COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Trick-or-treating is an experience many families look forward to.
However, for parents who have a child with autism, it can be stressful.
Now there is a push to help families have an easier experience.
Blue pumpkin candy buckets indicate kids who have autism and help those passing out candy better understand the child.
Heather Watson and Kyleigh Maxwell have several things in common.
Both have 8-year-old boys with autism who attend Bridgeway Academy Primary School.
They know firsthand how trick-or-treating can be stressful.
“Brody doesn’t typically appropriately do it the way you’re supposed to do it. He doesn’t verbalize trick-or-treat. He will not wait for the other children then goes right for it,” said Maxwell.
Watson got her son, Brody, the blue pumpkin bucket so others trick or treating will have a better understanding of her child.
“It is just like an ignorance. What you don’t know you don’t know. It’s nice that the blue pumpkin can give them an idea of their difference and we want to accept them and we were not assuming things based on their differences,” said Watson.
Maxwell supports this unofficial movement but says some parents don’t.
“A lot of the controversy is also my child is already vulnerable, I don’t want to have them carry around a bucket that shows how vulnerable they are to people that have ill intentions with children,” said Maxwell.
Not everyone with autism may want to carry the blue pumpkin, so if you run into a child that may be overzealous or come off rude, she says don’t assume the worst in them.
“Be kind be patient if a child is not happy with a piece of candy that you gave them and they reach in your bucket, they just might socially not have the understanding that that is not acceptable,” said Maxwell.