A 12 months in the past, a father of three put out a determined tweet for a bit blue cup – the one vessel his 14-year-old autistic son, Ben, would drink from.
Ben had used the identical sort of cup since he was two and it was not bought.
, with responses from world wide. And it modified Ben’s father, Marc Carter’s, life.
In the present day Ben has 591 an identical cups – and Marc runs LittleBlueCup, devoted to discovering lacking gadgets that “imply absolutely the world” to kids like Ben.
All of it started a month after that first tweet – in November 2016 – when different determined mother and father started contacting Marc for assist.
Scores of kids, most with autism or different studying difficulties, have been looking for treasured gadgets that had usually been misplaced on vacation or wanted changing.
“Everyone has a favorite one thing,” Marc advised the BBC. “However if you end up autistic that favorite one thing can imply absolutely the world.”
By way of appeals on its web sites and social media, the LittleBlueCup challenge has helped 230 households discover almost 1,800 gadgets – starting from cups and cuddly toys, to blankets and hats.
The gadgets are sometimes out of manufacturing, restricted version, or have been purchased on vacation and are simply troublesome to trace down.
LittleBlueCup depends on its 15,000 plus Fb followers and the kindness of people to assist mother and father discover these treasured objects that assist kids overcome nervousness and preserve a each day routine.
Listed below are a few of LittleBlueCup’s present success tales.
Again in September, Kye’s sister contacted LittleBlueCup to see if they may observe down an uncommon vibrant inexperienced canine, identified to Kye as “Doggy Woof Woof”.
Kye, 10, is autistic, has ADHD, a sensory processing dysfunction and a few medical points. He slept with Doggy Woof Woof from start.
So when the delicate toy went lacking, tears and sleepless nights adopted.
The canine was understood to have been a free giveaway from Tommee Tippee some 10 years in the past – however any inventory was lengthy gone.
Step ahead a donor known as Donna. She stated: “That canine was sitting within the backside of our toy basket unloved and ignored so I used to be thrilled to have the ability to discover it a loving new dwelling,” she wrote on Fb.”
Tayen, six, is blind. She can also be on her second spherical of chemotherapy, has epilepsy, hydrocephalus and has bilateral shunts.
Her favorite companion is a monkey which initially belonged to her brother. He is 12, which suggests the monkey is not on store cabinets.
Tayen would not be parted from Milly the monkey, however her Mum must hold the whole lot washed, particularly whereas Tayen is having chemo.
Nonetheless, with the assistance of LittleBlueCup, Tayen had three monkey deliveries, from three completely different places, in at some point.
Discovering and delivering the Milly clones took simply 5 days.
“Milly supply!” her Mum wrote on the LitttleBlueCup Fb web page. “We have had three arrive at the moment! Thanks all.”
In August, Merlin, 4, misplaced Merlin the wizard.
When Merlin was born he had a mind haemorrhage. He now has behavioural wants, ADHD, and is being assessed for autism.
The cuddly delicate toy wizard was primarily based on the Disney character of the identical title. He was purchased on eBay when Merlin was a child.
It seemed like Merlin is perhaps simply changed by a go to to the Disney Retailer, till it was found that the toy was a restricted version and solely given as a particular award to Disney workers.
Fortunately, Mia Causier received concerned.
“I’ve this Merlin,” she wrote on the Fb web page. “I’m an ex-cast member of Disney Retailer UK. I gained him in a solid member information competitors at head workplace. They’re restricted version. I’m actually pleased with him but when he can deliver a smile to Merlin, then it might be my pleasure to cross him on. X.”
Mia was nearly as good as her phrase. Not solely did she ship Merlin the beloved toy, she additionally despatched a letter telling him about all of the adventures the wizard had been on whereas away.
“Mia – it is all the way down to folks such as you we’re in a position to make issues occur,” commented LittleBlueCup.
It is not simply cuddly toys and cups that kids kind attachments to. Garments are one other uniquely private merchandise for some kids.
On vacation, Isaac, seven, put his hat down and by the point he realised, somebody had taken it.
Isaac, who just lately had an evaluation for ASD/ADHD, was devastated. And the blue denim trilby with a polka dot sample proved exhausting to switch.
His Mum turned to LittleBlueCup – and as soon as once more, the general public got here up trumps – after one other Mum, whose autistic son agreed to cross on his personal, received in contact.
Final week, she posted a brief video of Isaac opening the shock bundle. In it he exclaims with delight: “It is my hat – I’ve received it again!”
His Mum wrote on Fb: “Thanks SO a lot to #LittleBlueCup for making him comfortable and smile once more.
“Isaac’s hat isn’t far-off from him. Thanks to the splendidly type boy who despatched it to him with a bit word.”
Marc has a crew of 30 volunteers who assist him with the searches, and Fb teams in Australia, US and Canada.
9 out of 10 instances they discover the merchandise.
With three autistic kids of his personal, Marc admits it will possibly imply lengthy hours and “loads of effort” however he says “it is about serving to folks” – and the smile on the faces of the youngsters reunited with treasured gadgets makes all of it worthwhile.
There’s additionally an extra incentive for Marc.
Past the comfortable reunions, he’s utilizing LittleBlueCup and the media consideration it attracts “to show that autism is not all about cute little five-year-old boys lining up their toys”.
Subsequent 12 months, Marc might be making a collection of brief movies. He plans to enter houses across the nation filming households dealing with autism – their conversations and tales.
He desires to maneuver away from the stereotypical notion of autism.
“What about women?” asks Marc, whose daughter was just lately recognized with autism. “What about older kids – you do not develop out of autism. The non-verbal, the youngsters who hit their mother and father – it isn’t cute and fluffy, however it’s actual.”