Hernando garbage truck crew throws epic birthday party for boy, 6, with autism

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SPRING HILL, Fla. (WFLA) — A Spring Hill boy had a birthday party he’ll remember forever, thanks to a thoughtful crew of garbage collectors who went out of their way to celebrate his special day.

Rocco Cullen told his parents he wanted a birthday party. While this is normally the case for most six year-olds, Rocco’s circumstances are special.

Rocco has autism and never showed interest in having a birthday party before. Rocco’s parents said he didn’t even speak a single word until about a year and a half ago.

Rocco’s mom, Stephanie Cullen, said when Rocco asked for a garbage truck cake, she was blindsided.

“He was obsessed with trains,” she said.

Stephanie said she realized Rocco’s interest in garbage trucks must come from the routine occurrence of trash pick up in his neighborhood.

“Every day the garbage truck comes down the street he stares out the window. He watches until it’s out of site,” Stephanie said.

Rocco’s love for garbage trucks grew and Stephanie decided to throw him a “Birthday Trash Bash.”

Stephanie said she got in touch with Brian Araniecke who is with Republic Services. She said the garbage team went out of their way to make Rocco’s birthday amazing.

The company pickup truck led the way for a grand entrance and Rocco got tons of birthday goodies. The kids all had their turn checking out the garbage truck and Stephanie said Rocco couldn’t stop raving about the day.

Stephanie and WFLA News Channel 8 would like to recognize these incredible men for their acceptance, patience and generosity.

For more social media stories, follow WFLA News Channel 8’s Lila Gross.

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