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P.O.  Box 23731   Chattanooga, TN  37422      
(423) 296-0092        
Volume III, Issue 3          
April 2002       

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


Upcoming Meetings

May 14, 2002
Guest Speaker :  To Be Announced

June 11, 2002
Guest Speaker :  General Meeting
Topic:  To Be Announced


April is Autism Awareness Month

 F.E.A.T. - Chattanooga is doing its part to help make the community aware of Autism and our family support group. Five or six billboards are being placed around the Chattanooga area with the help of ClearChannelOutdoor. The billboards state "April is National Autism Awareness Month" and our F.E.A.T. phone number.  TV interviews will take place on WTVC-NewsChannel 9 on Monday, April 15 at 6:00 a.m. and at Noon on April 17.  WDEF-NEWS 12 will host us on Thursday, April 18 at 6:00 a.m. 
A mass mailing to child care providers and family doctors/ pediatricians is being planned for the near future

             Read Our
 April Feature Story

        Participate in  Home Program Study


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

Chattanooga Mayor Bob Corker
Proclaims April
as Autism Awareness Month

Chattanooga Mayor Bob Corker recently signed a proclamation naming April as "Autism Awareness Month" in Chattanooga. A reprint of that proclamation appears later in the newsletter. In addition, Tennessee Governor Don Sundquist signed a similar proclamation for the state of Tennessee.


    Outback Steakhouse Luncheon -
                   YOUR HELP NEEDED

Your help is still needed for this year's annual 'Lunch in the Outback' at the Hamilton Place Mall Outback Steakhouse on Saturday, April 27 from Noon until 1:30 pm.  Tickets and sponsorships are still available.  You should have received a 'Lunch in the Outback' information packet that outlined ways you can help F.E.A.T. with this fund raiser. 
If you haven't purchased a ticket yet or can help sell tickets, please call the F.E.A.T. hotline
at 296-0092 or email us at to reserve tickets.  Each ticket is $10 and includes a buffet of beef, chicken, ribs or shrimp, vegetable, Caesar salad, soft drink or tea, and dessert.  It's a great deal for some great food and it helps fund all our organization's work throughout the entire year. 



     Free I.D.E.A. Workshop!!!

STEP, Inc. (Support and Training for Exceptional Parents), a federally funded program that provides information, training and support to parents of children in special education, will be providing a workshop regarding the development of your child's IEP.  This is a hands-on workshop that is designed for parents who have attended the BASIC Rights workshop and are ready for the "Next Step"-fine tuning the IEP document to reflect all of your child's unique needs to lead toward positive educational outcomes.  Participants may bring their child's IEP and learn specific techniques to use in developing goals and objectives designed to meet their child's individual needs.

                 Thursday, May 16, 2002  6pm-9pm
                 Next STEP: Development of the IEP
                 "Individualized Education Program"
                  (sponsored by FEAT-Chattanooga)
                Country Suites @ Hamilton Place  
                     (near the Cracker Barrel)
         Call 1-800-280-7837 or 296-0092 to register

Directions: I-75 to Shallowford Road Exit #5, go West on Shallowford Road (away from the mall), Turn Right onto Shallowford Village Drive, turn left onto McCutchen Road, the hotel is on your right. All materials used at the workshop are free to parents of children with disabilities.  Space is limited so call now!  Childcare will not be available for this workshop.

        Other upcoming workshops
                 available from STEP:

 BASIC Law:  April 25, 2002, 6:30-9:30 pm. 
 Siskin Children's Institute. 

 Call 423-648-1750 to register.
Evaluation & Assessment Workshop:  April 25, 2002,
 6:30-9:30  pm.  Chattanooga area. 
Call 800-280-STEP to register
and for exact location of workshop.



         Autism Awareness Pins

 F.E.A.T.-Chattanooga has sold out of the Cloisonne style (metal backing with clasp) autism awareness pins.  However, you can purchase them for $9.00 each from the Autism Society of America at
 7901 Woodmont Ave. Suite 300, Bethesda, MD 20814-3067
FAX: 301.657.0869 or online at

FEAT-Chattanooga is exploring  the possibility of ordering more for our group and making them available at a reduced rate in the near future and will notify members when this occurs.
     Has anyone explained to you what the ribbon represents?  The autism awareness pin is composed of red, blue, and yellow interlocking puzzle pieces which represent the mystery of autism.  The puzzle pieces also represent the strength that we can gain by joining together to help our children or someone we know with Autism.  The different colors of the puzzle pieces represent the spectrum of autism, symbolizing the diversity found within the autism community.  The brightness of the colors symbolizes the hope we have for our children and in general for people with Autism.


      UTC Students and FEAT Members

An exciting new program is getting into place at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC).  Students (primarily psychology and education majors) will be able to receive practicum experience toward their degree working with families that have children with autism by providing respite and other assistance free of charge.
If you are a family with a child with autism and would like some help (number of hours per week will be determined when students are assigned), please complete the attached sign up sheet and bring to the next meeting or mail to FEAT-Chattanooga, PO Box  23731, Chattanooga, TN 37422 or email us the information at

If you've already signed up, your information has been forwarded to UTC. 
We will let you know more details about this program as soon as possible.
    UTC Respite Care Sign-up Information needed:
Yes, I am interested in signing up for respite care or other assistance.  I understand that details of the program will be provided to me as soon as they are known. 
Name     Address  City   State   Zip  Telephone number(s)   
Email  # of children with autism   if Male or Female  Age(s)
   What type of respite care you may need
(for example, student baby-sitting, student assist with teaching  self-help skills to child, student playing with child while you take care of domestic chores, etc.)