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VICKI DEWALD WITH HER GRANDSON, ELIAS: She has been caring for the autistic boy for more than seven years, along with caring for other family members, but now faces the choice of finding other work or accepting a 20 percent pay cut imposed by the state on family members who serve as caretakers.

Caretaker pay cut by 20%

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For the past seven and a half years, Vickie DeWald has been caring for her grandson, Elias DeWald, while his mother is working.

About a month ago though, she received notice that, because of state budget cuts, her pay would be cut by 20 percent for the care she provides.

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When Elias, who will be 10 next month, was 2½ years old, he was diagnosed with autism.

"I've been taking care of him ever since. You can't take your eyes off him," she said.

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