Andrea Talia Beasley is the Owner and Operator of We Rock the Spectrum – South Orlando, alongside her husband, Marcell, and their two children, Mia and Deshaun. Originally a single mom to Mia from “The Ocean State” of Rhode Island, Andrea’s passion to serve families and children on the spectrum began with Mia.
Although Andrea saw concerns with Mia’s development and behavior from birth, pediatricians and specialists were unable to accurately diagnose her in order to properly intervene at that time. In 2011, after relocating to Gilbert, AZ, Mia finally received exceptional medical care and their world expanded as they began to learn all about sensory processing disorders and the way the brain processes information received through the senses. With increased understanding about how everyday stimuli were excruciating and intense for Mia, resulting in daily “fight or flight” meltdowns, they were able to begin advocating for accommodations. Armed with answers, they also began effectively helping her manage her academics, social skill abilities, and self-esteem through occupational therapy with specialized equipment. Mia received what therapists called an intensive “sensory diet” of therapy activities that would help regulate her sensory input to feel more comfortable, focused, and in turn, she was better able to process, manage her emotions, and problem solve.
After relocating back to central Florida once more in 2013, Andrea saw the importance to fight isolation and exhaustion by finding community with others living with similar challenges. So, she organized and facilitated a parent support group in their community, inviting parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders to share with, learn from, and support one another. And sometimes just even sit in each other’s presence, not even needing to say anything! These relationships with others who truly understood brought healing and comfort and fanned the flame in Andrea’s heart to continue finding ways to bring families together as well as build awareness in the community. Andrea, an artist at heart, also found joy and comfort in hosting an art club for children in the community to come together and have a safe space to enjoy learning about art and exploring their creative giftings. Although Mia continued to struggle with academics and socialization, they clung to one another and their faith as their foundation, keeping hope that help would be provided, things would improve, and all the pain would somehow be used for good one day.
As Mia continued therapy, they also recognized the need to incorporate some therapy equipment at home for even more exposure on the days Mia didn’t have treatment. But with a lack of space and limitations on installations that could make at home, trying to do this became costly and frustrating very quickly. This resulted in piles of unused equipment in the garage. Experiencing this challenge was the conduit for the exciting vision laid on Andrea’s heart of having a local and affordable sensory gym where not only could children utilize the equipment, but also find friends, community, support in their individual challenges, and to celebrate growth. After searching with expectations to find one locally, she realized there were none. Then broadening the search nationally, she found the We Rock the Spectrum Kid’s Gym franchise, an all-inclusive sensory gym founded for children with special needs in mind as well as neurotypically developing children alike. Andrea knew she was purposed to bring this wonderful, all-inclusive, and positive place to the area for others.
In 2021 after five years of envisioning and planning, Andrea and Marcell stepped out and opened We Rock the Spectrum – South Orlando. Together as a family, they’re committed to using their strengths and experience to partner with others in bringing awareness throughout the community, fundraising for families, and providing a safe, nurturing, and fun environment to foster learning, exploration, and safe sensory experiences for ALL kids together.
Founder of We Rock the
Spectrum Kid's Gym, LLC
Manager at We Rock the
Spectrum Kid's Gym