If you see a trick-or-treater with either a blue or teal bucket this Halloween, here’s what you need to know.
While to two colors are very similar, they have two different meanings.
A teal bucket is carried by a child with special food allergies, while a blue bucket may represent the child has special needs.
In 2018, a mom shared an image of a blue trick-or-treating bucket on social media along with the message, “If you see someone who appears to be an adult dressed up to trick-or-treat this year carrying a blue bucket, he’s our son. His name is BJ & he is autistic. While he has the body of a 21-year old, he loves Halloween.”
She added, “Please help us keep his spirit alive & happy. So when you see the blue bucket share a piece of candy. Spread awareness! These precious people are not “too big” to trick or treat.”
The post received a lot of positive attention with some retailers even carrying blue buckets. However, some strongly disagreed with the practice, citing that it sets kids apart and could even make them a target for abuse.
The National Autism Association shared a feature story by Wendy Fournier who believes it can be helpful, especially for more severely affected kids who are nonspeaking, and for kids who may appear to function to a lower cognitive age level.
“As the general public becomes more aware that a trick or treater carrying a blue bucket may have autism, they have an opportunity to respond with understanding and kindness. For example, instead of waiting for a child with autism to say, ‘Trick or Treat’, you could just say hello or compliment them on their costume and wish them a Happy Halloween.”
For those who choose to use them, the blue bucket can promote a feeling of independence by providing a subtle, dignified way of alerting people that the child or young adult at their door may not be able to participate in all of the traditional aspects of trick or treating, but they certainly deserve to enjoy the night as much as everyone else.