now an ABA Therapist and Praveen has an MBA and works in Finance.
The course of our lives forever changed 9 years ago. We call this chapter “Lemuel”.
Our future was defined at that very moment when Lemi (as we lovingly call him) was diagnosed with ASD at a tender age of a year and 9 months – loud places were a no go, skipping family gatherings became a routine, isolation was our friend, and the “we” was all we had. Moving away was a choice to avoid difficult questions, the branding of our child, and the sheer lack of awareness.
Jumping from one country to another due to similar reasons and expanding our family was a difficult decision with the worry of another episode. Lemi taught us how to face challenges though his experience. He could not speak a word until he was 2.5 years old but overcame that obstacle and every other one that followed on his own accord. He never gave up, so why should we? He has a smile on his face, struggles with his own emotions, and every battle is won by a statement, “Don’t worry, Mom/Dad, I can manage.” We have learned so much more from him to be better parents and since then we have added two more names to our family, Lael and Matt, and together the three are unstoppable, messy and noisy. We could not have imagined a better life than this.
Our journey brought us to Edmonton, Alberta in Canada and what we witnessed here was a similar struggle for many parents. Though there is a widespread awareness, and the country and people are amazing, our kids needed a place of no judgement or explanation for their actions.
The We Rock the Spectrum franchise is that place and never having to say “I’m sorry” is not a tag line but freedom…a freedom to be who they are. We want to give Lemi and many like him a place where they (his siblings) can play carefree as they are beautiful in their own ways.
Founder of We Rock the
Spectrum Kid's Gym, LLC
Manager at We Rock the
Spectrum Kid's Gym