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Autistic boy’s incredible surprise launches Facebook movement


, Rare Contributor

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A couple of years ago, Robin Newberger showed her now 5-year-old son a video of a garbage truck on YouTube, and he was hooked.

Robin said that, as a child with autism, he loves the predictable movement of the trucks and the ritual of going outside each Monday morning to watch the pickup in action. To Daniel, “trash pickup is like a symphony. He synchronizes his hand movements with the truck.”She frequently takes video to remember these moments that Daniel so loves. One morning last week, his favorite recycling man, Manuel Sanchez, made the day extra special.

Daniel waits outside every morning, and Manuel “always has a big smile” for him Robin said on Facebook. He gave Daniel a toy garbage truck of his own. Little did Manuel know, but it was just like one Daniel had gotten for Christmas, but it had broken.

“It was just amazing because it was the same one and Manuel had no idea,” Newberger told ABC.

“This was something he did absolutely on his own,” Nan Drake, spokesman of Sanchez’s employer E.J. Harrison and Sons told ABC of the gift. “We’re so proud of him.”

It might not seem like a big deal, but it made Danielʼs day, and the little moment has gone viral. The video has only been up a few days and has already gotten more than 575,000 views on YouTube. It helped Newberger to realize that stories like these really resonate, and has created a Facebook page called “The Gift” where parents can share uplifing stories of life with autistic children.

“A lot of times, with kids with autism, it’s just about the struggle,” Newberger told ABC. “I’m glad it’s showing the positive side of autism.”

Thank you, Mr. Sanchez, for showing us that we can all find little ways to make someone smile.


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