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Autistic boy gets surprise gift from garbage truck driver

A video of a garbage truck driver giving an autistic boy a gift last week has gone viral and been viewed by hundreds of thousands as of Tuesday morning.

Daniel Sanchez, 5, who lives in Ojai, Calif., watches Manuel Sanchez, a garbage truck driver for E.J. Harrison & Sons out of Ventura, empty his family’s garbage can every Monday.

Daniel likes watching the garbage truck so much that his mother, Robin Newberger, records a video on her smartphone of the event weekly.

Newberger sent the video and a message to Autism Speaks, an advocacy organization.

“He waits all week for Monday morning pickup,” Newberger said in a message to Autism Speaks. “He knows exactly which cans are being picked up each week, and Sundays are special for him when he takes the cans out with his dad.”

In the video, Sanchez drives up to the house and empties the garbage can as usual, then backs up and gets out of his truck. As Sanchez gets out, you can hear him ask Daniel’s mother if he can give him a present. Newberger replied with an excited, “Sure!”

Sanchez walks over to Daniel and hands him a bag with a toy garbage truck in it. The toy garbage truck is similar to the truck Sanchez drives by Daniel’s house every week.

“Our recycle man, known only to us as Manuel, is his favorite,” said Newberger. “He always has a big smile for Daniel, who is faithfully waiting for him every Monday. To him, trash pickup is like a symphony. He synchronizes his hand movements with the truck. We have so many ‘Trash Day’ videos, but this one is like no other.”

Autism Speaks then shared it on their Facebook page and YouTube page, and as of Tuesday morning, the video had been shared on their Facebook page over 900 times and had been seen by 796,000 times on their YouTube page.

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