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Manufacturer Finds Out-of-Production Cup for Autistic Boy

When the design went out of production, a UK family was unable to find the only cup from which their Autistic son would drink water.

For all of you parents out there, you know what it’s like when your kid grows attached to something: you guard that thing with your life, you cut yogurt out of its matted fur, you even find a backup if you can, to try and prevent the kind of fallout that would result from this precious bear, blanket, Ninja Turtle’s backpack – whatever – from even not being within arm’s reach when it’s needed the most.

Well, a dad out of the UK found himself in a related predicament where the stakes were actually pretty high. Marc Carter’s son Ben has autism and, from the early age of two, became attached to a cup manufactured by the brand Tommee Tippee. But a problem arose as the years went by. Ben became dehydrated on several occasions because he refused to drink using another cup, sending him to the emergency room twice. His dad sought help for his son from a therapist, but Ben couldn't be persuaded to change his ways.

Then the situation became even more challenging when the design went out of production, and the family was unable to replace the blue cups that Ben had been using his whole life. His dad took to social media, and the story and hashtag “#CupsforBen” went viral. And while people across the globe began sending their old Tommee Tippee cups to the Carters, many were weathered with use and they were consistently breaking.

Marc Carter was getting to the point where he might possibly explore a method using 3D modeling to print his own cups, when the manufacturer stepped in and offered to try to solve his problem. The search for the blue plastic cup took them all the way to China where they finally tracked down the exact mold used to make Ben's cup. The Chinese factory then agreed to make 500 cups that match the exact specifications of his original Tommee Tippee.

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