The Lake Wissota Lions Club hosts its first annual Water Safety and Education Day.More >>
Menomonie (WQOW) - As the number of children with autism grows, so does the conversation about what needs to happen next. Autism is the fastest growing developmental disability in the US.
In recent months, WQOW News 18 has been focusing on the need for more resources, so has the Menomonie School Board. Last month, it approved a pilot program for a new teacher. That teacher's primary job will be to work with students with autism.
8-year old Jesse Walker is a first grader at River Heights Elementary. His mother, Tanya Stoeklen, says, "He gets over stimulated by things in his environment. Jesse is about the same level academically as his peers are. The biggest challenge he has is staying in the classroom for a long duration of time."
He spends parts of his day working in a sensory room. "It really helps him kind of calm down and just helps him regroup so he can center himself and refocus," says Stoeklen.
Jesse is one of 24 students with autism in the entire school district. That number has grown in recent years.
Menomonie School District Director of Student services,Christine McMasters, says, "We've seen that we have enough students in our district to start thinking differently about how we would do some of the programming for students with autism."
The school district is currently in the process of hiring a teacher who will work specifically with those students.
McMasters says, "I think we've done the best we've could and we've done some good things but we definitely know we want some more expertise in that area and we want to be able to offer the best programs so that students get a great start."
The new teacher will work with elementary students. "Some of the needs the students with autism have around the areas of language and sensory needs, and behavior needs and sometimes academic needs are a little different than some of the other students," says McMasters.
Jesse's mom says she's satisfied with the type of education her son is receiving. But is excited the district is looking at enhancing what they already offer. She says, "It's like a little family; the teachers do such a good job of helping the general education kids, understand the special education kids. I want my child to be pushed; I don't want him to not reach his potential because people are just seeing him as a child with autism."
The district told WQOW News 18 it will begin interviewing teachers next week, and hopes to hire someone within the next two weeks. Because this is a trial period, the district will re-evaluate in the spring to see if the additional staff member will be needed next fall.
Fall Creek (WQOW)- A home on Partridge Road exploded Sunday afternoon. The Township Fire Department says the family is out of town and no one was hurt in the blast. Right now crews are on scene investigatingMore >>
A home on Partridge Road exploded around noon on Sunday. The Township Fire Department says the family is out of town and no one was hurt in the blast.More >>
Jackson County (WQOW) - The Wisconsin State Patrol is investigating a fatal crash in which a pedestrian was hit by a semi in a parking lot. It happened after 4 p.m. at the Hixton Travel Plaza parkingMore >>
Washburn County (WQOW) - It's been 17 years since a girl disappeared after getting off a bus in Washburn County. New details in the case could be released this weekend. Sara Bushland was last seen inMore >>
It's been 17 years since a girl disappeared after getting off a bus in Washburn County.More >>
GORDON, Wis. – Wildfire crews from the Department of Natural Resources, working through the night and joined by more than 100 municipal firefighters, have largely surrounded the Germann Road Fire whichMore >>
Wildfire crews from the Department of Natural Resources, working through the night and joined by more than 100 municipal firefighters, have largely surrounded the Germann Road Fire which has scorched 8,700 acres of forest land in Douglas and Bayfield counties.More >>
Chippewa County (WQOW) - Even with the fire ban lifted, Chippewa fire crews are reminding everyone conditions are still dry. Emergency crews spent part of their evening battling a grass fire in ChippewaMore >>
Even with the fire ban lifted, Chippewa fire crews are reminding everyone conditions are still dry.More >>
I just happened to be taking some pictures early Tuesday morning and decided to take a look at the eagle's nest over the driveway. I was shocked! There was our Spring baby!More >>
I just happened to be taking some pictures of our goats, that walk across a bridge 12 feet in the air, early Tuesday morning and decided to take a look at the eagle's nest. I was shocked! There was our Spring baby!More >>
Eau Claire (WQOW) - There's no debating that obesity is a serious problem in this country. What may be open for debate is what the government can do to address it. Eau Claire's Comprehensive Plan hasMore >>
It's a unique step that's never been done in Eau Claire before. The data would be calculated using the body mass index.More >>
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