With Halloween night approaching at a spooky-speed, parents are finding more ways to make trick-or-treating fun and inclusive. This is especially the case for parents who have children with autism.
As you probably know, a long-held tradition of trick-or-treating has been for children to shout, “Trick-or-treat!” when someone answers their door. In exchange, that person hands the child some candy. However, Omairis Taylor wanted parents to understand that for some kids, this can be intimidating or legitimately frightening.
So the mother took to Facebook to share the story of her 3-year-old son who has autism and is nonverbal. She explained that when they would go to homes, the people waited for her son to say, “Trick-or-treat.” When he was silent, she’d have to explain why he couldn’t.
“…and there I go explaining the situation for the next five blocks,” she stated in her post. “This year, we will be trying the BLUE BUCKET to signify he has autism. Please allow him (or any other person with a BLUE BUCKET) to enjoy this day and don’t worry I’ll still say TRICK OR TREAT for him. … This holiday is hard enough without any added stress. Thank you in advance.”
Since then, her post has gone viral and garnered media attention from outlets that have begun to spread the word for her. Her reach has touched the hearts of thousands of people.
Raising Awareness This Halloween
Michelle Koeing, another mother in Pennsylvania, told ABC Scranton affiliate WNEP that this is the first year her 5-year-old son will go trick-or-treating.
“I think it’s hard for them, but it’s getting easier. People are becoming more accepting of it and people are aware. It’s good and it’s getting better,” Koenig explained.
Clinical director for the Pennsylvania Autism Action Center, Rachel Brnilovich, finds that the blue buckets are great for raising awareness.
“We love this campaign. It really gives our kids an opportunity to go out, no matter their age and experience Halloween,” Brnilovich told the station.
However, this isn’t the first blue trend to hit the holiday season. Another campaign calls for blue pumpkins on your doorstep. The “Teal Pumpkin Project” is meant to raise awareness about food allergies. The pumpkins on the doorstep signify that the household is offering treats other than candy for Halloween.
Blue Buckets for Autism — Sources
Read more Halloween stories
GMA: How a blue Halloween bucket can help kids with autism go trick-or-treating
USA Today: Why put out a teal pumpkin
WNEP: Raising Autism Awareness with Blue Halloween Bucket