With Halloween coming up, there’s an important thing to keep an eye out for when it’s time to go trick-or-treating. A blue pumpkin on a porch, or a blue pumpkin bucket being used to trick-or-treat, has a special meaning.
Blue pumpkin buckets and blue pumpkins are now being used as symbols to raise awareness about the effects that Autism Spectrum Disorders may have on trick-or-treating and other Halloween-related festivities.
While no one can pinpoint when this tradition began, one of the first viral posts about the blue pumpkin symbol came from a Louisiana-based family in 2018.
Children with autism often have trouble communicating in ways that most people are accustomed to. Often, on Halloween, people will wait for the child to say “trick or treat” before they allow them to take candy, but even saying those three words may be difficult for these children. So, if a child with a blue pumpkin bucket comes to your door, be compassionate, and be aware that they may not be able to communicate with you.
One pediatric therapy group based in Wyoming summed up the issue well in a post on Facebook, writing : “If you see someone carrying a blue pumpkin while trick or treating, please consider that they may have autism. This means that speech may be difficult as well as their ability to interact with you. Be extra kind!”
A mother of an autistic child wrote a Facebook post describing her issues with trick-or-treating in past years, and how she was planning to try the blue pumpkin tradition the next Halloween.
“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. 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, ill get my mom candy tax later. This holiday is hard enough without any added stress. Thank you in advance,” she wrote.
So, moral of the story: Halloween is supposed to be fun for children of all ages, no matter whether they are disabled or not. Have compassion and display kindness, the world desperately needs it.