Trick or Treat! Blue Buckets for Halloween: Autism Awareness

by | Oct 21, 2021 | ABA, Occupational Therapy

If you are reading this wondering what the significance of the Blue colored trick or treat pumpkin buckets are this year, look no further. Blue colored trick-or-treat buckets have been tasked with the mission of raising awareness for Autism.

Over the past few decades, there have been many different causes that have associated color to raising awareness. In the early ‘90s for instance, pink became the color to raise awareness of cancer, just as the infamous yellow ribbon was known for those missing in action (M.I.A). You could also simply be pondering “Why might this be important”, or “what if I don’t know anyone with autism”, or “how am I supposed to know who has Autism”, or maybe it could be a subtle way of helping a loved one gain some independence with a head start this Halloween.

To start off, this is especially important to anyone with Autism because it may cause trouble with the following social interaction skills: establishing or maintaining eye contact, joint attention, difficulty interpreting and reciprocating another’s perspective, or even understanding the signals the eyes and ears are sending. This could look like an interaction where one person engages with another who seemingly has little to no interest in the conversation but remember, someone might be having trouble. Trouble with making the socially expected eye contact with one another, there might be costumes with intense makeup, or even sounds and vibrant colors, or even better, our favorite superhero or TV character. So please be patient, be gentle, and try to be understanding to those with those blue buckets no matter what age the individual is carrying it; Autism has no age restrictions. Many older kids love Halloween too!

The blue buckets could provide a subtle, dignified way of alerting people that this child or young adult may not be able to make eye contact, or tolerate wearing a mask, or even say ‘thank you’, but they certainly deserve to enjoy the fun of Halloween as much as everyone else. Many nonverbal children understand simple sign language and may sign to you saying “please” “candy” “more” or “thank you”!

The short answer to not knowing if you know someone with Autism is: it’s ok, don’t worry! Perhaps some of the things mentioned earlier could be helpful, or someone may be carrying a blue Halloween pumpkin to gently show you. So, keep an eye out this Halloween for any little ones, or bigger ones, with blue buckets. They may be having the night of their life but keep in mind it’s all taking place with overwhelming visual and auditory stimulation so please be patient and supportive. To those just looking to give a loved one a little extra independence, this could be a great way to do it. A couple of ways to try it may be having the whole group carry blue buckets to be inclusive, or maybe tying in some blue costume colors to draw some extra attention to those buckets again. No matter the method, know that your support makes a world of difference to someone who can make such a difference in the world. If you have any further questions, please feel free to call us at TEAM 4 Kids. 

 Jason Needham COTA/L




What blue and teal pumpkins mean for trick-or-treaters | WANE 15

Sign language for “please”:









Sign language for “thank you”: