blue buckets, halloween, autism, trick or treat, trick-or-treaters, autism
(Photo credit: Becky Wright Photography/Shutterstock.com)

Blue Buckets Help Trick-or-Treaters With Autism on Halloween

Parents of children with autism are helping to ease their trick-or-treaters’ experience this Halloween by giving them blue buckets that symbolize they have autism or are nonverbal.

Halloween can trigger many ways that kids with autism can become overwhelmed. Nonverbal children have difficulty saying “trick or treat” or “thank you,” which some people giving out candy might not understand.

This might lead to outbursts or emotional meltdowns, things parents of children with autism try to avoid at all costs. It also could come in handy if your trick-or-treater is seen as too old to participate.

The idea originated last year when Alicia Plumer’s shared a photo on Facebook of a blue pumpkin candy bucket that her autistic son would use while trick-or-treating. It quickly became an internet sensation and the beginning of a movement. The post from more than a year ago has been shared about 28,000 times.

The movement was inspired by the Teal Pumpkin Project that began in 2014. Teal pumpkins were used to raise awareness for trick-or-treaters with food allergies, as launched by Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE).

In anticipation of Halloween 2019, Omairis Taylor, the mother of a 3-year-old boy who has autism, adopted Plumer’s idea and gave her neighbors a virtual heads-up that there’s a reason her son may not thank them for the treats. Recently, Taylor shared her own Blue Bucket Autism Awareness post on Facebook.

Families of autistic kids are catching on to the movement in the United States, but advocates from Autism Canada have warned that this practice could create harmful labels.

Wendy Fournier, president of the National Autism Association, told Yahoo Lifestyle that the organization supports the blue Halloween buckets. She described it as a “dignified way” to alert houses that children or young adults might not be able to communicate their gratitude for candy and treats.

Related Article: ReelAbilities Film Festival Highlights People with Disabilities

“We believe it could be helpful, especially for the more severely affected kids who are nonverbal and for older kids who function at a lower cognitive age level,” Fournier said. “Some kids can’t say, ‘trick or treat’ or ‘thank you.’ They may not be able to make eye contact, and could also have sensory issues that prevent them from wearing a mask. So for some individuals with autism, there are a lot of challenges to overcome on Halloween, but they just want to have fun like everyone else.”

Peter Burns, CEO of The Arc, a national organization that advocates for people with developmental disabilities, agrees with Fournier.

“Halloween can be a very stimulating experience with costumes, crowds, lights and the unexpected as people go house to house,” Berns told Yahoo Lifestyle. “So finding ways to make the experience more inclusive of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including autism, is important.”

Related Article: New Jersey Restaurant Caters to Children with Autism with Sensory Dining Room

Latest News

Three BASF Women Leaders Honored at the Manufacturing Institute’s 2021 STEP Ahead Awards

Originally published at basf.com. BASF ranked No. 12 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2021.   Three BASF leaders in manufacturing were among 130 women recognized nationally at The Manufacturing Institute’s ninth annual STEP Ahead Awards. Focusing on science, technology, engineering and production (STEP), the program recognizes women…

Wells Fargo Pledges $1 Million to the Thurgood Marshall College Fund for HBCU Seniors

Originally published at newsroom.wf.com. Wells Fargo ranked No. 25 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2021.   Wells Fargo and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) are teaming up to help close the graduation gap for college seniors attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The $1 million Thurgood Marshall…

Hershey Employees and Retirees in the US and Canada Pledged More Than $900,000 in 2021 To Support Nonprofit Organizations

Originally published on LinkedIn. The Hershey Company ranked No. 10 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2021.    Each year, our Season of Giving campaign encourages Hershey employees to make a difference by supporting nonprofit organizations which they find to be meaningful. Employees and retirees in…

Creating Windows and Mirrors: Hershey’s Amber Murayi on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the ‘World’s Top Female-Friendly Company’

Amber Murayi is the Hershey Company’s Senior Director of Enterprise Strategy & Business Model Innovation & Co-lead of the Women’s Business Resource Group. The Hershey Company ranked No. 10 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2021.    My position affords me a unique view of DEI…

Author Alice Sebold

Author Alice Sebold Apologizes for Her Role in the Wrongful Conviction of the Black Man Charged With Raping Her

In her acclaimed 1999 memoir Lucky, author Alice Sebold told the story of being raped in 1981 when she was a student at Syracuse University. The case resulted in a Black man named Anthony Broadwater being convicted and sent to prison. Sadly, Broadwater was innocent and wrongfully convicted — and…

Black renters

New Study Reveals Landlords Consistently Discriminate Against Potential Renters With Black or Hispanic ‘Sounding’ Names

In the largest study of its kind ever conducted, researchers with the National Bureau of Economic Research have uncovered what many people of color already know when hunting for an apartment or home: most landlords consistently discriminate or harbor bias against non-white individuals looking to rent their property.  Bloomberg’s Kelsey…