RHINELANDER - In April we recognize World Autism Awareness Month. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now says 1 in every 50 children is affected. This disorder presents a unique challenge for each family. For those of us North of highway 64-- it can be more of a struggle.
"It's a long way to go to find another parent to come into the school district, to find a support group. So I think you'll find a scarcity of services up here," said Robin Mathea, Director of Parent-to-Parent of Wisconsin.
Families with children on the moderate to severe side of the Autism Spectrum usually need help. Autism can be exhausting for caregivers, but that's only part of what they have to deal with.
"Often times people don't understand unless they've walked in your shoes, and that's a really hard stigma to get past for families. Your child's misbehaving in the grocery store, and somebody next to you has a child that's just so appropriate and they're looking and thinking, whoa, you're a bad parent because you haven't been able to get your child to behave, but yet you may be having a really successful time in the grocery store because you've at least gotten this far with them," said Mathea.
People on the Autism Spectrum are all unique. This can make it very difficult to find appropriate child care. Mathea says she often hears parents say they had to quit their jobs because there was no one else to take care of their child.
A huge spike in the number of children with autism has some calling this an epidemic. But there are also questions of whether more children DO have the disorder, or are just being diagnosed. Mathea says an early diagnosis can make a huge difference.
"I think we're so much savvier at diagnosing. And with early intervention we get our best outcomes, so why not?"
Below are links to groups that can help parents and kids with autism and other emotional and behavioral disorders.
GREEN BAY - When attending an NFL game, you will likely pay for the tickets, travel expenses, food, and PARKING.
But finding parking near Lambeau Field on game days can be more convenient than you might think.
Kelly Fulcer and her husband Aaron are new to the neighborhood surrounding Lambeau Field.
"We were here to buy Family Night tickets, we were first in line, we stayed over night. That day they had an open house here at this location so we walked over, came and looked at the house and we bought Family Night tickets and a house on the same weekend," said Kelly Fulcer.
Now that they're all moved in, Sunday was their first Packers game day.
Their neighbor Wendy Petrie has been doing it over the last 12 years.
"The first couple years are a little rocky because you have to learn the ropes of parking cars."
The signs you see in the neighborhood can get pretty creative.
"Thought it would be funny to put park and pee and catch everybody's attention," said Aaron Fulcer.
That wording sure was a head turner. But first, Aaron had to run it by his wife.
"He's like 'hey, what do you think about getting a port-a-potty outside?' and i said 'works for me, I don't mind'," said Kelly Fulcer.
Other preparations for the first home game included taking out a tree to create more room for parking.
The Fulcer's even took out a tree in their front yard to fit more cars on their lawn.
The rookies have shown their dedication. For the veteran next door, Wendy has gained loyal customers.
"Most of our customers are reoccurring, I would say 75% of them," said Petrie.
Even in the off-season, the parking preparations don't stop.
"The winter freezes it over and in the spring, you fill the holes with grass and soot and you're ready to rock again," said Petrie.
It's hard work, but the neighborhood does it to make sure the safe atmosphere at Lambeau doesn't change.
"Just making sure everybody has a good time. They're safe, their cars are secure, we're home the whole time, easy to get in, easy to get out," said Aaron Fulcer.
EAGLE RIVER - In Eagle River this weekend, seven wounded warriors from around the country were able to enjoy the relaxation of being outdoors.
Marine Tyson Scott always wondered how outdoor activities helped people heal. He may never know the answer to that question, but what he does know is the outdoors has helped him and many other veterans.
BURLINGTON, WASHINGTON - The latest on a fatal shooting at a mall in Washington state:
A gunman who fatally shot five people at a Washington state mall remained at large as authorities said the motive for the slaying was unknown, but there was no indication the shootings were a terrorist act.
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