Parents of children living with autism in Zimbabwe have appealed to society to be more tolerant in the face of great stigmatisation. 

Life for Martha Mutekwa has not been rosy since her son, Samuel Howard (12) years was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), also called autism.

Autism is a lifelong developmental condition that affects the way an individual relates to his or her environment and their interaction with other people.

Virginia Njunjira said her husband even abandoned her because of her daughter’s condition, and appealed to the government to be sensitive to the plight of people with autism.

A campaign has now been initiated to raise awareness on autism to lessen stigma attached to the condition.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), about one in every 160 children has autism but it is the level of the disorder which differs.

Some of the famous personalities considered to have lived with the condition include the late Austrian music composer, Wolfgang Mozart; the late German physicist and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Albert Einstein and Microsoft founder, Bill Gates.