The Phoenix Zoo was filled with crowds walking for the 8th annual Zoo Walk for Autism Research on Saturday.
All it takes is one step, one foot in front of the other, to help a child express him or herself.
"I feel great cause it means a lot to me," Maddie Karters said.
Nearly 4,000 people turned out for the 8th annual Zoo Walk, a fund raiser that helps raise awareness and money for autism.
One in 64 children in Arizona are diagnosed with autism every year. That number increased from 2 in 10,000 roughly 30 years ago.
There is no known cure but parents say treatments and therapy make a world of difference.
"She's high functioning, she's doing awesome, thank God for all of the services she is able to get here in Arizona," Allison Karters said. "We are so blessed having that here, we lived in Washington state; they didn't offer anything."
All of the money raised during the Zoo Walk stays in Arizona and goes towards treatment for children and adults with autism.
"We found that there are a number of factors...partly genetic, partly environmental," James Adams said. "We're looking especially at the environmental factors; toxic metals, pesticides, anti biotic's."
Adams is the director of the autism research program at ASU.
During the next year, he will conduct a multi-treatment study that could further help those affected lead a better life.