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Whether you know a family affected by autism, have an autistic child of your own, or just want to help raise awareness for the cause, you can sign up for a fund-raising walk through our partner, Autism Speaks. Not only do the walks raise money to fund autism research, but they also provide a place for autistic families to connect. "Parents love the Autism Speaks walks because it's a place where you can be out in a public place with your autistic child and not have to stress about his behavior. If your child acts out, there's a whole community of people there who have been through it," says one parent. Says another: "That our local Walk office is so close to us is truly a blessing. I'm not sure how I would have gotten through the last year had it not been for the Walk and doing something 'constructive' with all the emotions that go along with a child's autism diagnosis." Need some inspiration? Check out why these families participate in the walks  -- and visit [XREF {} {Autism Speaks} {_blank}] to learn more or sign up. ([XREF {} {Click here} {_blank}] to find a walk in your area.)

"I walk for my little peanut, Anthony. Just one look at those bright blue eyes and that bright, beautiful smile, you cannot help but to fall in love. With his contagious laugh, he could make the worst day seem like the best. We often wonder 'what are these children thinking about,' but if you could read their minds, you would know that they are asking for your help in fighting this disorder. That is why I walk-to help my little peanut and other children like him."
 -- Christine Fekter

"I walk for Zach because he is a 9-year-old boy trying to survive going to school everyday with Autism. I walk for Zach's family and all those families like his. I walk so that he can have a better life... because he has shown me the teacher I want to be."
 -- Lisa Metzger

"My son John is 7 years old. He was diagnosed with autism shortly before his 3rd birthday. He is non-verbal, but his eyes tell me what his mouth cannot  -- they show me the love that is in his heart. When he hugs you, all is right in the world. His father, brother, sister and myself live for those hugs and kisses. I will walk because I am on a journey to find his voice  -- and I am willing to walk to the ends of the earth for him."
 -- Barbara Bautista