If you haven’t yet heard about carrying blue trick-or-treat pumpkins and buckets for autism awareness on Halloween, you soon will. The idea is going viral, garnering hundreds of thousands of shares since its initial posting last week by the mom of a non-verbal child with autism. She explains that her child experienced frustration trick-or-treating as people expected and encouraged him to say “trick or treat” before putting candy in his bag. She hopes to increase autism awareness by spreading the word for other families to carry the blue buckets.
At ShineLight we love this! The heart of our mission is to help individuals with autism lead their fullest lives and this includes participating in their communities, doing activities with their peers. By helping them more successfully navigate the challenges of trick-or-treating and by raising awareness of autism in the community, this grassroots movement might just be the start of an annual tradition.
5 Tips for a Happy Halloween
With scary costumes, crowds, uncomfortable costumes, and break in routine, Halloween can be stressful for individuals with autism and their families, and a blue bucket might not be enough. Here are some ideas for how to help your child enjoy the holiday.
- Practice trick-or-treating ahead of time. Try the costumes and make sure they are not itchy or uncomfortable. Enroll friendly neighbors to participate in knocking on a few doors so that the child knows what to expect.
- Plan and discuss a schedule – when and how long you will trick-or-treat.
- Trick-or-treat early, before the older kids, with typically scarier costumes, are out.
- Create cards like the one below that they can carry if they are unable or uncomfortable saying “trick-or-treat”. You can download the pdf for this card here: Printable PDF Halloween Cards. Lots of other great ideas for cards can be found with a simple google search.
- If trick or treating is just too much, consider hosting a Halloween party at your house and let the child help plan, giving them more control over the day.
However, you celebrate, we wish you all a safe and happy Halloween!