Four-year-old Daniel Smith zoomed by, seated on a child-sized zip line, his dark curls bouncing. Daniel flew until he was above the cushiony crash pit. Off Daniel tumbled into the pillows, with a delighted screech.
Daniel’s mom, Jessica Smith of Bel Air, laughed with him.
“Daniel has so much energy,” she said. “I go to the gym every day, and I’ve been thinking, ‘I have to find someplace for my son.’ I love that this gym is completely kid-friendly and that it is for everybody.”
We Rock the Spectrum Gym’s Forest Hill branch opened in June 2020. The national organization includes nearly 100 sites in 25 states and eight countries and aims to provide therapeutic play for kids with disabilities.
“Everybody who comes through this door knows they will be accepted,” said Nikki Wooton, the former elementary school teacher who owns the Forest Hill franchise with her husband, Trey Wooton, a church youth minister. She estimates that about half their young customers are neurotypical, like her 14-year-old daughter, Alyssa. About half are not, including her 16-year-old son, Connor, who has been diagnosed with high-functioning autism.