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CDC: 1 out of 68 showing symptoms of autism, nearly 30% increase in 2 yrsSubmitted: 03/27/2014
CDC: 1 out of 68 showing symptoms of autism, nearly 30% increase in 2 yrs
Story By Adam Fox

RHINELANDER - A new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study released Thursday shows one out of 68 kids in the U.S. symptoms of autism. That is a 30 percent increase from just two years ago.

The same study found one in 88 kids showed symptoms in 2008. But now numbers from 2010 show a significant increase.

Pearl Thompson lives in Rhinelander and has two children (Carmen, 3 & Matthew,5) with autism. She believes these new numbers are beginning to reflect the true number of children with autism.

Thompson says the children cause plenty of challenges, but she believes that actually makes their family stronger.

"I think the challenges that we face just make us better parents and kind of help us prepare our children for challenges they may face in the future," Thompson said.

The disorder makes communication more difficult. But Thompson says that challenges make simple progress, like naming colors, even more meaningful.

"All of a sudden he (Matthew) just started naming colors of the cars and we just cried, I mean we bawled."

Nearly one out of 100 kids in Wisconsin show symptoms of autism, according to the CDC report. The report also indicates that boys have nearly five times the chance, (1 out of 66) of having the disorder compared to girls, (1 out of 330) in Wisconsin.

Thompson says the growing number of cases doesn't mean everyone knows or understands the disorder.

"We still get people who say can't you control how to control your kid and it's not that," Thompson said. "It's not that you know they're crying and throwing a fit because they can't have a toy."

Carlene Braatz has worked as an occupational therapist for the School District of Rhinelander for more than two decades. She's seen more autistic kids in her school over the years. But she worries about after they graduate from high school or college.

"What happens then? What happens if you have a nice skill set of educational skills, but you don't have the social skills?" Braatz said.

Braatz says she's seen many students make it out of the educational system and struggle to find work. She also says the state provides a healthy amount of workshops and other job opportunities for those with autism, but that could change as the numbers increase.

Regardless, Thompson stays positive for when her kids are fully grown up.

"I think with the proper support and everything in the state, I think they'll be OK," Thompson said.

If numbers continue to increase, more families will have to hope like Thompson.

If you would like to learn more about autism, Thompson and another Rhinelander mother are holding an "Autism 101" program at Crescent Elementary School in Rhinelander at 3319 Boyce Dr.

The event starts at 6 p.m. on April 14th.

For more information call 915-799-1736










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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 04/20/2018

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

Governor Scott Walker recently signed a bill into law that makes it easier for people to waterski without a spotter. We talk to area water-skiers to get their reaction to the bill and a state senator who cites studies favoring the bill.

We'll take you to a Minocqua tattoo shop that's trying to get rid of a myth by helping others.

And a member of the Merrill School Forest Program received special recognition today. We'll take you to the presentation and talk to the recipient.

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

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MERRILL - A Northwoods group that supports victims of domestic abuse or sexual assault took the time to thank those whose support makes the program possible. HAVEN (Household Abuse Victims Emergency Network) hosted an open house on Friday in Merrill. 

The open house was held in part to celebrate the program's 35th anniversary. It also allowed people who have supported HAVEN over the years to get a tour of the facility and get to know the employees there. 

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MADISON - Researchers examining forests in northern Wisconsin say Native American reservations have older trees and better plant diversity and tree regeneration than surrounding state or national forests.

Wisconsin Public Radio reports that Dartmouth College and University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers recently published their findings in an issue of the Ecology and Society journal. Researchers studied forests on four Native American reservations.

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ONEIDA COUNTY - A wild deer in Oneida County tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease.

The DNR says a deer found in Crescent Township had CWD. 

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MERRILL - A member of the Merrill School Forest Program received special recognition on Friday. Director Russell Noland earned a LEAF award from Wisconsin's School Forest Program.

Students, parents, and other community members came together to witness the award presentation.

The award honors people that excel in leading learning experiences and activities in forestry.

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MINOCQUA - People drew designs and blood at a Minocqua tattoo parlor Friday. Owners of Haven Ink Tattoos helped clear up some tattoo myths while helping others in their community with a blood drive.
"Clients have been showing us tattoos they want while donating," said Haven Ink Tattoos co- owner and artist Megan Hunt.
A simple prick of a needle goes a long way at Haven Ink Tattoos in Minocqua.
"There are a lot of myths that exist and it goes back to old stimulations as far as donating blood," said Haven Ink Tattoos co- owner and artist Dani Bauer.
"[You can] participate in a good cause and get a tattoo after so you get two memories in a day," said blood donor Tanner Lillie. 

People get a permanent mark while making one on someone's life.
Hunt and Bauer teamed up with Talitha Uhrmann from The Community Blood Center to bring a blood bank to the shop. Everyone who donated blood got 20 percent off a tattoo.
Every person that donated blood can save three lives including the one in seven people hospitalized that will need a blood transfusion.

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RHINELANDER - Sixty-two-year-old Kenneth Welsh lasted just eight days as a free man before being arrested in Oneida County again.

Welsh is now in Oneida County Jail, accused of making terrorist threats.

Those threats put hospitals in Rhinelander and Tomahawk on lockdown on Thursday.

Oneida County Sheriff Grady Hartman said Welsh made the threats to a hospice company after they withdrew service from his terminally-ill wife.

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