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Traveling with Autism: Gatlinburg SkyPark and Knoxville Sunsphere

Are you wanting to face your fear of heights? Or do you love them as much as Bryce does? If your answer is "Yes" to either question, we have a couple of recommendations in Tennessee!


We've done p l e n t y of shopping in Gatlinburg and had no desire to pop in-and-out of stores again during our last visit. While our Colter family explored the stores during their first-time visit, the three of us opted to ride the SkyPark with the SkyLift that I believe is the same one I rode in 1987 with my high school senior classmates! Once you're at the top of the mountain, you have another "be brave" opportunity with the SkyBridge. Bryce told himself out loud "I will face this fear!" as he prepared to take his first step. His reward for his bravery was the chance to see construction vehicles on the other side of the bridge which was a little thrill for him. The SkyPark has a place to eat and a little waterfall with beautiful flowers. The views of Gatlinburg are expansive and worth the ride to the top!



With a trip scheduled to visit Cedar Springs Christian Store in Knoxville, I looked to see if there was anything else there that might interest Bryce. As soon as I saw an image of the Sunsphere, I knew we had a winner. We kept is a surprise in order to witness his authentic first reaction to "golden disco ball", the name he dubbed it. He was very excited to go up the elevator and have elevated views of the city. In spite of the rain, it was still an enjoyable experience full of history about the World Fair held there in 1980 (attended by my oldest brother). The views of University Tennessee and Neyland Stadium were very clear from up above.


A bonus tidbit: The buyer at Cedar Springs Christian Store has our book, PARENTING AUTISM The Early Years, on their shelf for purchase! Please pick up a copy if you're in the area!



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