LOCAL NEWS

New sensory gym ‘Friends On The Spectrum’ opens in Kaysville

Mar 23, 2024, 5:21 PM | Updated: Mar 26, 2024, 3:21 pm

KAYSVILLE A unique kind of play place called “Friends On The Spectrum” opened its doors Saturday, offering a unique blend of play and purpose for children with autism and their families.

Founders MaShel and Clay West created a sensory gym and play area that’s much more than just a space for kids. 

“We just set this up for these kids so they can come and be themselves,” West said.

This initiative is close to West’s heart, inspired by her youngest son, Lucas, who loves the camera and, more importantly, needed a place where he felt he belonged.

Lucas’s journey with autism spurred West to leave her executive job behind and channel her efforts into building this inclusive environment. She saw firsthand the isolation that children with autism, like Lucas, experience.

“It’s one of those ‘what are we going to do’ moments… my parents used to say if not you, then who,” West said.

This led her to create a space where children and young adults on the spectrum can create meaningful friendships in a safe and neutral setting.

West notes the scarcity of such places, particularly in Davis County. While behavioral and speech therapies are available, she recognized a gap in support for social skills. West said the new sensory gym aims to fill that void, offering not only play sessions, but special events and parent empowerment classes.

Those interested in learning more or contributing to Friends On The Spectrum, can click here.

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New sensory gym ‘Friends On The Spectrum’ opens in Kaysville