We Rock The Spectrum Carmel gym designed for children with special needs


By Samantha Kupiainen

We Rock The Spectrum Carmel, a gym designed for children with autism and special needs, opened April 6, less than a year since its owners learned about the business and franchise opportunities.

The kid-centered gym has more than 70 locations across the nation and affords children a space for sensory-safe play. The Carmel gym is run by mother-daughter duo Jane Lowe and Sarah McCorkle. The idea to open their own franchise sparked in July 2023 after the two struggled to find programming for Sarah’s son, Korben, 6, who is autistic and non-verbal.

“I couldn’t find anything,” said Lowe, co-owner of We Rock The Spectrum Carmel. “So, I thought, we need to find a business that we can do together. I typed in franchises near me, and We Rock The Spectrum was the second one that popped up.”

After filling out the franchise questionnaire, Lowe and McCorkle did a couple of interviews, and by September 2023 the two became franchise owners. They signed the lease on their building at 13644 N. Meridian St. in October 2023.

Prior to opening their gym, Lowe worked in the flooring industry and McCorkle worked in the veterinary industry.

Like all other franchise locations, We Rock The Spectrum Carmel has 12 pieces of equipment designed for the sensory processing issues children on the spectrum face. The gym has suspended equipment with swings to help with balance and vestibular treatment; crash mats and crash pillows for fun, motor planning and strength; a zip slider for stress release and joint and body relaxation; a trampoline for building leg and core strength; an indoor play structure for climbing and increasing playground skills; and sensory-based toys and equipment for improved auditory processing and fine motor skills.

The space also features a fine motor and arts and crafts area that aids hand-eye coordination, a calming room for regulating emotions and reducing negative sensory input, and a private room for birthday parties, events and classes.

Within a year, We Rock The Spectrum Carmel is aiming to offer children’s yoga, camps and classes for parents and kids. Also on the horizon are music therapy classes and Parents Night Out events.

Even though the facility has only been open a short time, Lowe and McCorkle have already seen it make a difference for the local neurodivergent community.

“The families that have been through here have been amazing,” McCorkle said. “There are a lot of families that need this. I’ve had so many conversations already with moms who are like, ‘Finally, something for my son or my daughter and for me.’”

Pass options for We Rock The Spectrum Carmel include three, five or 12 visits at time, as well as day passes, and can be purchased online at werockthespectrumcarmel.com.