Jerks Steal From Autistic Child, Internet Fixes It

alt chat

Sometimes I get tired of reading about how horrible the Internet is. I work here, people! There are nutsos, sure. But it's not all that bad. Simple fact: there are great people on the Internet. And really awful people in the real life.

I'm talking about the kind of people who steal the gadget a child with autism and cerebral palsy uses to communicate with his parents. A little boy named Sagan from the Arizona had his ALT-CHAT, a $3,500 device built specifically for non-speaking folks, stolen from his family's truck. His parents had already spent months saving money and trying to get their insurance company to chip in for the first device, so they didn't have the means to buy him a new one.


People hurting children will always make that "mama bear" instinct come out in me. I'm a mother; I don't respond well to hearing a child is in pain. But there's something more disturbing about hearing a child with special needs has been victimized, isn't there? Put my 5-year-old next to this one, and I know Sagan needs extra protection from the world.

His dad was much kinder than I was in his Internet posting on news aggregation site Reddit. "Some jerk stole my son’s communication device; I am not sure what to do," he wrote. Some jerk? I was thinking some stronger words there.

But here's the good thing. Because guess who made up for the "jerks" who would sneak into a truck and steal a bag full of supplies that an autistic child uses for therapy? Yeah man! I'm talking the great peeps on the 'net!

Somehow people on the Web someone tracked down the folks at Saltillo Corporation, which makes the ALT-CHAT, to donate one the boy could use until he got his back. In the meantime, someone on the net coughed up an iPad and someone else provided the software that Sagan would need to use it for the same purpose.

There may still be "jerks" out there who will steal from little kids with special needs. But all is not lost, because we have great people on the Internet.

Did this story make you grin in the end?


Image via Saltillo

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