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NEWS STORIES

Raising Awareness of Autism, Resources in the NorthwoodsSubmitted: 04/04/2013
Story By Kailey Burton


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.


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 IN OTHER NEWS

MILWAUKEE - A Milwaukee man is charged with fatally stabbing his infant daughter and another man during a domestic violence attack last week.

Twenty-year-old Ruben Garcia was charged Tuesday with first-degree intentional homicide in the deaths of his daughter, 5-month-old Kairii Dailey, and 39-year-old Paul Kucharczyk, a family friend.

Garcia also is charged with attempted homicide in the stabbings of 19-year-old Alexia Dailey _ the baby's mother and Garcia's ex-girlfriend _ and Dailey's current boyfriend, 22-year-old Christopher Hamilton.

Prosecutors say Garcia flew into a rage when his ex-girlfriend would not take him back.

Prosecutors say Garcia kissed his baby daughter, apologized and then slit her throat. Police found the girl dead in her crib.

Online court records do not list a defense attorney. Garcia remains in jail.

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HURLEY - Cars in line wrap around block after block on the snowy streets of Hurley.

"Well, I got here at 11:15, and now I'm through the line, and it's 1:30," says Cindy Brannigan. "But it's worth it."

She calls this time of each month, the last week, "the hard time" for many families in the area. The next paycheck or Social Security check is a week away.

Sometimes, the food supply at home is almost gone.

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EAGLE RIVER - In school, kids learn not only how to read and write but also how to be good neighbors. A Northwoods school joined a national effort this week to show kindness to each other and the community.

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CRANDON - A Crandon man will spend more than ten years in prison for sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl last year.

34-year-old Gerald Schleisner found out his sentence Tuesday.

This was the second time Schleisner has been convicted of sexually assaulting a child.

He was convicted in 2007 in Milwaukee County.

Schleisner apologized to the victim in court Tuesday.

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CRANDON - Prosecutors think a Forest County woman protected her boyfriend after he threw her young son across a room in 2013.

Jennifer Shepard is charged with three felonies in the wake of the incident, including abuse, neglect, and helping a felon. Her boyfriend, Brandon Brunette, was sentenced to fifteen years in prison in October for throwing the boy.

Shepard was in court today to face another felony charge.

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PELICAN LAKE - Police don't know what caused a fuel truck to crash near Pelican Lake Tuesday.

Thankfully the truck didn't spill any of its payload.

The accident happened around 10 a.m. Tuesday morning on Highway 45 just north of Pelican Lake. The truck made its way over an embankment before stopping in a thick area of trees.

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RHINELANDER - Many hunters know the animals they hunt live off of a certain type of tree.

If those trees aren't around, the animal species could struggle to stay alive.

A part of the U.S. Farm Bill called the Regional Conservation Partnership Program will pay forest landowners for clearing younger types of forest.

"It's important in this area because normally what we are doing is setting back the successional stages of the forest," Wisconsin Young Forest Partnership Habitat Coordinator Callie Bertsch said. "This would have normally happened by a natural disturbance, like wind and fire. Obviously we still have wind disturbances, but we suppress fires a lot."

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