Autism has remained largely a mysterious condition in Zimbabwe and autistic people continue to face discrimination in a society where huge gaps in awareness, interventions and support are still very evident.

Autism can affect all races in all geographic regions and has a large impact on children, their families, communities and societies.

Most autistic people experience mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety because of stigma and the treatment they get from people who do not understand their conditions.

Parents of autistic children implored the society to seek more knowledge about the condition, adding that they face difficulties travelling with their children because they are hardly accepted.

Founder of Purple Heaven Group, Martha Mutekwa and a medical practitioner, Cotilda Mangoma said there is need for more awareness campaigns.

Autism refers to a range of conditions characterised by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviours, speech and nonverbal communication, as well as unique strengths and differences.

Although there is now increased recognition by the government of the condition, most schools across the country still do not have facilities to cater for children with autism.