Internet Helps Little Boy With Autism Reunite With His Lost Teddy Bear
Lifestyle| | By Margo Gothelf
The kindness of strangers has come through once again to help an autistic boy reunite with his beloved toy.
After Jessica Hoffart’s son Lucas lost his stuffed animal teddy bear, named Bear, she was afraid her son wouldn’t be able to handle the separation. Her 2-year-old has autism and uses the bear to keep calm when he becomes unnerved.
“He feeds the bear, he takes the bear to bed, he takes the bear everywhere he goes. He has dinner with teddy and whenever he is walking he holds the bear. When he has meltdowns … he really needs the bear,” Hoffart told Today.
One morning when Hoffart was rushing to work, Bear fell out of Lucas’ stroller. Hoffart did not realize Bear was gone until she returned from work and was back at home.
Hoffart tried to replace Bear, but nothing could sooth Lucas the same. The desperate mother even tried to call the company that made Bear, only to find out that they no longer manufacture the stuffed animal.
“It was very hard for us to keep on our routine,” Hoffart shared. “It was sad not only for him but it was sad for me, too. It was like part of my baby was missing.”
Lucikly, Hoffart had a brilliant idea to reach out online. She started a Twitter account called “Let’s Find Teddy,” which went viral within a few hours.
“That support was incredible,” she said. “People know it is hard for autistic kids and how hard it is for them to be without safety toys or safety blankets.”
The search for Bear really took off and Hoffart was even interviewed on TV by a local journalist, which ultimately wrapped up the search for Bear.
Sandra Morales had spotted the teddy bear when she was out with her son at the grocery store. She then picked up the bear, not thinking much off it. Later she saw the story on the news and realized how important this stuffed animal was and was able to give Bear back to Lucas.
— Let's Find Teddy (@Letsfindteddy) October 11, 2016
“He was jumping and skipping with how happy he was. He grabbed the bear and hugged the bear and put the bear near his face,” Hoffart said. “I have no words to tell you how surprised and how happy I am with all the response.”