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Blue buckets this Halloween may signify a child is nonverbal and may be autistic

Posted at 5:54 AM, Oct 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-28 06:54:29-04

TULSA, Okla. — If you plan on handing out candy from your home this Halloween, you might be dropping those sweet treats into something different, and it's no trick.

This year, some trick-or-treaters will be holding blue buckets.

On October 13, a mother of a three-year-old boy who is nonverbal posted on Facebook about trying the blue buckets this year to signify her son has autism in hopes of getting the message out and spread acceptance this Halloween.

The post spread quickly and has more than 40,000 likes and has been shared more than 156,000 times.

The reach as far as Tulsa, as families, join together for this new movement.

"He might not go up to the door. He might stand in the background, but I'm hoping when people see the blue bucket that they'll understand what it means now and maybe come on and give them candy," shares Victoria Willaby from Tulsa.

Her four-year-old son Sam is autistic and can't speak, but that isn't stopping him from knocking on doors in just a few days.

"He may not say trick or treat or thank you or please, but he does like candy," says Willaby.

She's one of the parents at Soaring on Hope Pediatric Therapy who brings her child for weekly therapy to develop Sam's language and communication skills.

"We realize how important it is for parents to have a sense of community," explains Jessica Dyer, CEO of the therapy clinic.

When she found out about the blue buckets, she spread the word on social media.

"What if a mom is walking down the street with her child and her blue bucket, and she sees another mom and didn't even know her neighbor was going on the same journey she is on, and they can have community and get to know each other," says Dyer.

At the heart of this movement is a desire for all children to be included in a simple action of trick-or-treat.

"I hope that a small thing like a blue bucket does lead to more compassion and more community and more awareness for our kids to have autism," says Dyer.

With every good intention though, there will always be critics.

Some parents with autistic children have reacted to the Facebook post saying the blue buckets are a way to label their child. They don't agree with highlighting their differences.

In the end, Dyer says every family's journey is different.

Blue buckets aren't to be confused with the teal pumpkins. If you see a teal pumpkin outside a home, that signifies they will hand out treats for children with food allergies.

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