HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – When you see children out trick or treating this year you may notice blue or teal pumpkins and treat bags. It’s a nonverbal way to communicate the child has special needs.
Blue and teal are the colors for treats.
It’s that time of year when children are talking in excitement about costumes and going door to door for trick-or-treating on Halloween. However, not all children will be able to the famous phrase.
“You might have a child come to your house that is a little bit or a little bit apprehensive or is really just experiencing trick or treating for the first time,” said Stephanie Walker of Rocket City Mom.
That child may be special needs or on the autism spectrum. And they may be carrying a blue or teal pumpkin or bag instead of the traditional orange.
“You may have a child that comes to your door with a blue bucket that they cannot do anything but stand there,” said Betsy Berman.
Berman is the co-founder of the Autism Resource Foundation in Huntsville. The blue or teal pumpkin is from the initiative called The Blue or Teal Pumpkin Project.
The project was created for people to recognize those on the autism spectrum when they come to the front door for treats. The teal-colored pumpkin recognizes a person with food allergies, and the blue is for autism or a child or person who may have non-verbal communication.
“I think that it’s important for kids to be able to participate in any way that they can. You’re going to find kids that are on the autism spectrum on both ends of the spectrum. Some that are very verbal and will totally understand that a blue bucket will stand out from the typical orange bucket and will want to be included with typical kids with the orange bucket,” Berman said.
Since 2018, the main idea for the project is to allow people with special needs to be inclusive and to urge people to be patient at their door when they are trying to communicate.
“Hopefully, doing this and talking more will get the community out there understanding and aware that there are kids with differences, and please treat them as you would anyone else.”