New gym will help youngsters with behavioral issues

Sensory-based activities may be therapeutic for children who went through trauma

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Children who struggle with behavioral challenges will soon be able to use a gym as part of their treatment.

The Cutchins Programs for Children & Families held a groundbreaking ceremony at their Northampton campus Friday. The ceremony marked the beginning of construction for the Sensory and Fitness Center gym.

The gym will have equipment for sensory-based activities, which can be therapeutic for children with behavioral issues from past abuse, neglect, and trauma.

“It’s going to have sensory integration-related equipment, such as ball pits and climbing apparatus, and things to get whole body movement. Occupational therapists often work with children from a sensory integration approach to get that full body movement that they need,” said Tina Champagne, executive director of the Cutchins Programs for Children and Families.

Champagne said that the gym is scheduled to be finished by August.