Twitter responds to a dad's desperate plea to help his autistic son

LONDON — A desperate dad has launched a Twitter campaign to find a particular model of cup for his autistic son that he says "keeps him alive."

The hashtag #CupForBen has since gone viral as the internet races to find a cup that has been out of production for a decade now.

SEE ALSO: 8-year-old autistic boy absolutely slays 'Thriller' dance

Marc Carter's 14-year-old son Ben has refused to drink from anything other than a very specific Tommee Tippee cup since the age of 2.

The 42-year-old dad from Devon, UK worries that the consequences will be dire if a replacement is not found before the current cup wears out.

In a Twitter post, he explains, "Ben hasn't drunk at school since the age of five, he doesn't drink outside of the house so we can't go anywhere.

"People say he will drink when he's thirsty, but two emergency trips to A&E with severe dehydration say otherwise."

Ben Carter, 14, suffers from severe autism.

Ben Carter, 14, suffers from severe autism.

Image: Twitter / Marc Carter

Carter told the BBC that Ben has had the cup he currently uses for three years now, and he only expects it to last for a few more weeks.

Carter, whose other two children also have special needs, turned to Twitter for help, and the response has been overwhelming.

"It has genuinely moved me to tears," he writes in an update,"It's incredible that you all want to help."

Support and promising leads have poured in from all corners of the globe as people searched their cupboards for the two-handled plastic cup:

Several people have suggested that a 3D printer might provide a longterm solution, too, if a cup can be secured to replicate.

Tommee Tippee has also responded to Carter's requests. The BBC quotes its global head of consumer experience Sara Scott as saying, "The cup he previously had was a Tommee Tippee cup that we made for Boots in the late 1990s and our team is currently looking through all our archive product samples to see if we have one that's just right for Ben."

Around seven of the tiny blue cups have been collected so far, and Carter hopes to stock up to avoid future desperate hunts.

If anyone has an exact copy of the cup that they would like to send to the family, you can contact @PMPProject via Twitter.

RELATED: Notable people with Autism and Asperger's syndrome:

Notable people with Autism and Asperger's syndrome
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Notable people with Autism and Asperger's syndrome

Actor Dan Aykroyd revealed that he was diagnosed with Tourettes and Asperger’s syndrome after being diagnosed in the 1980s. 

“I also have Asperger’s but I can manage it. It wasn’t diagnosed until the early eighties when my wife persuaded me to see a doctor. One of my symptoms included my obsession with ghosts and law enforcement — I carry around a police badge with me, for example. I became obsessed by Hans Holzer, the greatest ghost hunter ever. That’s when the idea of my film Ghostbusters was born," he said

While filmmaker Tim Burton hasn't publically discussed it, his ex-wife Helena Bonham Carter has spoken about the artist possibly being on the spectrum. 

"We were watching a documentary about autism and he said that’s how he felt as a child," Bonham Carter said in an interview. "Autistic people have application and dedication. You can say something to Tim when he’s working and he doesn’t hear you. But that quality also makes him a fantastic father, he has an amazing sense of humor and imagination. He sees things other people don’t see.”

Jerry Seinfeld revealed to Brian Williams in 2014 that he believe's he's "on the spectrum." 

"I think, on a very drawn-out scale, I think I'm on the spectrum," Seinfeld said

"You know, never paying attention to the right things," says Seinfeld. "Basic social engagement is really a struggle," he explained. "I'm very literal. When people talk to me and they use expressions, sometimes I don't know what they're saying. But I don't see it as dysfunctional. I just think of it as an alternate mindset."

Singer Susan Boyle revealed in 2013 that she was diagnosed with Aspergers. 

"It was the wrong diagnosis when I was a kid," she said. "I was told I had brain damage. I always knew it was an unfair label. Now I have a clearer understanding of what's wrong and I feel relieved and a bit more relaxed about myself," " the singer said.

"It’s a condition that I have to live with and work through, but I feel more relaxed about myself. People will have a greater understanding of who I am and why I do the things I do."

Actress Daryl Hannah has Asperger's, which she was diagnosed with when she was a child. 

"Going to the Academy Awards was so painful for me. I'd almost faint just walking down the red carpet. I was so socially awkward and uncomfortable that I eventually got blacklisted," she said in 2010

"American Idol" star and singer James Durbin has been very public about his Tourettes and Asperger’s syndrome.

“I had no one to look up to like this growing up,” he said to People in July 2016. “When I was a kid, I knew I was different. I liked things no one else liked, and I was always very angry about having this. I hated it and wished it would go away. But now I want to be living proof that different is awesome.”

The "Community" and "Adult Swim" creator Dan Harmon said he discovered he has a form of Asperger's while doing research for the character Abed. 

He said in 2011, "I started looking up these symptoms just to know what they are. And the more I looked them up, the more familiar they started to seem.” 

Comedian Hannah Gadsby was diagnosed with autism "a few years back," and since then, the Australian native has been open about her process coming to terms with the diagnosis. 

"Once I got diagnosed, there was a certain amount of grief and confusion. Because when you think, 'oh now I have this framework,' and it was crystal clear as soon as I got diagnosed," she explained

 "The understanding of things just started falling into place and I was like, 'yep.'"

After marrying in 2018, comedian Amy Schumer revealed during her second Netflix special that her husband Chris Fischer has Asperger's.

"My husband was diagnosed with what used to be called Asperger's. He has autism spectrum disorder. He's on the spectrum. And there were some signs early on," the star said during her show. "It dawned on me how funny it was, because all of the characteristics that make it clear that he’s on the spectrum are all of the reasons that I fell madly in love with him.”


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