Society urged to be supportive of children with autism

By Abigirl Tembo Health Editor
A call has been made for society to accommodate children with autism, a serious developmental disorder that impairs the ability to communicate and interact.
This came out during belated World Autism Day commemorations held in Harare.
Parenting is associated with various challenges and the task becomes even more difficult when the child has special needs.
This is the challenge that faces parents of children with autism whose plea is for society to be more tolerant.
“With autism please love them, accept them, yes they look mysterious like the term itself says that is they are always unique, totally interesting and sometimes mysterious. Those mysteries are interesting we can actually handle them whether in a supermarket whether in a bus wherever it is not contagious, those are just behaviours and sometimes when they touch you these are sensory children, when they close their ears they are not saying you are boring they are just saying the noise is too much,” said Helen Mutambara, Director, Autism Organisation.
“It is really difficult to look after a child with autism because society doesn’t understand they do not accept my child they call her names and as a parent It hurts because I did not choose this, I remember I once stayed at some house and the landlord didn’t even want her children to play with mine because she is autistic,” said a parent.
Guest of honour at the commemorations, the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, Professor Paul Mavima said through the National Disability Policy, government is committed to ensuring that people with autism are not left behind in the country’s development matrix.
“The government of Zimbabwe is making great efforts towards achieving an inclusive education system of appropriate standards at all levels as well as lifelong learning for persons with disabilities including persons with autism of all gender affiliations. The idea is to ensure the full development of human potential including that of children with autism,” said Minister Mavhima.
The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed the 2nd of April as World Autism Awareness Day.