Staten Island Kinderdance franchisee, Doris Velez takes part in the Staten Island Walk for Autism Speaks at the College of Staten Island. This will be the FIFTH Staten Island Autism Speaks Walk. Kinderdance International is a proud sponsor and is pleased to have Kinderdance Staten Island at this event. The walk is one of many organized nationally throughout the month of October, takes on a very personal meaning for Kinderdance franchisee Doris Velez. She and her family know all too well the challenges that families face when they receive the news that their child has an autism spectrum disorder. Her son, Matthew, was diagnosed with autism in 2006. “To receive a diagnosis of autism is devastating for just about anyone, but to learn that it is affecting someone you love – someone so young – can be overwhelming,” recalled Ms. Velez. “But when you see all of these people come together each year to join Walk Now for Autism Speaks in an effort to fund research and increase awareness for serious developmental disorders like autism, it brings hope to so many hearts. We truly feel we can help as long as we work together. My husband and I are so proud to walk each year with Matthew by our sides.” This year Kinderdance franchisee Doris Velez served on the walk committee. The events goal is to raise more than $314,000 in support for Autism Speaks’ mission to fund research, increase awareness and family services and advocate for individuals with autism and their families. Doris Velez has been a Kinderdance franchisee since 2006, teaching children in Richmond County, New York.