Holidays and social events can be difficult for children on the autism spectrum. So their parents often come up with their own solutions to specific social or interactive challenges. Case in point, Halloween is right around the corner. While for most kids it’s a night of sugar and fun—for many others it can be stress-inducing.
Since Halloween typically involves lots of eye contact, the expected screaming of “trick-or-treat!” or “thank you!” and an overwhelming amount of excited kiddos, it can be tough for children on the autism spectrum to navigate. It’s why parents often do the heavy lifting in an effort to help their little one have a normal experience.
Sgt. Omairis Taylor’s 3-year-old Luke has autism and is nonverbal. She said she was sick of watching people wait for him to say “trick-or-treat” before giving him a piece of candy. To raise awareness for autism, she explained in a viral Facebook post why her son and others will be carrying blue trick-or-treat buckets.
“Please allow him (or any other person 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 added that she made the post public to promote sharing and spreading awareness. The post has over 121,000 shares and 31,000 reactions so far.
Though it isn’t guaranteed that everyone carrying a blue bucket has autism or that every child with autism will hold one, it’s an important thing to be mindful of and not get frustrated if a child doesn’t shout, “trick or treat.” Similarly to the teal trick-or-treat bucket to signify a child has severe food allergies, the goal is to help kids of all different abilities take part in the joy—and sweet treats—of Halloween and simply be a kid.