ABILENE, Texas -

Hundreds of people came out to the Abilene Zoo Saturday to help raise awareness about autism by walking.

Autism is currently the fastest-growing developmental disorder in the United States. According to the Walk Now for Autism Speaks website, the event is considered the most powerful tool in raising funds for research. To date, there is no cure or known cause for the developmental disorder.

"An event like this gets everyone involved in the community together that has someone with a special needs child or autistic [child]," Jakob Howell, the father of an autistic child, said. "We can get together and we can talk about different programs here in the local area to help out and assist with the special needs."