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F.E.A.T. - Chattanooga

PO Box 23731, Chattanooga, TN 37422
(423) 296-0092
August 2000
Volume II, Issue 5 

*opinions expressed in this newsletter do not necessarily reflect the opinions of FEAT-Chattanooga
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Upcoming Meetings

August 8, 2000 -
Guest Speaker: STEP Representative
Topic: Basic Law Workshop--
(See article below for more information)

September 12, 2000
Guest Speaker: To Be Announced

October 10, 2000 -
Guest Speaker: To Be Announced

Kick-Off to Success 2000!

August 3-4, 2000
Downtown Knoxville Hilton

A forum for ALL educators and parents to highlight best and promising educational practices for ALL students in inclusive settings.

Sponsored by
The LRE for LIFE Project and STEP Inc.

In conjunction with:
The TN Department of Education: Division of Special Education, Division of Curriculum & Instruction, and Project TREDS.

Literacy, Transition and Vocational Preparation, Curriculum and Instruction, Positive Behavior Support, and Severe Disabilities.

Thomas Armstrong, Anne Donnellan, Cindy Merrilees, and invited speaker Judith Heumann.

Conference registration: Only $35.
Hotel reservations: Downtown Knoxville Hilton.
Mention this conference to receive the special rate of $60.00 (865) 523-2300.

Travel grants to assist families with the cost of the conference and/or the cost of the rooms to stay at the hotel are available from STEP, Inc. 800-280-STEP or email The travel money is limited but most families were helped last year. All STEP asks in return is some of your time at the conference helping them. It is that simple (and they really need your help).

For general conference information or disability accommodations, call Ed White at the LRE for LIFE Project at (865) 974-2760 or


Newsweek Magazine
Autism Feature

The July 31, 2000 issue of Newsweek Magazine features a cover story about Autism. Please get a copy to read and pass along to your family and friends. Extra copies of the article will be available at the next FEAT meeting. If you are not able to obtain a copy, the article is featured on MSNBC'swebpage at:

Meeting Time and Place

Second Tuesday of Each Month
6:30 pm
Room 140
Massoud Pediatric Building
T. C. Thompson Children'sHospital







FEAT Summer
Get Together

F.E.A.T.-Chattanooga had planed to meet during
the summer with a social function for all our families.
Coolidge Park was chosen as a site for the get together
due to the enclosed pavilion, carousel and fountain.
  After learning about the requirements from park
service personnel for meeting at Coolidge Park,
it became too late to host a function in July.
In addition, rental of the Walker Pavilion at
Coolidge Park is too cost prohibitive for a small
non-profit organization like ours. At our September general membership meeting, we will request that members make suggestions of other locations to
 host a fun get  together for our families.




August Meeting - STEP Workshop

In place of our general membership meeting on August 8, STEP (Support and Training for Exceptional Parents) will host a Basic Law Workshop for our families. This workshop will start at 6:00 pm and last for three hours. The workshop is designed to help parents learn about their child'seducational needs and rights. All materials for the workshop are free to parents of children with disabilities. Each family will receive a parent manual that includes information on their child'srights including a copy of the regulations on special education.
F.E.A.T.-Chattanooga encourages you to attend this workshop if you have not attended before. If you have attended the Basic Law workshop previously, think about attending again, because you may hear new information or you may have new questions.
If you are interested in attending this workshop, please call STEP at (800) 280-7837.
Seating is limited to 30 people. No children please.

Autism Awareness Stamp
From Unlocking Autism

The Sense of Congress (H.RES.458) introduced by Representative Richard Baker (R) of Baton Rouge, LA has 46 Members of Congress supporting it currently. Passing the resolution would mean that the Congress of the United States would ask the United States Postal Service to consider developing a stamp for autism awareness. At this time, we are just asking for support for the stamp at a regular postal rate, not an increased rate.
Unlocking Autism asks that you write your representative today to encourage them to sign onto the bill. If at least 150 representatives sign onto the bill, it will be possible, since it shouldn't be controversial, to just push it right on through, uncontested.

From the
Sacramento, California

Canadian Province Must Pay for ABA
[By Shachi Kurl in the Vancouver Sun.]

The provincial government'sfailure to fund early treatment for autistic children is discrimination, says a B.C. [British Columbia, Canada] Supreme Court judge. The B.C. government'srefusal to pay for the highly effective but expensive Lovaas treatment through Medicare violates the Charter of Rights, Justice Mary Ann Allan said in a ruling released Thursday. Four parents sued the province on behalf of their autistic children for being refused the behavioural therapy. The Crown argued alternative treatments were available.

But Allan rejected that. She ruled the government'srefusal to pay was direct discrimination under Section 15 of the Charter and ordered the Ministry of Health to look at how best to pay for Lovaas treatment. Autism is a neurological disorder that causes developmental problems. Autistic children are usually very withdrawn, aggressive and have no sense of fear of such things as cars, knives or even fires.

A 1980s study of the Lovaas therapy system revealed that 47 per cent of those treated ultimately achieved normal functioning, with most others showing considerable improvement, according to one expert who testified at the civil trial. The parents argued in court that Medicare should cover the cost of the therapy because autism is a serious health and safety issue that requires early intervention.

Jean Lewis of West Vancouver has a six-year-old son with autism. Lewis, who was involved in the court case, has said that she and her husband have spent $40,000 to $60,000 a year to get him Lovaas therapy, which requires considerable individual treatment. She said the therapy has worked wonders and may even allow him to one day live independently.

Alberta provides up to $60,000 a year for autism therapy and Lewis has said she knows of at least 10 families who have moved to Alberta to get the therapy. Lewis said there are about 150 families in B.C. paying for Lovaas therapy for their children at the Lovaas Institute at the University of California. Local therapists are trained to work with the children, but there is nobody in B.C. qualified to teach Lovaas therapy.

Take the Mystery out of Autism
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Tennessee Protection
& Advocacy, Inc. (TP&A):

Will be presenting two sessions at the Hamilton County Exceptional Education Program In-service
for Special Education Educators. According to TP&A'snewsletter, they will be at the Trade Center, downtown Chattanooga on August 17, 2000.
Session I is "SURVIVORS of the IEP Meeting,
A Review of Parent Rights".
Session II is "Promoting Positive Partnerships: Parents, Schools, and Advocates
(Oh My) Can We All Just Get Along!".

The Presenters will be Willeata Kendrick, Lillian Burch, Mims Gordon. TP&A says that these sessions are open to the public and would like to encourage parents to attend. For the time of the sessions, please call (865) 689-9020.

According to their mission statement, Tennessee Protection and Advocacy, Inc. advocates for the rights of Tennesseans with disabilities to ensure they have an equal opportunity to be productive and respected members of society. TP&A is 100% funded by US Dept. of Health and Human Services and US Dept. of Education.