FEATure Summer
The HEAT is ON! Summer fun and safety.
10 Tips to Enjoy Fireworks with Autism

Few events match the glory of the Fourth of July. Since 1777, we've celebrated the anniversary of our country's independence with firecrackers, guns, cannons, etc. The displays are beautiful and often awe-inspiring.


But for children with Autism, trouble regulating sensory information can change the displays from lovely to frightening and painful. Children with Autism may be overly sensitive to sounds or overstimulated by the visual displays, and they may have trouble comprehending why their parents have exposed them to this.


Children with Autism can Enjoy Fireworks, Too

Here are ten steps you can take to help your family enjoy the celebration:

  1. Prepare your Child. If they're old enough to understand, tell them about the fireworks. 
  2. Let them in on the planning. Let the child take part in the planning. Have a picnic, determine what you'll bring, where you'll go. Try to provide a set time for each activity, including bringing a timer. 
  3. Show them videos of displays. Help the child prepare for what they'll see by watching videos of past firework celebrations. 
  4. Fingerpaint some fireworks. Let the child explore the beauty of the fireworks by helping them fingerpaint their own display.
  5. Provide ear plugs. Obviously, if your child has auditory sensitivity, you've already got this covered. 
  6. View displays from a distance. There's no reason you have to be right under the displays. Most fireworks displays are better viewed from a distance. 
  7. Provide comfort items. Taking along a favorite blanket or teddy bear can be just the thing the child needs to keep calm.
  8. Let them explore child-safe fireworks. There are a number of child-safe fireworks available that can give your child an opportunity to participate in the fun. 
  9. Join another special needs peer. Joining with another special needs family can also be helpful. Not only does it give your child someone to play with, but it also provides your child with a peer that can model appropriate behavior for the celebration.
  10. Have fun. Last but not least, be sure to have fun. Showing you child that you're not worried can be the first indicator on how they should react.

The Fourth of July can be one of the most challenging holidays for families with Autism, but we hope that these tips can make it a fun, safe event for the whole family.

Have a Happy Fourth of July! Happy Birthday, America!

List of local 4th of July Celebrations


Splish Splash! 
Get Relief from the Heat


The heat is on in Louisville! Jumping around in cool water is exactly what a person needs to beat the summer heat. Louisville Metro Spray pools and spray pads are open from dawn to dusk unless otherwise posted.

Here are some spray pools in and around Louisville where we recommend splashing around!

Summer more children tend to wander off

Wandering Tends to Increase in Warmer Months

Every 40 seconds a child goes missing in the US and close to 50% of autistic kids wander each year.


There are various reasons someone with autism may wander. More often than not, he/she will wander to something of interest, especially water, or away from something that is bothersome, such as uncomfortable noise or bright lights.


Outdoor gatherings present a unique challenge since it is often assumed there are more eyes on the child or adult with autism. However, heavy distractions coupled with an over-stimulating setting can lead to a child or adult wandering off without notice.


Children and adults with autism wander from all types of settings, such as educational, therapeutic, residential, camp programs, outdoor, public places, and home settings, including relatives and babysitters' homes.


So, what precautioninary measures can you take to ensure your child's safety? What tools are available if your child should wander off? According to reviews, the items below have been found to be some of the best.


The National Autism Association is committed to those with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) who may be prone to wandering off or eloping from a safe environment, and may be unable to recognize danger and/or stay safe. Th e Big Red Safety Box is a free-of-charge toolkit given to autism families in need as a means to educate, raise awareness and share simple tools that may assist them in preventing, and responding to, wandering-related emergencies. Learn More

AngelSense grew out of one father's search for the right technology to help him protect his child with special needs - and became a mission. Monitor your child's location, receive alerts on unexpected changes to their routine thru the Guardian GPS and Analytic Server via the web & mobile app. Learn More.

Since 2007, Amber Alert GPS has been the leading provider of communication and location tracking products and services for active families. Our unique products are designed for easy use by children and parents to support family connectivity and child safety.  Our products incorporate award-winning GPS technology, 2-way mobile voice communications, smartphone apps, a secure online portal, and customized alerting. Learn More.

If I Need Help was created by the parents of an overly energetic 13-year-old son who has moderate to severe Autism and very limited language ability.
Many children with autism who wander are unable to identify themselves, do not ask for help or carry an ID. They are usually unable to communicate their needs, share personal information and what might be done to help calm them. Also, what the rescuer should know in an emergency such as medical conditions. That's where If I Need Help comes in.
Learn More.



FEATure Parent Meetings
FEAT has some GREAT topics planned for Fall meeting presentations.
Mark your calendars and spread the word! We have scheduled some very helpful presentations for our Fall parent meetings. All meetings are held on the Home of the Innocents Campus at the Open Arms Building on the lower level - 1100 E. Market Street, 40206.  FEAT also provides free childcare for parents who are attending the meeting. See the Save-the-Date section of this newsletter.

What meeting topics would you like to have in the future? Please send your suggestions to support@featoflouisville.org use "Meeting Suggestion" as your subject title.

The Gut-Brain Connection - August 12
Understanding the Relationship Between the Micro-biome (Gut Microbes), Nutrition, Nutrients and the Brain.
Presented by Courtney Snyder, MD
Courtney Snyder, MD is a child, adolescent and adult psychiatrist. Her practice focuses on the relationship between nutrient imbalances, gastrointestinal health, autoimmunity and brain related disorders including ADHD, anxiety, autism spectrum disorders, depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.  In addition to her training in conventional psychiatry, she has also received training through the Walsh Research Institute in Advanced Nutrient Therapies.  For more information visit  CourtneySnyderMD.com

Managing Behavior at Home & in the Community - Sept. 9
Presented by Spalding University ABA Masters Students
An explanation of a function-based approach to behavior to help parents understand why their child is engaging in behaviors. This meeting will provide parents with function-based strategies for preventing problem behaviors and managing behaviors after they have occurred.

Let's play! Increasing Social Skills at Various Phases of Development - October 14
Presented by Spalding University ABA Masters Students
A desription of the progression of social/play skills and how to promote social initiations, teach your child to play appropriately with toys and help your child develop friendships.

Creating Systems & Routines to Simplify Your Home - Nov. 11
Presented by Spalding University ABA Masters Students
Learn how to promote compliance with rules and household routines; develop, use and modify token economies; and establish bedtime routines.

FEATure Fundraising
YOU make a difference in Louisville's autism community.
BACK TO THE FEATure - Totally 80's
Create A Stir About Autism Gala 

It is back to the 80's for the 2015 Create A Stir About Autism Gala and after party. This year we hope to bring FEAT and our past accomplishments and struggles full circle to the direction we are headed in the future.

We have some great sponsorship opportunities that include leveled marketing packages and tickets to the event & after party. To sponsor FEAT's Create A Stir Gala, please contact Deborah for a sponsorship packet listing all benefits. deborah@featoflouisville.org

If you or someone you know creates art, designs jewelry, makes crafts, styles hair, owns a time share, owns a business, etc., you could support FEAT by donating a service, gift certificate or item to the LIVE & silent auction. All donations are tax deductible. Click here for a donation form.

The  BACK to the FEATure Totally 80's - Create A Stir About Autism is on Friday, September 25 at The Gillespie. It will be a totally radical evening with open bar, appetizers, dinner by Vincenzo's, silent and live auctions, raffles, and dancing to the '80s hits of local party band 100% Poly. To receive an invitation, please email veronica@featoflouisville.org.

3rd Annual Rev'N Roll for Autism Was an Awesome Ride
Rally raised $17,500 for FEAT programs, scholarships & parent  training

Thank you Debra Paulin & Rick Tallhamer for putting together another fabulous Rev 'N Roll for Autism to benefit FEAT of Louisville. And thanks to all those who rode and all those who volunteered - YOU made this a great event!

Over 100 bikes with riders registered along the way in addition to some cars, this incredible rally has become one of our most intriguing fundraisers. Bikers and car followers traveled to and from specified locations with several stops in between to engage in opportunities to roll dice and win big prizes. The day ended with a huge pig roast and silent auction. The generosity of the crowd was  overwhelming. Thank you!

See more photographs at    2015 Rev'N Roll Album   and   Rev'V Roll For Autism FB Page  

Lucky's Market 
Bags for Change
June 28-Sept. 26

Each quarter, three nonprofits are selected to receive bag credit donations from their local Lucky's Market store. This quarter FEAT has been "lucky" enough to be chosen to participate.

How the Bags for Change Program Works:
When shoppers bring in their reusable bags, they can choose to receive $.10 back per bag credit or donate that amount to a local nonprofit. Even better: when a shopper donates, Lucky's Market will match the donation and double the giving to FEAT!

Lucky's Market is located at 200N Hurstbourne  Parkway

Casks for a Cause
Thanks Kevin & Insider Louisville

On June 27, Insider Louisville and FEAT competed in Casks for a Cause. This event  brought together Media teams and their favorite charity for a craft beer competition & Beer Block Party. The top 3 brewing teams won a monetary amount for their charities.

We would like to thank Kevin Gibson from Insider Louisville for choosing FEAT as his charity. And even though we did not win this year, we look forward to creating a winning submission for the 2016 Casks for a Cause! 

Thank you to the hosts of Casks for a Cause: Tailspin Ale Fest & Goodwood Brewing Company.

Congrats to all the winners!.

1st - Courier Journal with The Center for Women and Families

2nd - The LEO Weekly with Kentucky Humane Society

3rd - Simply PR with Dare to Care Food Bank.


Kroger Community Rewards Re-enrollment

If you are registered in the Kroger Community Rewards program with your Kroger Plus Card, you will be asked to re-enroll FEAT as your charity. The re-enrollment period is August 1st - 31st.

Go to Kroger.com to renew your commitment to or become a new supporter of FEAT on your Kroger Plus Card. 

Kroger is committed to helping our communities grow and prosper. Year after year, local schools, churches and other nonprofit organizations will earn millions of dollars through Kroger Community Rewards®.


Kroger Community Rewards® makes it easy. All you have to do is shop at Kroger, swipe your Plus Card and FEAT will receive a percentage of your purchase.


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


BAGS FOR CHANGE at Lucky's Market
June 28- September 26
F EAT has been selected as one of the non-profits to participate in Lucky's Market Bags for Change. Just shop with reusable bags and let your cashier know that you would like your "wooden dime" to go to FEAT of Louisville.

SENSORY FRIENDLY FILM - Minions at Tinseltown Cinemas
Saturday, July 11 at 10:00AM
$6.90 per person. Siblings may attend. Please RSVP to Tammy with Louisville East Macaroni Kid

August 1- 31
Remember to re-enroll FEAT as your Kroger Plus Card Charity at Kroger.com

Back to the FEATure - Totally 80's Gala
Friday, September 25
If interested in becoming a sponsor or donating an item to the auction, please email Deborah@featoflouisville.org




PARENT MEETING - The Gut/Brain Connection
Wednesday, August 12 at 7:00PM
at Home of the Innocents Open Arms Building on the lower level
Please use meeting date + childcare as your subject title.

PARENT MEETING  - Managing Behavior at Home & in the Community
Wednesday, September 9 at 7:00PM
at Home of the Innocents Open Arms Building on the lower level
Please use meeting date + childcare as your subject title.

- Let's PLAY! Increasing Social Skills at Various Phases of Development
Wednesday, October 14 at 7:00PM
at Home of the Innocents Open Arms Building on the lower level
Please use meeting date + childcare as your subject title.

- Creating Systems and Routines to Simplify Your Home 
Wednesday, November 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.

Sensory Friendly Christmas Party with Santa for All FEAT Families at KAZOING. More details will be in future newsletters.



The Best Gluten-Free Banana Bread EVER!
I was never a fan of banana bread until I tried this version. Now, I can't wait for my bananas to ripen.

  • ½ cup coconut flour
  • ½ cup almond flour
  • 1 cup very ripe banana mashed well with a fork (2-3 medium bananas)
  • ½ cup butter melted + extra butter unmelted for greasing (you could sub with coconut oil but it's way better with butter)
  • ¼ cup cacao nibs
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon no additive liquid stevia or ¼ cup honey 
  • 4 eggs
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

Support FEAT of Louisville
We remain dedicated to serving the needs of Kentuckiana's autism community. Our services and outreach activities are possible with the support of generous people such as you.

Make a donation! Please consider making a tax-deductible contribution online today.
Your generosity will help provide education, advocacy, programs and support to families affected by autism.
Stay Connected
1100 East Market Street
Louisville, KY 40206

Deborah Morton, Executive Director

Shop Lucky's with your resuable bags and donate to FEAT - June 28-September 26