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Medford Family Thankful for School's Autism AwarenessSubmitted: 04/10/2013
Medford Family Thankful for School's Autism Awareness
Story By Hayley Tenpas

MEDFORD - In April millions of Americans recognize Autism Awareness month.

In the Northwoods one family is speaking out for their son Jack, and how their school district is making a difference.

"You know I don't know what I'd do if he didn't have the structure of school," said Cathy Mayrer.

Mayrer's son Jack has been in the Medford Schools since age three.

"Jack was diagnosed at 3 years, 5 months old with autism," said Mayrer.

Before his autism diagnosis, Mayrer says things were difficult.

"Very isolated. Because your friends are all, well, we couldn't go anywhere.
Not with him, because he'd throw his meltdowns, have his tantrums and I didn't know what was wrong with him," said Mayrer.

Jack's autism is "moderately severe" on the autism spectrum.

But things are a lot different now than when Jack was first diagnosed, and part of that is from the help of the Medford Area School District.

"The school itself has just been, this part of his life that I can't even describe, I haven't moved anywhere else because of it. Because they've done the best that I can see locally for my son," said Mayrer.

At Medford Area Middle School, teacher Ryan Brown has been working with Jack for three years.

"Every day is different. You know one day it might be great, but then all of the sudden something is bothering them, or upsetting them. And so each and every day is different, but we just kinda adjust to them," said Brown.
The great days are what Cathy says makes a difference.

"When you see him make little gains in things, it's such a rewarding thing to watch him, and see him make these gains that you never thought he could do."

"I just, I mean personally, I feel really blessed to be able to have these guys. Because Jack and the other students, they're so much fun to be around. I've probably learned more from them, than they've learned from me," said Brown.

Autism is an individual experience, but Cathy hopes theirs can help other families.

"As long as I keep speaking for Jack, and trying to do the best thing for him on his behalf, it might not always be the right thing or the most finesse, but I'm trying to do the best I can for Jack, and that's what I aim to do"


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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 01/19/2018

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

DNR wardens will start increasing patrols on snowmobile trails in the Northwoods, especially in Iron and Price counties. We talk to a warden supervisor about the number of accidents the last two weeks and how the wardens plan to minimize the accidents.

We'll show you how a new tool for the Woodruff Fire Department will help extinguish a fire even before firefighters arrive at the scene.

And tonight on Friday Night Blitz we'll bring you scores from high school games all across North Central Wisconsin as well as highlights from the following basketball games:

Girls:

Crandon vs. Laona-Wabeno

D.C. Everest vs. Merrill

Mosinee vs. Rhinelander


Boys:

Rhinelander vs. Mosinee



That will be tonight on Friday Night Blitz at the end of Newswatch 12 at 10.

We'll bring you this and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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PHILLIPS - When students go to Phillips Elementary School, their classroom might be heated to only 60 degrees. It could also be 80 degrees.

The heating system is old enough that consistency is nearly impossible, and fixes are tough.

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Underneath the school on Thursday, he pointed to the support structure.

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EAGLE RIVER - Some kindergarteners got a glimpse of the World Championship Snowmobile Derby Friday.

Snowmobile racer Jordan Grabowski stopped by the Eagle River Elementary School to talk to some kindergarteners about snowmobile safety.

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MADISON - A prosecutor has cleared a sheriff's deputy in a 14-year-old boy's death.

Ashland County Sheriff's Deputy Brock Mrdjenovich shot and killed Jason Pero in November. Investigators said the deputy saw Pero walking around with a knife outside his house on the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa reservation and fired after the boy lunged at him.

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A new women's clothing boutique opened today in downtown Rhinelander.

Oak Tree Boutique owner and Rhinelander native Amber Bellile remembers a time from her childhood when downtown flourished.

"Over the years once I moved away and would come back I noticed businesses were shutting down," said Bellile. 

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MADISON - The University of Wisconsin-Madison has announced plans to give faculty and staff a 4 percent pay increase over the next year.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports that a 2 percent pay raise would occur in July followed by another 2 percent increase January 2019.

The university says employees must have started in their current positions by Jan. 8, be meeting performance expectations and must complete campus sexual harassment training to qualify for the raise.

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MADISON - Governor Scott Walker plans to issue two executive orders to fight opioid abuse.

The governor plans to sign the orders Friday afternoon in Eau Claire.

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