How the internet came together to find a special cup for this autistic teen

By admin
30 November 2016

Ben Carter is a 14-year-old autistic boy from Devon in England. Since he was two years old he has drunk only from specific blue plastic cups with two ears.

But his last blue two-eared cup, which he had drunk from for the past two years, is worn and it was time to replace it.

But giving him a replacement cup wasn’t easy. His dad Marc says in a Twitter post that the moment Ben touched the replacement cup he knew it wasn’t like his special one. “He picked it up and put it down. Then he began to scream. I tried to calm him but he didn’t want to know. Because I hadn’t taken the cup from him he hit me with it before throwing it at me.” Marc says his wife, Mandy, tried in vain to get Ben used to other cups. “It didn’t happen. It was a stupid and bad idea.”

The problem was that Ben’s favourite type of cup was last manufactured 20 years ago by the company Tommee Tippee. Marc turned to Twitter to try to find out if anyone had the right type of cup for Ben. More than 12 000 responses later his request reached Australia. Marc says people think he’s exaggerating when he says Ben will drink from only that type of cup – but without his special cup Ben refuses to drink anything. Marc’s desperate search reached the ears of Tommee Tippee. “As it did to the rest of the world, Ben’s story touched us deeply. We would do anything we could to find another beloved cup for Ben,” a spokesperson for Tommee Tippee said.

The company, located in Northumberland, doesn’t usually keep the moulds used to make previous products. But for Ben’s sake the company searched all its factories and storehouses to see if they could find a mould for the special cup. Meanwhile it has even shared a useful guide to show people what Ben’s cup looks like.
Miracle of miracles! Tommee Tippee discovered an original mould in China and is in the process of making 500 cups with two ears for Ben.
On hearing the news an overwhelmed Marc said, “I would not be happier if I won the lottery.” And Ben? The video speaks for itself.


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