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Milwaukee: Autism provider has "6 clinics at full capacity"; "wait list of people in the hundreds"

April 20, 2024, Fox 6, Milwaukee: Autism Awareness: Milwaukee-area clinic expanding, to serve families

 A Milwaukee-area clinic is expanding, looking to service kids with autism and families in need.

April is Autism Awareness Month. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in 36 kids in the country has autism.

Jack Schwanke is like any other 5-year-old boy. He loves toys, slime and talking – a lot. It's a relief for his parents, Robert and Samantha Schwanke.

"He can communicate his needs. He talks up a storm," said Robert.

The two say talking wasn't something their youngest son could always do. An early sign of autism they noticed, around the time he was turning 2 years old, and still was not speaking. . . . 

The couple got confirmation of Jack's diagnosis when he was about 2 ½ years old.

"You just don’t know what his world is going to be like as he grows up," said Samantha.

Worried about whether he'd ever be able to talk or make friends, Samantha started doing research. She found Caravel Autism Health in Franklin. . . . 

Clinic Director Carly Fanone said they've been around for about 10 years, six in Franklin. The organization has six clinics at full capacity in the Milwaukee area. . . .

Looking to serve more people, Caravel Autism Health expanded its Franklin location to a new, bigger building in October. The clinic's movement room is just one of the newest additions, and it's getting a lot of use. . . .

Caravel Autism Health still has a wait list of people in the hundreds, but they'll be expanding and opening a new location in Menomonee Falls in August. The organization's regional vice president said it should be able to serve an additional 20 families.

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