Halloween can be fun for everyone! People are dressed up in costumes, there's trick-or-treating, spooky decorations, and lots and lots of candy. Understandably, Halloween is quite stimulating, sometimes overly so for neurotypical people. That is why the blue Halloween bucket is being used this year.
What is the blue Halloween bucket?
If you see someone trick-or-treating with a blue Halloween bucket this year, that signifies that the person out and about has autism and might have extra needs. The blue bucket is being used to raise awareness about autism and to include everyone in the holiday festivities.
Omairis Taylor posted this photo to Facebook in a now-viral post along with an explanation of why she and her son would be using a blue Halloween bucket this year. "My son is three years old and has autism," she writes. "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 five 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, I'll get my mom candy tax later 😁. This holiday is hard enough without any added stress. Thank you in advance."
Omairis' post has been shared over 122,000 times and has garnered over 4,600 comments and 32,000 reactions. The vast majority of comments were ones of total support. I happen to think it is pretty weird to make kids actually say "trick or treat!" anyway when you are giving away candy on Halloween.
But the blue bucket is a great way to get the conversation started about kids who might not be able to participate in exactly the ways people expect them to.
Last year, Alicia Plummer, mom of BJ, a young man with autism, used the blue Halloween bucket to raise awareness in a post on the Autism Speaks Facebook page. "Trick or Treat...the BLUE BUCKET...if you see someone who appears to be an adult dressed up to trick or treat this year carrying this blue bucket, he's our son!" she wrote.
"His name is BJ and he is autistic. While he has the body of a 21-year-old, he loves Halloween. Please help us keep his spirit alive and happy. 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."
It can be tempting to deny seemingly grown adults candy when you see them trick-or-treating, but whether they have a blue bucket or not, consider that they might have autism or atypical tendencies and let them share in the fun. Halloween is supposed to be fun for everyone, and kids with autism deserve that fun just as much as anyone else.