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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
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 05/02/2016

- Last month, voters in the Unified School District of Antigo rejected a referendum that would have consolidated the district's seven elementary schools. Now the district has to figure out what to do with the teachers, staff and students of one school that will close in June.

- Plus, until now Price County has never had any type of public transportation.  Park Falls hasn't even had a taxi service in years.  That all changed in April with a new bus.

We'll have the details on this story and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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WAUSAU - The mayor of Wausau blames "a violent world," in part, for this weekend's officer-involved shooting.

A Wausau police officer shot and killed a man allegedly armed with a knife late Saturday night.

Mayor Robert Mielke said that he believes the shooting was justified and the entire police force has his full support.

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MATTOON - Last month, voters in the Unified School District of Antigo rejected a referendum that would have consolidated the district's seven elementary schools. The referendum would have kept two rural schools�"Mattoon and Crestwood�"open.

But now, Mattoon Elementary School will close in June. The school board voted 5-4 to close the school at the end of this school year.

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MERRILL - The Merrill Area Public School Board announced Monday that it has received the resignations from its district administrator and assistant district administrator.

Superintendent Wally Leipart and Assistant Superintendent Michele Jahnke submitted their letters of resignation Monday.

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LAONA - Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson faces a tough path to reelection this fall.  The Republican has found himself down by double digits to challenger Russ Feingold in Marquette Law School polls at times.  But Johnson says he'll swing voters when they look at his record of getting work done in Washington, D.C.

Johnson announced his bid for re-election during stops across Wisconsin Monday.  The senator began the day at his Oshkosh-based plastics facility before meeting with state Sen. Tom Tiffany, logging industry and school leaders at a logging site in Laona.  Johnson said Monday was a great day to start his run.

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RHINELANDER - The Oneida County Humane Society hopes expanding its current facility will help the animals and the public.

OCHS announced plans to expand and improve the animal shelter at its annual Furball fundraiser.

It will use a $100,000 grant the shelter received from PETCO last year to help cover some of those costs. But OCHS will also need to raise more money to cover all the planned improvements.

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LINCOLN COUNTY - The Lincoln County Sheriff's Office warns people to clean up their campsites before they leave or face fines. That warning comes after this past weekend, when people left a messy site at the Underdown camping area in Gleason.

The Forestry Department saw people left litter, including a mattress, at the site. The Lincoln County Sheriff's Office says it has a zero-tolerance policy for littering.

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