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NEWS STORIES

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

Adam Fox
10 p.m. Anchor/Reporter
afox@wjfw.com

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










Related Weblinks:
CDC Report

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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 09/04/2015

- This year, the Lakeland area will pack its millionth food packet to send to hungry kids around the world. Volunteers work with Food For Kidz to measure and package dry food. This year the group has increased its goal, but it needs 600 volunteers to help.

- We'll speak with with Crandon's new school superintendent about the challenges he faces.


- And take a visit to Langlade County to learn how one group is protecting its lake.


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

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TOMAHAWK - Some school board members in the Northwoods run unopposed, but that could change in Tomahawk.

Ken Schulz is one of the more than 100 community members who want change.

The change could mean there's only seven people on the Tomahawk School Board instead of nine. 
 
Schulz is the former school board president.

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PHILLIPS - Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett wants all city police officers to wear body cameras by the end of next year. He made that proposal this week after tension between police and the public in places like Milwaukee, Cleveland, and Ferguson, Missouri.

One Northwoods police department has been using the cameras for years. Phillips police officers have worn body cameras since 2008. They turn them on while responding to many situations in the city.

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WISCONSIN - Gogebic Taconite will no longer pursue mining in northern Wisconsin. The company scrapped its plans for a huge iron ore mine in Iron and Ashland Counties this spring.

But state Democrats aren't forgetting about the mining issue. They're proposing a bill which they say would close a loophole in the state's 2013 mining law. That law relaxed the permitting process for iron mines.

The Democrats' bill would make it illegal to fill or destroy the bed of a lake, stream, reservoir, or flowage to mine the materials underneath. Bill author Rep. Dana Wachs (D-Eau Claire) said right now, mining could be done legally under flowages and reservoirs.

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RHINELANDER - The potato will be king in Rhinelander this weekend, but Friday, the focus is on fish.

The Rhinelander Café and Pub will be serving its fish fry to start PotatoFest's activities. 

It starts at 5 p.m. 

This is the second year The Rhinelander Café and Pub has served fish fry at PotatoFest.

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FOX LAKE, IL - A $50,000 reward is being offered for the capture and conviction of those who killed a northern Illinois police officer.

Motorola Solutions Inc. Vice President Ali Kapadia said that the telecommunications company was offering the reward money.

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MOREHEAD, KY - An attorney for Kentucky clerk Kim Davis says the contempt hearing a federal judge held was a "charade."

Mat Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel, said U.S. District Judge David Bunning knew he was going to send Davis to jail on Thursday before he heard one word of her testimony.

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