Several years ago, the Teal Halloween Pumpkin Project campaign made its appearance. It let people know that children carrying them had food sensitivities or allergies. Homes that displayed them were locations where these kids could get safe non-food goodies for Halloween treats.
Two years ago Louisiana mom, Alicia Plumer, posted a Facebook message with a photo of a blue plastic Halloween bucket. She explained that her son who is autistic would be carrying it while trick-or-treating. She went on to say, that while her son was in a 21-year-old body, he still loved Halloween, and pleaded for kindness and respect when people encountered him.
Once again last year, another mom took to social media to explain why her 3-year-old would be carrying a blue Halloween bucket. Since then these posts have gone viral and the hope would be that most people would have some clue about blue Halloween buckets. However, we all know that is not how our world works.
Blue is the signature color of the Autism Awareness movement. When someone is carrying a blue Halloween bucket, it means they have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), as do 1 in every 160 children, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Individuals on the Autism spectrum:
...may not be able to make eye contact, or tolerate wearing a mask, or even say 'thank you', but they certainly deserve to enjoy the fun of Halloween as much as everyone else."
- -Wendy Fournier, President/National Autism Association, as told to Newsweek.
Additionally, these children and young adults may not say, "Trick-or-Treat!" and prompting isn't likely to change that. So if you find someone holding a blue pumpkin bucket on your doorstep, your best bet is to simply smile and hand out a treat.
Better Homes & Gardens has made an Autism Speaks printable sign available to people who would like to hang them on their doors or in their windows this week, to let parents of autistic children know that, that home has people in it, who understand.
I also found the t-shirt, (pictured above) available on Amazon and there are many more helpful items out there, (including this helpful Autism Speaks Halloween guide) for parents striving to make this Halloween special for their wonderful children!