FEATure Love
Valentine's Day Learning Opportunities, Crafts & Recipes
Using Valentine's Day to Help Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
By: Dr. Oscar Bukstein

Valentine's Day is a fun holiday for children and adults alike to take time to show those around them that they are important by exchanging Valentine's cards, candy or gifts.

For children with autism spectrum disorder, Valentine's Day provides a perfect opportunity for parents to teach children about social relatedness, better enabling them to relate to their peers over a shared interest of activities and holidays such as Valentine's Day:

1. Use your child's preferred interest (i.e., super heroes, Thomas the train, angry birds) to help them engage in the holiday by creating Valentine's Day cards for family members or classmates. 

2. Give your child the chance to take ownership over selecting the type of candy, snack or trinket that will accompany their Valentine's Day cards.  Your child may already have an idea of what they want to give their classmates or family members based on things they have heard or seen leading up to the holiday.  For children who have difficulty communicating verbally, present two to three choices when you are at home or at the grocery store so they can choose by pointing. 
3. Many schools have Valentine's Day parties so it is important for parents to find out what the schedule will be so you can prepare your child for the change in their routine.  Don't underestimate the importance of providing your child with information about Valentine's Day- let them know there may be decorations, students wearing red or pink clothes, classroom furniture may be re-arranged for the party and students may try to give each other cards or sweets. 

4. If your child is on a special diet, parents may want to send a note in advance to the Room Mom or Teacher making them aware of your child's diet so they can either prepare a separate treat for your child or you can find out if you should provide an additional treat for your child's class.

A Piece of My Heart  -  Autism Awareness Valentine's Craft
Art is an expression of creative skill and imagination and can take many forms. Participating in art projects often opens the door for communication that may otherwise be difficult for an individual on the autism spectrum to express.

Materials Required:                                                      
  • Puzzle Pieces
  • Craft paint in choice of color
  • Hot glue, glue gun
  • Cardboard
  • Paint brush
  • Ribbon or twine for hanging

  1. Start by cutting out a thin heart shape from some thick cardboard. It needs to be wide enough to have the strength to stand up on its own, but thin enough that one of your puzzle pieces will cover it.
2. Begin by assembling your heart first. Before adding any glue, arrange the puzzle pieces into a heart  shape. This is a great way to get an idea of the size heart you want as well as perfect the shape.

3. Now, start adding the glue. Glue one piece at a time & reassemble into the heart shape.

4. Once your glue is dry and your heart is complete, you can apply the paint. It is easiest to paint the  plain cardboard side. It takes the paint nicely.

6. Apply two coats and allow to dry. Finish by attaching a ribbon or twine for hanging.

GF/CF Raspberry Molten Lava Cakes

  • 3 tbsp Raspberries, fresh
  • 1 Egg, large
  • 1 Egg yolk, large
  • 3 tbsp Buckwheat flour
  • 1/4 cup Coconut sugar or granulated sugar
  • 1/8 tsp Salt
  • 2/3 cup Semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp Butter or coconut oil, unsalted

FEATure Learning
Knowledgebase Provided by FEAT

Parenting an Adolescent with Autism: Puberty, Developmental Stages and Beyond
Presented by Kim Dwyer-Moore, MS, BCBA & 
Jordan Hall, MS, BCBA, LBA

Thursday, February 11th from 7:00-9:00PM
Home of the Innocents - Open Arms Building

Parenting a child with special needs has many rewards but the challenges our children face during their adolescent years can be overwhelming at best.

Teaching our children about the changes taking place in their bodies and helping them to adapt to their ever-changing social environment means that we, as caregivers, have to be aware of the obstacles they may face. This awareness combined with effective teaching strategies will not only ease our minds as parents but will help us to prepare our children for a successful transition into adulthood. Please join us as we discuss the in's & out's of common pubescent struggles and receive information that may help your child successfully navigate through puberty.

RSVP at support@featoflouisville.org
Child care available upon request. MUST RSVP BY FEB 9th for CHILDCARE.

Get Your FEAT Wet
With Spring Break and Summer right around the corner, there is no better time to start your child swimming. FEAT partners with All About Kids to offer a specialized swim program for children with autism.. 

All About Kids has appointed a new aquatics director, Allison Greenwell.  Allison  comes to AAK with a long history of swimming- both teaching lessons as well as coaching competitive teams.  Allison  has a Bachelor's Degree in Exercise Sports Science and a Bachelor's Degree in Public Health from University of the Cumberlands, where she swam competitively as a college student. She has been lifeguarding for 8 years as well.  Allison  Also has a background working with special needs students.

FEAT is offing a special discount to all new 
enrollments. You need to be registered in the Get Your FEAT Wet swim program before February 28 to qualify.

EGG-citing Easter EGG-stravaganza!
Saturday, March 26th 10am - 12:00pm  at Home of the Innocents

FEAT's Easter EGG-stravaganza is MUCH more than just an Easter Egg Hunt, although that part is awesome too! 

It is an opportunity to  connect families  with resources within the Southern Indiana and Louisville metro community. It is also a chance for us to positively connect with one another!

Please pre-register your family. If you were at our event last year, we served approximately 100 hunters and their families.  Pre-registering helps us plan how many eggs and refreshments we will need.

If you can volunteer the day of the event to help set up crafts, snacks and eggs, PLEASE RSVP to support@featoflouisville.org  
We also need someone to wear our Easter Bunny Costume, so if you have a teenager who loves kids and maybe needs some EASY service hours, please let us know.

FEATure Fundraising
YOU make a difference in Louisville's autism community

Outrunning Autism 5K & Fun Walk
The Parklands of Floyds Fork
Saturday, June 4, 2016

Runner? Jogger? Walker? Join us for FEAT of Louisville's 11th Annual Outrunning Autism 5K & Fun Walk. Our professionally timed 5K Run will take place at the beautiful Parklands of Floyds Fork - Beckley Creek Park on Saturday, June 4, 2016 at 9:00AM.

Outrunning Autism is a race event for all ages and fitness levels and a great family event with a Vendor Village, bounce houses, bubbles, face painting, character appearances and loads of fun! 

Your participation, either by running, walking or donating to Outrunning Autism, will help Families for Effective Autism Treatment (FEAT) of Louisville continue to provide education, training, support & programs for families affected by autism right here in Kentuckiana! 

If you would like to become a sponsor or volunteer for the 11th Annual Outrunning Autism 5K  please contact:  feat5K@featoflouisville.org
Hit the Court for Team FEAT!
This BRACKET is  meant to be shared!

When one thinks of brackets in Louisville, the first thought is of basketball, but "Brackets" in Louisville has become so much more. 

Brackets for Good returns to Louisville for the 2016 tournament presented by Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP that starts on Feb. 26 at 8PM and continues through the month of March. 

Think of the annual, 64-team college basketball tournament, but replace the teams with nonprofit organizations. Now instead of scoring baskets, in the Brackets for Good tournament points are scored by donating online. 

As the 2015 BFG Champion, FEAT could make BFG history by being the first non-profit to win back-to-back tournaments! Funds raised go to support our summer camp with Dreams with Wings, Best Buddies and Autism Awareness.


Here's a short video on how the Brackets for Good Tournament works. 

Calling All Runners and Volunteers

RUNNERS: If you have registered or thinking of registering for the KDF Marathon or miniMarathon, join our team and #RUN4AUTISM. 

You can be part of TEAM FEAT by making a donation to FEAT or by choosing to become a fundraiser for FEAT through KDF Marathon/minMarathon Charity Module.
If needing assistance with where to enter a donation or or how to become a fundraiser, contact us at support@featoflousiville.org

We are holding a special group run for all TEAM FEAT members. The run will be at Seneca Park on Sunday, Feb.21 at 1:00PM. 
Active Health will led us in a session on proper stretching and then a group run. 
(see flyer below)

VOLUNTEERS:  We are looking for volunteers to help work FEAT's booth during packet pick-up April 28 & 29 and on race day April 30 7AM-10:30AM

Please contact us if you are interested

FEATure Community
Autism-Friendly Louisville

FEAT is the Community Host for the USAA World Conference
August 18-20, 2016 at the Hyatt Regency
FEAT is honored to have been selected to be the Community Host for the 2016 US Autism & Asperger Association World Conference & Expo in Louisville, KY.  Over 30 of the world's most respected researchers, practitioners, and education specialists in the Autism and Asperger communities will share valuable resources for your child, family member, patient, friend, student, or yourself.

"In the fall of 2011, the greatest gift we received yet was attending the four-day USAAA conference in Seattle. There I met my heroes and found mentors that gave me hope and expanded my paradigm. Since the conference, we now approach life and our son from the view of acceptance, help him to see and know himself, teach him how to self advocate, and join with him in enjoying the things that make him smile. We no longer fight against our son's differences but embrace them and this way of loving has even taught us to how better accept and love each other as a couple. We still have a long way to go and even more to learn, but I now know that hope has no limit unless I place it there."
- Sara McCarter, Mom to Magnus "the great"

Some of the 2016 USAA Conference Speakers


Volunteer Opportunities
We are in need of several volunteers for the USAA World Conference. If you are interested please contact us at support@featoflouisville.org

Cody Clark: A Different Way of Thinking
Saturday, Feb. 12 at The Alley Theater

"What I find most impressive about what Cody does, is that his desire to perform his magic in front of an audience is, in ways, in direct conflict with his disorder. His determination to succeed and love for what he does is inspiring."
 -Behind the Curtain Cincinnati

Louisville based professional magician Cody Clark will be performing his one-man show Cody Clark: A Different Way of Thinking at The Alley Theater on Friday, February 12th at 8 PM. In his show, Cody uses the arts of magic, theatre, and storytelling to share with audiences how having autism has shaped his life.

 "I am so excited to have another chance to use the art of magic to share my story/cause of autism acceptance! And I am so glad to be working with FEAT - Families for Effective Autism Treatment of Louisville as the official autism organization of this show." - Cody Clark

Cody has a different way of thinking. And, it's safe to say, a different way of seeing the world. Whether it's finding the magic in an everyday moment, or creating an everyday moment in his magic, the magician's art is never far from his mind. But it isn't the only thing. Cody discovered his love for magic at age 11, 9 years and 9 months after his parents discovered he had autism. Through stage magic and story, sleight of hand and journey of mind, Cody will show you the world through his eyes. Maybe you'll find that his way of thinking isn't all too different from yours.

Tickets $10 
Cody Clark: A Different Way of Thinking 
Friday, February 12th at 8:00PM
The Alley Theater
633 W. Main Street
Purchase online  www.thealleytheater.com or at the door.

Autism Family Fun Days at the Y
The Southwest YMCA, 2800 Fordhaven Road, Lou, KY 40214 has several Autism Family Fun Events planned for 2016. 

All events are open to all age children with autism and their families.

Sat., February  27 6:30-8PM
Family Movie Night

Sat., March 26th 6:30-7:30PM
Family Craft Night

Sat., April 30th 6:30-7:30PM
Family Swim Night

Sat., May 28th 6:30-7:30PM
Family Scavenger Night

Sat., June 25th 6:30-7:30PM
Play Date Night

Sat., July 30th 6:30-7:30PM
Family Swim Night

Sat., August. 27 6:30-8PM
Family Movie Night

Sat., October 29th 6:30-7:30PM
Family Swim Night

Sat., December 26th 6:30-7:30PM
Family Craft Night

Cost per child per event is $5.
Every child must be accompanied by a parent or responsible adult.

For more information or to register to attend an event please call 933-9622

for information about any of the listed dates contact Deborah at deborah@featoflouisville.org


Cody Clark: A Different Way of Thinking 
Friday, February 12th at 8:00PM
The Alley Theater,  633 W. Main Street
Tickets $10 
Purchase online  www.thealleytheater.com  or at the door.

Register Today
Race Day: Saturday, April 30, 2016
When you register to run,  join our team by making a donation to FEAT or fundraising for FEAT. If you are already registered to run, contact us and we can show you how to go back and JOIN TEAM FEAT.

REGISTER NOW for early bird specials
Saturday, June 4, 2016  Race starts at 9:00AM
To register or for more information about becoming a sponsor and the race go to www.feat5K.com

Saturday, June 11
Dice Run & Pig Roast. Bikers and car followers travel to locations with stops to engage in opportunities to roll dice and win big prizes. The day ends with a huge pig roast, silent auction, and lots of opportunities for giving.
Watch Rev 'N Roll for Autism Facebook page for more information.

US Autism & Aspergers Association World Conference
August 18- 20    7:00am-5:30PM  at Hyatt Regency
REGISTER NOW for early bird specials
Over 30 of the world's most respected researchers, practitioners, and education specialists in the Autism and Asperger communities will share valuable resources

Create A Stir About Autism: GAME SHOW
Saturday, September 10, 2016
If you are interested in becoming a sponsor, volunteer or donating an item to the auction, please contact us at support@featoflouisville.org


Sensory-Friendly Film: KUNG-FU PANDA 3
Saturday, February 6  at 10:00AM at Tinseltown
brought to you by Macaroni Kid Louisville East and Tinseltown Movie Theater.

This showing is just for children with disabilities and their families. 
Tinseltown understands that some children have special diet needs, so feel free to bring your own snacks if you like.
The price will be $7.15 per person (children and adults are the same price).
RSVP with the number of people at  tammyg@macaronikid.com 

Parenting an Adolscent with Autism: Puberty, Developmental 
Stages and Beyond
Thursday, February 11 at 7:00PM
at Home of the Innocents-Open Arms Building on the lower level
Please use meeting date + childcare as your subject title.

Saturday, February 13 at 8:30AM at Kentucky Science Center
Get hands-on with everyday items in your kitchen to create your very own science experiment . Recommended for pre-K - 5th   
Member: $7 for 1 child & 1 adult    Non-Member: $10 for 1 child & 1 adult
Call to reserve your spot 502-561-6100

And Then They Came for Me: Remembering The World of Anne Frank
Saturday, February 13, 2 pm at StageOne
Recommended for ages 10 and up
For more information, visit www.stageone.org or call 502-498-2436

Pediatric Chiropractic: ASD Early Intervention
Kentucky Children's Center
Thursday, March  10  7:00 - 9:00pm
at  Home of the Innocents-Open Arms Building on the lower level
RSVP support@featoflouisville.org for childcare.
Please use meeting date + childcare as your subject title.

Saturday, March 19 at 8:30AM  at Kentucky Science Center
Why is the weather in March so crazy? Search for the secrets behind all types of weather. You will get to make and take home your own cloud.
Recommended for pre-K - 5th   
Member: $7 for 1 child & 1 adult    Non-Member: $10 for 1 child & 1 adult
Call  to reserve your spot 502-561-6100

Harold and the Purple Crayon
March 26, 11 am at StageOne
For more information, visit www.stageone.orgor 502-498-2436

March, 26, 2016 - 10:00am on the campus of the Home of the Innocents in the Big Back Yard. RSVP for the number of children attending

Stay Connected
1100 East Market Street
Louisville, KY 40206

Deborah Morton, Executive Director