The Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum on Sunday hosted an autism awareness day for military families with children who have autism.
A recent study released by the Centers for Disease Control found that one in every 88 children is diagnosed with the disorder.
Advocates say better policies and program delivery is needed so more children can be diagnosed early, and families are taught how to manage the condition.
"We have to have all of our communities, schools, congressman, senators, the government involved. We all have to be part of the solution," said Suzanne Wright of Autism Speaks.
"Our son was diagnosed about 12 years ago with autism and at that time he had trouble speaking. So, we just want to continue the fight for these kids and families like ours," said one mother.
Sunday's event also marks Autism Awareness Month and the Month of the Military Child.