Recently students around PISD helped raise awareness for a disease that affects more and more students every day.

On April 2 students celebrated National Autism Awareness Day. Students from the Texas Association of Future Teachers (TAFE) were hard at work selling blue t-shirts with the word "autism" upside down to help raise awareness. They sold the tees to staff and students, who will wear the shirts each Tuesday throughout the month of April to keep attention focused on a malady that affects 1 in 50 children today.

Proceeds of sales of the shirts will go to help provide scholarships for Prosper families to attend the Joni and Friends family retreat in July, through Rusty Joe’s Mission, which was started by 2 PHS students several years ago. The family of Rusty Joe Gonzales, who was the first recipient of the FCCLA scholarship, has kept the mission alive and is paying it forward to other families.

One PISD parent of an autistic student said she was touched by the idea of the high school girls designing the logo and selling the shirts.

"It was a great way to bring more awareness to Prosper and also a wonderful way to help raise money for sending a family to Joni and Friends camp this summer," Monica Martin said. Martin is the mother of Connor, who has been diagnosed with autism. "The numbers for Autism are changing all the time. It is now that 1 in 50 children will be diagnosed with it. We need to educated the community on what Autism is and how we can help the children and the families that are being effected."

For more information about Autism Awareness contact the PISD facilitator of Climbing Greater Heights Linda Smith at