MINOCQUA - In the Northwoods it can be hard to find help for special needs children. But in April especially, families affected by autism shouldn't feel alone. April is World Autism Awareness Month.
In Minocqua families can find a helpful retreat. On Sunday April 28th, Wisconsin Family Ties will host a family fun day at the Waters of Minocqua.
Caregivers and children with social, emotional, and behavioral challenges can come for workshops, and a chance to network.
"I think it's especially needed up here in the Northwoods because there are not many events like this for families who have kids with emotional, behavioral, or mental health disorders or autism," said Jackie Baldwin, a Wisconsin Family Ties Parent Peer Specialist.
Baldwin specializes in bringing families together with the resources they need. She knows an early diagnosis and proper support can help a lot.
"When you know what you're dealing with, and you know what the outcomes can be, and you know how to help your child, what better way?" she says.
Workshops will focus on trauma-free crisis intervention, tools for caregivers, and transitioning special needs children into adulthood.
There will also be child care available for special needs children.
For more information contact Jackie at 715-605-2097 or email her at Jackie@wifamilyties.org.
They're also looking for more child care volunteers.
PARK FALLS - Many families began their Thanksgiving Day with a run this morning. Topping off the holiday with a "trot" around town may not appeal to everyone, but for these families it was a way to spend time with one another.
"Trot now so we can pie later," said Steph Schultz, a runner in the Park Falls Turkey Trot.
Families used the Turkey Trot 5K in Park Falls as a way to bond.
RHINELANDER - Nineteen months ago, 10 police agencies surrounded the Tripoli home of Kenneth Welsh.
Police say Welsh caused a three-hour standoff, threatened to blow up his house, and threatened to kill his wife.
Later in court, he was convicted of two felonies and sentenced to three years in prison by Oneida County Judge Michael Bloom.
But now, those convictions and prison sentence have been erased. This month, while in prison, Welsh argued he didn't fully understand all the elements of one of the crimes to which he pleaded no contest, first-degree recklessly endangering safety. Welsh's motion put some of the blame on his defense attorney, Rod Streicher.
RHINELANDER - You might be planning on waiting in line on Black Friday or sitting behind a computer on Cyber Monday. But in Rhinelander and other Northwoods cities, Small Business Saturday is another day to mark on the calendar.
Dawn Allen sold her goods at craft shows for years, but had always wanted to try something different.
"It was my dream to open up a shop one day," said Allen, the owner of Briar House on Keenen Street. So she opened Briar House in Rhinelander 21 years ago.
Allen sells women's clothes, shoes, accessories and has a full espresso bar.
But one of her favorite parts of the job is the community support.
"It's like a family here, it's more of a destination coming here I believe," said Allen.
RHINELANDER - This holiday season, you might want to tell your child to hug family members at holiday gatherings.
The Girls Scouts of the USA hopes you won't. The organization is saying daughters don't owe anyone physical affection, and that the expectation of hugs and kisses could have bad aftereffects later in life.
"I think for some people, it is a new concept," said Melissa K., the domestic violence coordinator at Tri-County Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual assault, which is based in Rhinelander.
In a post, the Girl Scouts of the USA told parents their daughters don't "owe anyone a hug. Not even at the holidays."
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