Halloween should be for children. That means all children, including those unable to express themselves unable to express themselves verbally out loud. Yes, that includes not being able to say, “Trick or treat.” Though many families take this yearly ritual for granted, Omaris Taylor, the mom of Luke, a three-year-old boy with autism gained a tremendous audience and support when she posted a picture on her Facebook page. The photo shows a pumpkin-shaped Halloween bucket painted blue. She explained that last year, she tired of having to explain to houses that would wait until her child said the magic words. “This holiday is hard enough without any added stress,” she said. “I have made this post public in the hope you will share and get the Blue Bucket message out there for autism awareness and acceptance this Halloween.” By the week before the holiday, her plea had garnered more than 150,000 shares!
Actually, a year ago, Alicia Plumer, another mother created the idea of the blue pumpkin to advocate for her adult son with autism, B.J. “While he has the body of a 21-year-old, he loves Halloween,” she said. “Please help us keep his spirit alive and happy. So when you see the blue bucket share a piece of candy. Spread awareness! These precious people are not ‘too big’ to trick or treat.” In a comment to Newsweek magazine, she said the blue buckets could provide a subtle, dignified way of alerting people that this child or young adult 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.” The idea of a blue pumpkin came to her when she learned about the Teal Pumpkin Project, which raised awareness of childhood food allergies.
And, this year, many retailers carry blue plastic pumpkins for a very reasonable price.