Halloween can be stressful for any parent — between the candy, the costumes, the social pressures, and more, it's undoubtedly difficult — but for parents of children with autism or other disabilities, the weight of the holiday is heavier than many can imagine. Because of this, one mother is on a mission to make things a little less tense for her 3-year-old son and also spread Autism Awareness with a unique candy bucket for the upcoming holiday. In a Facebook post last week, Omairis Taylor explained why she's encouraging the use of a blue Halloween candy bucket.
"My son is 3 years old and has autism. He is nonverbal. Last year houses will wait for him to say TRICK OR TREAT in order for him to get a piece of candy and there I go explaining the situation for the next 5 blocks," she wrote. "This year we will be trying the BLUE BUCKET to signify he has autism. Please allow him (or anyone with a BLUE BUCKET) to enjoy this day and don't worry, I'll still say TRICK OR TREAT for him, I'll get my mom candy tax later 😁. This holiday is hard enough without any added stress. Thank you in advance."
It's incredibly important for those who answer the door for trick-or-treaters to understand the significance of the blue bucket. Be patient and be kind with every person celebrating the holiday, but be especially considerate of those with a blue bucket. While the feedback surrounding the blue bucket has been relatively positive among parents of children with autism, many have called out that there's no need to draw attention to or call someone out for being different. "I don't want to make my kid announce her neurology to strangers and carry around a sign that she's different," one mother wrote on Twitter.
A few years ago, the Teal Pumpkin Project was started to welcome trick-or-treaters with allergies. The nontraditional pumpkins are placed outside of homes to indicate that there is a nonfood option for trick-or-treaters. It's important to be aware of these varying situations without judgement and do everything we can to make sure everyone can enjoy Halloween.