May9, 2000 -
Speaker: Dr. Susan Speraw
Topic: (see page two of
June 13, 2000 -
Speaker: to be announced
July 11, 2000 -
Speaker: to be announced
Meeting Time and Place
Second Tuesday of Each Month
6:30 pm Room 140
Massoud Pediatric Building
T. C. Thompson Children's Hospital
DR. SUSAN SPERAW,
At the May Meeting:
Dr. Susan Speraw, F.E.A.T.
ex-officio board member will speak to our group at the May meeting on May
9, 2000. Dr. Speraw will discuss topics related to how autism affects the
entire family and what support is available from professionals in this
area. Dr. Speraw will also make an announcement regarding a research study
she would like to conduct with the members in F.E.A.T. - Chattanooga.
TOPICS TO BE DISCUSSED
AT MAY 9, MEETING:
-With reduced attendance during the summer
general membership meetings last year, we would like to have an open
discussion regarding the necessity of meeting each summer month and the
possibility of having some type of cookout or fun activity during the
-Several new families have joined F.E.A.T. and there will
be a discussion regarding the scheduling of a IDEA (Individuals with
Disabilities Education Act) 'basic law' workshop provided by STEP (Support
and Training for Exceptional Parents) some time before school starts in
WELCOME TO NEW FAMILIES
During the first quarter of
2000, there has been an "explosion" of new families joining F.E.A.T. -
Chattanooga. We want to make sure you know you are welcome to our group
and we appreciate your participation by attending our monthly meetings.
The members of F.E.A.T. understand your concerns and hopes for your
child's future. We look forward to seeing you all at our future meetings
and sharing in your child's future successes.
If you are a new
member and have not yet received a welcome packet or brochure, please let
a board member know at the next meeting or call our number listed above.
There are several different committees that could always use an extra
hand. Please contact one of the board members to express your interest in
serving on a committee.
Kick-Off to Success 2000!
August 3-4, 2000
Downtown Knoxville Hilton
Families and School
Make it Happen!
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
and STEP Inc.
In conjunction with
The TN Department
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.
Cindy Merrilees, and invited speaker Judith Heumann
Only $25 until June 18th, $35 thereafter and
at the door.
Downtown Knoxville Hilton. Mention
this conference to receive the special rate of $60.00
Travel grants for parents are available from STEP,
Inc. 800-280-STEP or
Forms will be available at the May FEAT meeting or call Ed White at
From the FEAT DAILY NEWSLETTER
Sacramento, California http://www.feat.org
Study Confirms Autism Increase
["CDC study supports a widely held
belief", by Sara Solovitch in the April 25, 2000 San Jose Mercury News in
A federal investigation confirmed for the first time
last week what parents and medical experts have been decrying for years:
There is a staggering number of autistic children in Brick Township, NJ.
And the problem may not be confined to Brick.
Researchers at the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggested that the rates may in
fact reflect what's being seen throughout the country -- an inexplicable
rise in one of the least understood known psychological disorders.
"When I heard about Brick, I went to our local school district in Granite
Bay and found the same kinds of numbers," says Rick Rollens, father of an
autistic son and parent advocate. "Brick Township isn't a cluster. It's a
snapshot of what's happening elsewhere in the country. This study
challenges the whole concept that autism is rare."
Autism is a
spectrum of disorders that affect a child's ability to communicate and
socialize with other people. Poorly understood and barely studied, autism
is thought to have a strong genetic component but to be triggered by
environmental factors. There are no known causes or cures.
Last year, a report in California helped focus national
attention on this growing problem. It found a 273 percent increase in the
number of newly diagnosed autistic children admitted for services to the
21 regional centers throughout the state within an 11-year period.
Autism now accounts for 36 percent of all new cases at the Department of
Developmental Services, which serves clients with mental retardation,
cerebral palsy, epilepsy and autism.
Twenty years ago, autism
accounted for only 3 percent of the agency's total cases.
California, the response to this long-awaited CDC report was immediate.
"It would have been eye-opening a couple years ago, but ever since the
California study, it seems rather anti-climactic," says Bernard Rimlind,
director of the Autism Research Institute in San Diego.
early proponent of the idea that genetics plays a major role in autism,
took issue with the CDC's decision to forgo taking blood samples and he
blasted the agency for failing to address a concern -- popular among some
parents -- that their autistic children were damaged by routine vaccines.
Role of genetics
"There is no question that genetics play a role,
but this explosion has little to do with genetics," says Rimland. "There
is no such thing as a genetic epidemic. There are susceptibility genes.
And if you have those genes, you're susceptible to some environmental
impact, such as vaccines."
The study was prompted by Brick Township
parents, who requested federal assistance after conducting a study that
suggested that the local rate of autism was much higher than the
established norm. Some were suspicious that the increase was linked to
chemicals in their drinking water, their former landfill and the
Though the CDC confirmed that the groundwater
beneath the Brick Township landfill is contaminated with a variety of
hazardous substances, it rejected this source since residents are supplied
with water by the municipal water system and would not have been exposed
to the groundwater.
"Irrespective of autism, when you put toxic
chemicals in the same place where people live, eat and play, it's not a
good thing, and one doesn't need outbreaks to figure that out," says Dr.
Robert Byrd, a behavioral epidemiologist at the University of
California-Davis. Byrd is heading a state-funded study on autism that will
look at possible causes -- including maternal age, genetics, vaccinations
and other environmental factors -- by mapping out the areas, or "pockets"
of California, where there are high and low rates.
"Just because they
didn't find an environmental cause doesn't mean there isn't an
environmental cause," Byrd says. "It just means they haven't found an
Sara Solovitch at email@example.com
or (408) 920-5663.
Fax (408) 271-3786.
Thanks to everyone that
participated in this year's 'Lunch in
the Outback' fund raiser to
benefit F.E.A.T. - Chattanooga.
The luncheon was an overwhelming
success! Thanks to all the F.E.A.T. members that sold tickets and to our
gracious sponsors --
Boomerang Sponsors at $500:
Grantham, Attorneys at Law
- NewsChannel 9
Kangaroo Sponsor at $250:
Timothy P. Davis, M.D.
Koala Bear Sponsors at $100:
Forrest Cate Motor Company
Sunrise Food Distributors
Public Service Announcements:
Kicks98, Love 97.3/99.3, Rock105, and
In Kind Donation:
Brach & Brock Confections - goodie bags
A special thanks goes to Matt Robinson and the staff at Outback Steakhouse
for their compassion and hard work to make this event a success. This
year's luncheon raised over $4,400 for F.E.A.T. - Chattanooga, a $1,900
increase over last year!
Plans are already underway for next year
so we welcome suggestions and ideas on how next year's event can be even
Autism Awareness Month
In addition to the 'Lunch in the
Outback' fund raiser for F.E.A.T. - Chattanooga April was a busy month for
F.E.A.T. members. Here's a list of things that F.E.A.T. members did to
promote April as National Autism Awareness Month:
Chattanooga Proclamation naming April 2000 as 'Autism Awareness Month' in
Live interview from the Mansfield family's home on
WTVC - NewsChannel 9.
600 piece mass mailing to day care providers
in Chattanooga and the surrounding area.
Three billboards provided
by Eller Media on Broad Street, Amnicola Highway and in Hixson.
Booth at the "Week of the Young Child"
festivities in Warner Park.
Mailed Autism Awareness Ribbons to F.E.A.T. members.
April FEAT Chapter Meeting
A Huge Success
Many thanks to the Duff family for sharing their
personal stories how autism affected their family. Everyone that attended
appreciated the Duff's openness and willingness to discuss the struggles
Julie and her family faced and to share the joy in Julie's success in
In addition, many thanks to the Occupational Therapy students
from UTC. Not only are these students helping us tremendously by providing
childcare during our meetings but last month the OT students made and
donated weighted lap pillows for our children. WTVC - NewsChannel 9's
Katrina Owens covered this event by attending the presentation of the lap
pillows during the meeting and reporting the event on the evening news.
Thanks again to the Duff family and the OT students at UTC for making our
Autism Awareness Month meeting for 2000 such a special occasion.
The project includes an
independent evaluation component to measure the implementation,
effectiveness, and impact of the project.
Have you seen our WebPages lately?
FEAT - BOARD OFFICER
During the August 8, 2000 FEAT meeting there will be
several positions elected to the FEAT Board of Directors.
Nominations for Board Members can be made by any member to any of the
current officers of F.E.A.T. - Phillip Deal, Tami Burt, Tammy Torres,
Jayne Trapnell or Henry Hardin during the next few months.
Elections for board members will take place at the August general
membership meeting on August 8, 2000. Board members at the August board
meeting then conduct the FEAT officer elections.
Events & Meetings
Compiled by Michelle Guppy from the
FEAT-Online Newsletter www.feat.org
10th Biennial Parent-to-Parent
Reno, NV May 4-7, 2000, International Parent to Parent
Pioneer Spirit - Blazing New Trails,
information, call 702.784.4921 (extension 2352)
May 10th Presenter Edgar Schneider - author of
"Discovering My Autism" Malvern, PA, cost is $75.00
Amicus Caring for the Caretaker -
for parents and professionals who
have special needs children, May 11th, Malvern, PA
Houston, TX, May 18 - 19, 2000
Featuring Dr. Temple
Grandin & Dr. Lisa Lewis
Together the Puzzle",
A Conference on Autism
Rimland, Andrew Wakefield, and Karyn Seroussi, Friday, May 19th at Dr.
Gertrude A. Barber Center, 136 East Avenue, Erie, PA. For registration
Carolyn Morelli 814-796-4000 or E-mail
The Many Faces of Asperger Syndrome,
Sunday, May 21, 2000, ASPEN Spring 2000 Conference, Somerset Marriott
Annual Conference ABA 2000 -
Convention, May 26 - May 30, 2000,
Marriott Wardman Park Hotel,
Minnesota Autism Study
A group of parents with children diagnosed with Autism is
forming a study group to discuss current and new biological treatments for
May 27, 2000, St. Paul, MN, 651.647-1083 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Biological and Behavioral
& Educational Treatments,
Great Plains Laboratory and the Developmental Delay Registry, June 2,3,4
at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Information and Registration online at www.greatplainslaboratory.com,
For brochure: 913-341-8949
Pyramid Consulting PECS
Wilmington, DE, June 18, July 16, For more information
Featuring Dr. Ivar Lovaas, Gary Mayerson,
David McKenna, June 9 - 10, Atlanta Airport Hilton and Towers, Atlanta,
Or contact the Lovaas
Institute at 310-840-5983 x889
Autism Society of America,
National Conference on Autism, July 2-5, 2000, Atlanta, GA, Tiffany Hayes,
Conference Coordinator, 301-657-0881 x102, email@example.com
National Conference on Autism,
August 7-9, Penn State, University
Autism 2000...Social Stories,
September 29, 2000, Featuring Carol Gray, For
more information, email
firstname.lastname@example.org or call 270.826.0510