Good Samaritans donate iPads to autistic boy

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — A Virginia Beach business contacted WAVY News, after seeing the story about a mother who said someone stole an iPad belonging to her 3-year-old autistic son. Employees of Atlantic Heating & Cooling donated two new iPads to Bradley McManus on Thursday.

“I saw it this morning on the news and I figured, what better way to give back,” Mike Brunner said.

Video: Family receives donated iPads

“It’s awesome. I’m glad there’s some good people out there,” Bradley’s mother Lauren said, fighting back tears.

Several viewers emailed and called WAVY News wanting to help immediately after seeing the story Wednesday night.

McManus said she parked her car behind Eastern Shore Chapel Wednesday, and when she returned to it after work, she noticed something was gone.

“My car was broken into while I was at work. My son’s iPad was stolen. That’s the way he communicates with us. He’s autistic. He’s non-verbal,” McManus said.

McManus said she thinks it happened between 2:30 and 5:30 in the evening, when her window was rolled down a crack.

“I was angry. It would have been different if it had been mine, but it’s my 3-year-old’s. It’s programmed for him,” McManus said.

She said Bradley uses a program on the iPad, Choice Boards, to communicate with her.

“It gives him options on what he wants to do. It has pictures on it. You push whatever picture he wants. He comes up to it and he lets you know what he wants by pushing the picture,” McManus said.

She said someone also took the bottle of Percocet she had picked up from the pharmacy for a leg injury, but she was most upset about the iPad.

“It hurts. I mean, I’m a mother of three kids and it hurts … I hope you needed it more than I did, or more than he did, and I really wish you would return it,” McManus said, addressing whoever took the iPad.

McManus said she filed a police report. Virginia Beach police confirmed the report was made and the case is being sent to a detective for a follow-up investigation.

No one was available to talk at Eastern Shore Chapel Wednesday evening, but WAVY News has left a message with the office there.

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