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F.E.A.T. - Chattanooga

PO Box 23731
Chattanooga, TN 37422
(423) 296-0092
Volume I
Issue 9
September/October 1999

Upcoming Meetings

October 12, 1999 -
No Guest Speaker
   Topic: General Discussion

November 9, 1999 -
   Guest Speaker: Sharon Grantham,
   Topic: Personal experience with special diets for autistic children.

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

*Parking Directions
(see below)

(see our Group Information Page)


This Space Available

We need your information for the newsletter. Please fax, email or mail your submission to Phillip Deal prior to the 25th of each month.

Fax: 778-6837
Mail: PO Box 23731
Chatt, TN 37422

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.

Do You Have Ideas?

-Do you have any ideas for the newsletter?
-Would you like to see a column about a particu
lar topic related to your child that interests you and you think may interest others?
-Do you like to share ideas and opinions with others?
-Do you just want to see your name in print?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, then submit your articles/idea/cartoons/opinions to the FEAT-Chattanooga Newsletter in care of the address above. Or email your contribution to Deadline for submission is the 25th of each month give or take a day or two. :-)

Helpful Hints

Does your child not enjoy coloring with crayons? Try washable markers. Some children on the autism spectrum may have fine motor problems that interfere with their ability to use an appropriate amount of pressure when coloring with a crayon. Washable markers are easier to use. If you do suspect that your child may have this problem, consult an occupational therapist (OT) for an evaluation. The OT can provide your child with appropriate therapy and/or exercises to help.

Meeting Location and Parking-

A The Massoud Pediatric Building now locks electronically at 6:00 p.m. The gravel lot (number 3) where several people parked is now closed. You should now park in the Erlanger Parking Garage and enter
T.C. Thompson Children's Hospital from the parking garage. There is a $1 charge. Below are detailed directions.

  • Enter the Erlanger Parking Garage from the Central Ave entrance (across from the Ronald McDonald House)
  • Park in the Garage (preferably on Level One)
  • While you are in the parking garage, walk toward the elevator on the right.
  • Take the elevator to the 1st floor if you did not park on that level.
  • On Level One, you will see the entrance to T.C. Thompson across a walkway next to the elevator.
  • Walk down the long hallway after you enter the Hospital.
  • At the end of the hallway, turn right.
  • Go through the double doors. (Someone will be posted at these doors starting at 6:15 p.m. to let you in the building. These doors lock electronically at 6:00 p.m. We will ensure these doors are open until 6:45 p.m.)
  • At Dr. Massoud's picture, turn right.
  • At the elevators, go to your left through the double doors. Our meeting room is the second room on the right.


(Click here for  Page 2)



Board Elections

During the August meeting, elections were held for the open  positions on the FEAT-Board. The current board elected officers at the last board meeting and they are as follows:

  • Phillip Deal, President

  • Tamila Burt, Co-Vice President

  • Tammy Torres, Co-Vice President

  • Jayne Trapnell, Secretary

  • Henry Hardin, Treasurer

  Additional Board members:

  • Susan Bollinger
  • Julie Duff
  • Valerie Jiannotti
  • Pam Kibby

Target Christmas Tree Giveaway

Board members are working on this year's Target
Christmas tree giveaway fundraiser. If you would like
to help with this fundraising project please let a board
member know.

U.S. House Appropriations
Committee Targets Autism

Friday, October 01, 1999


The House Appropriations Committee today approved the funding bill for the Health and Welfare Agency for next fiscal year, including funding for NIH. The full House is expected to vote on the bill sometime next week. Now included in this bill, in part, as a result of a bi-partisan effort from some members of Congress, the following historic and significant Report language dedicated solely to elevating autism research to a "high priority" item by Congress to NIH has been included for the first time in the
House's version of NIH's budget. It should be noted that "Autism" has been given special recognition in this budget bill. References to "Committee" refer to the House Appropriations Committee.

Included in the National Institutes of Health budget is the following language: Autism--There is little information on the prevalence of autism and other pervasive developmental disabilities in the United States.  There have never been any national prevalence studies in the United States and recent studies in other countries suggest that the prevalence of classic autism alone may be substantially higher than previously estimated.

The rapid advancements in biomedical science suggest that effective treatments and a cure for autism are attainable if:
        there is appropriate coordination of the efforts 
of the various Institutes involved in biomedical research on autism and autism spectrum disorders; there is an increased understanding of autism and autism spectrum disorders by the scientific and medical communities involved in autism research and treatment;  and sufficient resources are allocated to research.

The Committee encourages NICHHD, NIMH, NINDS, and NIDCD to continue to work together to aggressively pursue research opportunities and make finding a cure for autism a high priority for NIH. The Committee commends NIH for its commitment to researching the genetic susceptibility of developing children to autism spectrum disorders as well as
possible environmental triggers. The Committee understands there are community concerns about what role immunologic factors play in the development of autism. NIH is encouraged to enhance research in the area of possible links between certain gastrointestinal conditions and autism.

Taken From: The Special Ed Advocate
Web site:

Communications Problems in
Severe and Profound Disabilities -
For children with severe and profound disabilities, their true primary disability often involves communication. If the child can't communicate, the child appears to be retarded. If the child appears to be retarded, the child's teachers will not have high expectations. Years of low expectations take their toll. Test scores go down. Finally, the child tests out as retarded. Why? The child's brain was not used - abilities were untapped.

Helen Keller
How did Helen Keller go from being an unruly retarded child who was blind and deaf to a woman who wrote books, traveled, and spoke before groups? Helen Keller learned to communicate because she had intensive remediation from Annie Sullivan. Annie Sullivan's work with Helen Keller was very much like the ABA-Lovaas therapy programs for young children with autism - intensive, individualized, one-on-one, for several hours a day.

I remember a child I represented who was retarded and also had CP. The child's mother wanted him out of the self-contained program for "severe and profound children." But he always tested below 70 on IQ tests so the school wouldn't change his placement. We got new evaluations by an experienced psychologist who was aware of the communications problems. This child ended up scoring around 110 on an IQ test. He was finally able to get out of the self-contained program.
Later, he joined forces with a designer of equipment for persons with disabilities. They designed a new, improved, less expensive head pointer system that could be used with a keyboard. Once a year or so, I read a well-written Letter to the Editor from him.

Pete and Pam Wright
c/o The Special Ed Advocate
P. O. Box 1008
Deltaville, VA 23043
Phone: 804-257-0857