Parents Gather Information On Children with Special Needs
Story By Shardaa Gray
Photos By Shardaa Gray
MINOCQUA - It almost felt like summertime at The Waters of Minocqua.
While the kids had time to play, the adults went to workshops for parents with children with special needs.
"The idea is that information and education is the best tool to help your child," said Wisconsin Family Ties Parent Specialist, Jackie Baldwin.
"If you don't have the information that you need, it's difficult to make those decisions as to how to help them."
Wisconsin Family Ties had three different workshops.
One for how to handle a crisis, caregivers taking care of themselves and kids transitioning into young adults.
"They gave a lot of really good strategies on helping to deescalate as well as kind of reminding you that children can do well," parent who attended workshops, Melanie Smith said.
"If they can, they will. Everybody wants to do a good job and kids are the same way."
Workshop leaders stressed to parents the importance of communication with their kids.
Especially when they get older and want to start doing everything they see their friends doing.
"What you need to do is find that right balance of support in the middle. And usually that involves a lot of negotiation and a lot of work," said Arc of the Northwoods Coalition, Deanna Yost.
"A lot of sitting down, being upfront with that, you're son or daughter or whoever you're supporting."
Melanie Smith says it's nice to know that she's not the only one going through these types of struggles.
"Hearing other parents that go through the same struggles as you do is very reaffirming. Because when you have a child with special needs and they have behavioral problems and all you hear are the negatives constantly, it's so nice to hear that people affirm 'hey you're doing a good job.'" Smith said.
"It's not through some falls of your own that your child has disabilities. You know your child is a blessing and it might be a little bit more difficult, but that doesn't make them bad or less than other kids."
Wisconsin Family Ties will host another event in Madison celebrating Children's Mental Health Awareness Day on May 9th.
ARBOR VITAE - The Arbor Vitae Fire Department hosted its 39th Fireman's Picnic and Summerfest this weekend.
Thousands of people came out to benefit the fire department while having a good time. The fire department held the crowd favorite lawnmower races again this year.
They also had a volleyball tournament and games for kids. The fire chief says all the proceeds help the department pay for equipment.
"When we purchased our new fire truck, the fire department funded a good portion of the money, the fundraiser money, to help keep the tax dollars down so the tax payers didn't have to foot the whole bill for the truck," said Arbor Vitae Fire Department Chief Mike Van Meter. "And we also use it to buy turnout gear throughout the year, new air packs. Anything we can do to keep it off the tax roll."
WABENO - People went out to Wabeno this weekend for its first ever Art and Music Fest. Musicians performed in the band shell while local artists spread out to show their products.
There were food and drinks as well as workshops for people to learn more about art.
"This year we've had about 20 musicians performing on three stages," said Friends of Wabeno Chairperson Mary Beck. "And we've had maybe ten artists doing demonstrations, showing people what they can do and what they can buy."
The rain Sunday didn't stop people from having a good time. Volunteers hope to make this an annual event.
WISCONSIN - Anyone who loves hunting and fishing will need to apply for a license. The deadline for some hunting and fishing licenses is August 1 at 11:59 p.m.
Hunters, trappers and spearers can go on the DNR website to apply.
"This is the time of year where not a lot of people are thinking about hunting, but that August 1 date is that date for applying for a bobcat, fisher or otter tag, sharp-tail grouse, or sturgeon spearing or fall turkey," said DNR Warden Supervisor David Walz.
ST. GERMAIN - The last day of Pig in the Pines wrapped up Saturday. People were able to watch the rib eating contest in the afternoon.
Newswatch 12 got to help judge ribs from this year's four rib vendors. One of the big events happened on the main stage Saturday evening.
"We have entertainment all day long," said St. Germain Chamber President Bruce Weber. "We have the Wise Guys on our main stage. We have Laura Ernst on the aerial platform here. She also does juggling. On our major stage, we have One Ping Only, and we also have Molly Hatchet, our lead act tonight."
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