Donate to Autism

Autism Services Fund

More than 3.5 million Americans live with ASD. It is the fastest-growing developmental disability according to the CDC and is prevalent in 1 of every 59 births.

Autism in U.S. children increased by 119.4 percent from 2000 (1 in 150) to 2010 (1 in 68) (CDC, 2014). In just two years, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) cases have risen from two to 650 in our 12 northern Wisconsin counties, and local diagnostic and treatment services can’t keep up.

The Howard Young Autism Services Fund was created in 2017 to support the growing need for resources and services related to Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in our community. We fund equipment and professional staff that work in the educational and medical advancement of transitioning programs for both children and adults with ASD and learning disabilities.


How We Can Help

Diagnosis for younger children

Autism services cost U.S. citizens roughly $250 billion annually. With early diagnosis and intervention, lifelong care costs can be reduced by two-thirds, lessening the responsibility placed on families and the community.

Lakeland STAR School/Academy Expansion

Strong. Talented. Adventurous. Remarkable.

Lakeland STAR School/Academy houses two of the Lakeland area’s newest public charter schools. Lakeland STAR is open to students of all abilities and includes personalized education programs to help students discover their unique potential and maximize their capabilities. Lakeland STAR School serves Grades 7-8, Lakeland STAR Academy serves Grades 9-12.

It is the vision of the Lakeland STAR School/Academy to have students of all developmental levels thrive not only in the school environment, but in the community, and graduate with the academic and life skills necessary to become the personal best. Students will have the confidence and determination to move on to post-secondary education and/or gainful employment, living independently to the best of their ability and enjoying meaningful connections with others if they so desire.

Lakeland STAR School/Academy is currently at capacity, but they would love to open their doors to more students that would benefit from their life changing programs. Your donation will go towards the expansion of the school both in space and expertise that will allow more families in our communities.


What We Have Already Done

PAESÒ  – Practical Assessment Exploration System

Your generous gifts helped to create a work development lab where students become employees and teachers become employers. The lab is used to assess a student's competitive work potential and interest level, while simultaneously exploring various jobs, using real tools, and developing proper work behaviors in the following five areas:

  • Computer Technology

  • Construction/Industrial

  • Processing/Production

  • Consumer/Service

  • Business/Marketing

Lakeland STAR School/Academy PAES® lab at the Howard Young Medical Center in Woodruff, WI is the first of its kind to put their PAES® lab in a local community business. There are plans for continuing PAES® for the students of Lakeland STAR School/Academy throughout this school year of 2018-19. Expansion plans are to start by offering PAES® to Lakeland Union High School and Middle School students by the 2019-20 school year.


Sensory Equipment for Lakeland STAR School/Academy

Your donations purchased sensory equipment for two rooms at Lakeland STAR School/Academy that create a safe space for students to unwind, reset or stimulate their senses.  


Lakeland STAR School/Academy In the News...

MINOCQUA, Wis. (WSAW) -- The Lakeland Star School Academy will open this fall to all types of learners and more specifically students on the Autism spectrum.

To help these students succeed the academy is tailored to meet many diverse needs. With smaller class sizes, sensory rooms and even art therapy. The goal is to give students on the spectrum an opportunity to succeed in an environment that's suited to them.

In creating the new charter school, District Administrator and Principal of Lakeland Union High School, James Bouche explained that they looked into what could help the most.

"How can we tap into their strengths? That's the biggest thing we are looking at is taping into the strengths of the students so they can have productive lives down the line," Bouche said.

The academy will work with students in 7th through 12th grade, and so far 22 students are already enrolled.

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