Teen's $8,000 Communication Box Disappears

By Julie Fine
|  Saturday, Nov 16, 2013  |  Updated 1:00 AM CDT
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Teen's $8K Communication Box Disappears

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The device that allows a Richland Hills teen to communicate is missing.

Lee Huggins, 18, who is autistic and nonverbal, relies on a DynaVox to tell his family what he needs.

"A DynaVox gives a child a voice who cannot speak," said his mother, Cheryl Kaufman.

But his device disappeared at the gym at Birdville High School last week.

Without it, Huggins is just not himself, his mother said. With the box, they can take pictures of things specific to his life, such as what he wants to eat and what movies he watches, so he can simply point them out.

Kaufman fought back tears while trying to put her frustration into words.

"Having this box means everything to me as a mother because it is the way my son tells whoever is with him what he needs," she said.

Kaufman filed a police report. School video does not how anyone taking it, she said.

But at this point, she is not concerned about who took it. She just wants the box -- and her son’s voice -- back.

"Please, no questions asked," she said. "If anybody knows where it is at, I don't care if you drop it off at the police department, the fire department, Wal-Mart with a tag, I don't care. I just want his box back."

The box cost more than $8,000, and they got a grant for it. Another family was generous enough to donate one to Huggins. Kaufman said she is grateful for it, but the donated box does not fit her son's needs.

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