Sensory gym provides inclusive atmosphere for children of all ages and abilities

Q’s Corner is a sensory gym built to accommodate individuals of all ages and ability levels.

Sensory gym provides inclusive atmosphere for children of all ages and abilities
May 05
12:37 2021

Q’s Corner is an all-inclusive indoor play gym that allows children and adults of all ages, and most importantly skill levels, to have fun. Located at 1800 N. Main St., Suite 136, in High Point, Q’s Corner services people from all over the Triad area.

Q’s Corner’s primary focus is to foster an inclusive judgement-free environment for people of all ability levels to engage in physical activities, gaming and experiencing 360 degrees of virtual reality. Their facility includes areas for interaction such as a large ball pit, motion play equipment, arcades, trampolines, swings and a state-of-the-art sensory room.

The idea for the business came to owner Candace Hayes due to her wanting to find a place where her autistic son could play right alongside those without disabilities, whether physical or mental.  

“I remember we were at my daughter’s birthday party at a trampoline park and my son got tired and laid on the trampoline and before I could get to him, the staff kept blowing their whistles and yelling at him to get up,” Hayes said about an incident involving her son. “I understand that there are rules and regulations kids have to follow, but I was just wondering as I was walking towards him, when is it going to click to the staff that this child does not understand them?

“It just never clicked and when I spoke with them, they said they didn’t have a clue and I was wondering how they didn’t have a clue. At that point, I just needed to create a safe environment for parents and kids and not feel embarrassed if a child has a tantrum and starts screaming and yelling.”

Hayes began the process for Q’s Corner six years ago while living in California. She was meticulous with what she wanted to include in the gym, so that no one would be left out.

“One of the biggest things that I did was put myself in a position where I took away some of my privilege and that’s what I think a lot of businesses, schools and people should do if they want to be inclusive anyway,” she stated. “I said, ‘Okay, I have a son with autism, this is what he likes,’ so we have swings. Then I said, ‘What if my son had autism and he was in a wheelchair?’ I couldn’t take him to the movies, because he would scream and yell, so what would a kid with autism in a wheelchair be able to do?

“Basically, I just put myself in every situation that I could think about and just created from there.”

As a High Point native, Hayes has wanted to open the business in her hometown because she knows there is a need for this type of sensory gym in the area. Q’s Corner has been open since February 1 and the business has thrived since opening, even during the pandemic.

“I wasn’t expecting COVID, but I felt that people would take to it,” she said about the business. “I felt like it would be a great thing and we don’t have a lot here in High Point, but it is really growing. I wasn’t really sure about the response, but I did think it would be special to some parents who were looking to get their kids out of the house.”

Lakieshia Clarida, manager of Q’s Corner, says the business has exceeded expectations, not only with the number of people who have visited, but also with the positive results families have received from their children.

“So far, business has been above expectations,” said Clarida. “So far, we have had some great experiences with families when they come in. Some of them said their children never sit long for anything and they will come here and spend a lot of time in one area versus running from area to area.

“We have kids who have never swung before due to being in a wheelchair, are able to get in our wheelchair swing and experience something us able-bodied individuals have experienced years ago.”

Clarida wanted to clarify that the gym is not designed just for individuals with autism, but instead was just created with them in mind, as well as able-bodied individuals.

“This gym is designed for everyone,” she said. “What we are trying to do is bridge the gap between children and adults with disabilities and typical functioning children and adults. We wanted children and adults to play side by side and not realize or focus on anyone’s disability.”

Clarida says she has been a schoolteacher previously, so she knew the positive effects the gym could have on certain children. It makes her feel “happy and proud” to help families and provide a safe space.

“We have smaller kids that will interact with older kids that are 15 and 16 and they don’t look at them any differently, they just gravitate towards each other and start playing,” she said. “To be able to provide that space and help bridge that gap makes me feel good.”

Clarida stated that parents routinely come in with the expectations that their children would not enjoy the sensory gym or spend much time there, but after they visit, their minds have been totally changed and become regular visitors.

“Parents will come in and say they have heard of our facility, but wanted to come in and see what we have to offer,” she continued. “They don’t think their child would spend much time in the facility or have something for everyone. When they come in, they see that everything in the facility is made for everyone, no matter their age or ability level.”

People have been coming from all over the Triad and beyond. Clarida says people have driven all the way from Virginia to visit the facility.

The gym does proper social distance, as well as use temperature checks and frequent cleanings throughout the day.

For more information about Q’s Corner, please visit their website at or call 336-905-8889.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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