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F.E.A.T. - Chattanooga

PO Box 23731
Chattanooga, TN 37422
(423) 296-0092

Volume I
Issue 7
May 1999

Outback Steakhouse Fundraiser

Thanks to those members who have sold sponsorships and individual tickets. Only a few tickets are still available for the Outback Steakhouse fundraiser. Don't forget that the buffet luncheon will be held at the Hamilton Place Boulevard location on Saturday, May 15 from Noon until 2:00 pm. Tickets are only $10 per person. Call 296-0092 to reserve tickets for yourself or others you plan to sell tickets to. All money and/or unsold tickets are due by the next FEAT meeting, Tuesday, May 11.

Two personal touches we have planned for the event are a display board at the front door with pictures of children that have autism and placemats colored by our children. If you are interested in providing a photo of your child to use in our display, please provide an 8x10 color copy of your child's picture at our next FEAT meeting.

April's Meeting

Thanks to Teresa Bruns for speaking about Occupational Therapy at our last FEAT meeting in April. It was very informative and we appreciate all the information Teresa was able to provide.

Also, thanks to Julie Duff for sharing her personal experience as a person with Autism. It was very inspirational and enlightening. We appreciate Julie's help and FEAT is proud to have Julie as a member.

Upcoming Meetings

May 11, 1999-
Guest Speakers -
   Dr. Denise Shepard,
O.D. pediatric optometrist
and Valerie Jiannotti

   Dr. Shepard: Promoting visual tracking in early childhood. Valerie will share helpful classroom issues BIG and SMALL

June 8, 1999 -
No speaker scheduled -
open format
Questions/comments about our kids.

July 13, 1999 -
No speaker scheduled -
open format

August 10, 1999 -
Guest Speaker:
Shirley Lewis
Parents Encouraging Parents

Meeting Time and Place
Second Tuesday of Each Month
 6:30 pm   Room 140
Massoud Pediatric Building
 T. C. Thompson
Children's Hospital

FEAT Board
Nominations and Elections

During the June and July meetings, nominations will be taken for the for the 3 to 5 positions available on the FEAT Board. Elections will be held in August. Listed below are the board members that will continue to serve and the years left in their terms:

Henry (2 years)   Valerie (2 years)
Phil (1 year)   Tami (1 year).
After the new board members are elected, the board will then elect officers according to our bylaws.



Secretin Conference Held in Knoxville

Secretin has become a hot topic among families with autistic children and professionals who treat children with autism. A few FEAT members attended a secretin conference hosted by the Autism Society of America East Tennessee Chapter.

The conference featured a presentation by Dr. Elaine Tierney of Kennedy Krieger Institute - John Hopkins and her participation in studies related to secretin. In addition, Dr. Andrew Zimmerman from Kennedy Krieger and Dr. Gary Sega from a research facility in Oak Ridge shared their new research into understanding the biological roots of autism and ways to medically identify autism early in children before developmental delays become prominent. Notes and copies of the articles from this conference will be available at the next FEAT meeting.

STEP Workshop

A BASIC Rights workshop, provided by STEP (Support and Training for Exceptional Parents) will be held on Saturday, May 8, 1999, at the Park Ridge Medical Center, Conference Room B from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm.

This workshop is designed for parents of children in special education and parents of children who might need special education. You will receive the 1997 IDEA Amendments, the new IEP forms and instructions for their use, and information on new components of the law. Come and learn about Special Education rights so that you can be an informed, prepared participant in the development of your child's IEP.

To register or for more information, call
Cecelia Cox at

Important Legislation Before 
Congress for Autism Research

Thanks to the combined efforts of the Autism Society of America (ASA), Cure Autism Now (CAN), and the National Alliance for Autism Research (NAAR), legislation has been introduced in Congress that could dramatically increase the amount of funding available for autism research through two federally funded research institutions.

HR997: Advancement in Pediatric Autism Research Act is designed to substantially increase the amount of funding at the National Institutes of Health for autism biomedical research and to better coordinate that research. HR274: Autism Statistics, Surveillance, Research and Epidemiology Act is designed, for the first time, to investigate the incidence and prevalence of autism in the United States and to research factors that may cause autism. S 512: Advancement in Pediatric Autism Research Act combines the two separate bills in the House of Representatives into one comprehensive act.

ASA, CAN, and NAAR would like us to encourage our own representatives and senators to support this important legislation and possibly be cosponsors of this legislation. The most recent published list of cosponsors does not include any representatives or senators from Tennessee or Georgia.

Check out the following websites to find out your representatives -- &
For more information on what your letter should include, visit the NAAR website at
or pick up information at our next meeting. A vote on the proposed legislation is expected within the next few weeks

Welcome Packets

Welcome Packets are available at all meetings. If you have not received yours yet and are unable to attend the next meeting, please call our FEAT-Chattanooga phone number and leave your name and mailing address and we will send one to you.

(see our Group Information Page)