Health
Here's what it means when you see blue buckets this Halloween
Blue isn't normally the color you see during Halloween – but what it represents can bring the community together.
Eduardo Gaskell
10.05.21

The Halloween season is upon us, which means men, women, and kids of all ages are about to walk up those steps and knock on doors dressed in supposedly scary costumes.

Now we’re all used to seeing that orange bucket but if you do encounter a kid carrying a blue pumpkin then here’s what it means.

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This shade of blue is the way to inform the homeowner that the trick or treater is on the autism spectrum. Do make the effort to check, as they will usually be accompanied by the parents or older sibling.

Louisiana mom, Alicia Plumer, thought of using the distinct color when her son with autism, BJ, wanted to go trick-or-treating.

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BJ loves Halloween.

Alicia wanted her son to enjoy himself while alerting other people of her son’s condition. See, most people with autism do not like loud noises. They may struggle to make eye contact and communicate as well.

“Please help us keep his spirit alive & happy,” Alicia wrote on Facebook. “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.”

Her post went viral, garnering praises from friends and family. It’s a great idea!

But according to Wendy Fournier, the president of the National Autism Association, this practice isn’t recognized.

The more common practice would be to hand out cards to inform people of your child’s condition. Wearing a badge or a sign are other ways to communicate with homeowners.

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Alicia’s blue bucket movement is pretty similar to the Teal Pumpkin Project.

Teal pumpkins are displayed outside the homes of participating owners to show that they offer non-food items for those with allergies. Stickers and toys are usually handed out to the kids in costumes.

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A home should be both accessible and presentable for scare season so here are some ideas:

1. Create a clear path to the door. Be as creative with decorations as you can but lay them out on the walls and garden instead of the pathway. This helps kids and parents, making access to your door easier.

2. If you have stairs leading to your front door, make the effort to walk down and meet the kids as people with disabilities may find it difficult to walk up, especially in costumes. You don’t want to discourage them.

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And since we are still dealing with a pandemic, it is better to lay out the treats on a table by your front lawn.

Just keep an eye out for hoarders.

3. Spend for allergy-friendly treats. Include everyone in the festivities. Get some play-doh, stickers, coloring pens, and small toys for those with allergies.

4. Bright lights, startle scares, and loud noises may scare people with disabilities. Try to decorate according to the season while still taking into consideration those with disabilities.

5. Avoid nuts and the like in your bowl of treats. Nuts are one of the most common food allergies and you don’t want to risk someone else’s health.

6. Use blue or teal pumpkins to show people that your home is disability-friendly and accessible for all trick-or-treaters. Even a simple sign will do.

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By Eduardo Gaskell
hi@sbly.com
Eduardo Gaskell is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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