Reporting Stephanie Lucero
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PLANO (CBSDFW.COM) – Tom Hise said he doesn’t know if his son will ever be able to verbalize his thoughts, but 10-year-old Robert is active and energetic about his time spent at a Plano gym development for children with autism.
“Kids with autism have a problem getting out of balance and if they’re physically out of balance, their behavior’s out of balance,” Hise said. “So we bring him here. He can get good exercise and he comes out actually feeling calmer, less stress.”
Diana Connor, an occupation physical therapist, works with many children who are autistic. She designed Sensational Movement, which is located on the 1900 Block of North Central Expressway.
“We’re not intended to be a substitute for therapy in any way,” Connor said. “There’s thing you can get at therapy that you can’t get here.”
The gym includes a balance beam, trampolines, turning bars and other sensory-based equipment. Hise said his son enjoys a small pool filled with uncooked beans.
Jennifer Deaton said she’s not sure if her four-year-old son Colden is autistic, but she has noticed he has sensory and auditory processing issues.
“I love bring him here because I know I’m going to leave with a very proud, happy child,” Deaton said.
Connor charges $70 per month, per child, which includes one 45-minute session each week.
She evaluates the needs of each child and pairs them up. Others are given one-on-one sessions with a “coach.”
Tiffany Garrison’s five-year-old daughter, Aaliyah, has sensory issues.
Garrison called her a “sensory seeker,” a child who craves physical attention.
“We come here and it kind of releases the stress and enables her to communicate better,” she said. “Once she’s calm she’s able to give the eye contact she needs and then you can begin to request the words.”