Non-verbal autistic teen celebrates birthday at recycling center

February 07 2021 06:00 pm

MCALLEN, Texas – What began as a trip to a local recycling center a few months ago has turned into a source of happiness for a young man with non-verbal autism.

Gabriel Garza recently celebrated his 17th birthday at the McAllen Recycling Center. His parents and a former teacher planned the occasion because of his fascination with the sounds and texture of shredded paper. It was discovered one day when he accompanied his father to shred documents.

Staff from the recycling center helped make it a special day for Gabriel by setting up decorations and providing him and his friends a tour of their operation.

Robert Ramirez the McAllen Recycling Supervisor said, “Gabriel came in on his birthday and he wanted to be a part of the recycling. We went ahead and that day put everything together. He came in and he looked very excited. We went ahead and took him outside and had a tour of the recycling center.”

The Garza family has added a paper shredder to their home, but they still visit the McAllen Recycling Center at least once a month.

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