A New (AND BLUE!) Tradition this Halloween – What does it mean?
Article + Photos by Lizzie West
We have all seen the traditional orange jack-o-lantern treat buckets used all along our sidewalks and doorsteps at Halloween. Recently, we have also seen them showing up in TEAL to alert us to kiddos with food allergies. Some folks even display teal pumpkins in their holiday decor to communicate they have non-food treats for little ones. What a super idea! And now, we are most recently seeing them in BLUE. But, what does it mean?
Many parents would like their special needs children to have the same joy-filled memories from this candy-company holiday as all the other little dress-up angels and astronauts around the world. If you’ve ever spent the evening giving out candy, you know the resounding echo of “trick-or-treat!” from the neighborhood kids. You usually follow-up with a quick “Wow, everyone! What are you all dressed as?” or “Who is excited for treats?” Unfortunately, some of these little goblins have non-verbal disabilities and won’t be able to excitedly inform you of their costume with words or tell you they don’t like candy corn. Some parents have noticed their children being singled out and even shamed for not responding as expected. Instead of living in a place of anger, someone decided to do something about it! Afterall – those people probably just didn’t know – so now they have a resource to understand and be prepared!
These blue buckets represent kiddos with Autism that may be unable to share their excitement with you through traditional verbal communication. These buckets are meant to be a beacon for you to understand a different means of communication is necessary for these mini candy hoarders. Though the buckets were originally intended to help alert people to Autistic trick-or-treaters, some with verbal communication limitations, it is a great way to communicate that a little one may have difficulty participating in the festivities in a traditional way. This could be due to any number of disabilities or impediments. It gives you the opportunity to help them feel just as amazing and cool as the kid in the full mummy garb with a Twizzler sticking out of his gauze wrapped mouth.
Please let these little pirates and princesses know how adorable they look and how excited you are they chose to travel to your doorway in search of their sweet candy treasure. Please make thoughtful comments about how great their costume is and definitely don’t forego giving them treats, because they simply aren’t able to tell you that little exclamation of “trick-or-treat!” as you expected. Let’s make it fun for everyone and embrace this cool new tool!