The premise behind this move to blue buckets was set in 2018 when a mother posted about using it for her adult son who is autistic and loves to trick or treat. I can tell you now, i will be trick or treating this year and I’m 40!
This year another mother stated that she was going to use the buckets because she was exhausted by constantly explaining to people that her child is autistic and cannot say ‘trick or treat’ when they demanded that the words be spoken. Both of these are actually fair points.
However, in a world that is still grasping the concept of Autism Acceptance using a blue bucket actually singles out vulnerable children and adult autistics. On one night where everyone dresses up in disguise, roams the streets freely and can at times, lack adult supervision as adults get distracted because they are mere humans not superpowered omnipresent beings…a blue bucket makes people potentially easy targets. Easily seen from a distance, easily watched, easily targeted.
That’s not to say autistics should hide during Halloween. NO! It is an awesome opportunity for people to get out there, have some fun and experience community spirit. Some will even come out of their shells feeling safer in their disguise.
But what we can do is put in a little extra effort so our loved ones can enjoy the time beyond the convenience of a blue bucket.
If your child is non-speaking and you don’t want to explain this to every house you visit place a sticker or tag in a visible spot on their costume or bag simply saying something like “Hi! I cannot speak but Trick or Treat!”…or “I am Autistic: Trick or Treat!” This is much less visible than a blue bucket and therefore a safer way to still participate without obviously signaling your childs neurological status.
If your child is bold, make it as a flash card they can show to people holding it up so it can be read. This promotes proactive participation.
Perhaps a txt to speech sentence written on a portable device such as a phone or tablet. or picture cards.
While it is important that Autistics are afforded every opportunity to participate in such events, part of Âûtism Acceptance is also making sure autistics are being kept safe.
Can you think of other ways to help people go trick or treating without such obvious signifiers likebig blue buckets?
Shine Bright Everyone,
Elinor Broadbent Âû
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