Blue Buckets do more harm than good

Good intentions aside, blue buckets for autistic children is a bad idea


Adriana Hernandez

Blue trick or treat buckets will be used by some parents with autistic children.

Halloween is the day where kids go trick or treating dressed up in costumes surrounded by spooky decor. This year blue Halloween pumpkin buckets have become an unofficial signifier for kids with autism looking to trick or treat like everyone else. While the sentiment is understandable, the idea is less than praisable.

Autistic kids are not always aware of danger, especially the danger that can be associated with trick or treating at night. The blue bucket paints a target on young children’s backs marking them as a potential easy mark. I believe it is irresponsible and potentially dangerous for children to be branded in this manner.

One goal of the blue bucket is that in theory, it would allow children to remain safe while their parents are out of sight. This makes little sense given that no child should be left alone. An adult should always be present while kids are trick or treating.

There is also the question of who it is actually for. Is it a message for those giving out candy, to be kind and understanding towards your child?

If grown adults don’t muster compassion for children in general, a blue pumpkin is not going to help. It’s really for parents to levitate the judgemental eyes on them. Many parents are tired of having to explain why their child isn’t saying please or thank you so the blue buckets become alleviating.

It also forces kids to disclose their neurological status to strangers and peers which could possibly place them in uncomfortable situations. The blue buckets further separate them from other children and label them.

Why should children be asked to disclose their diagnoses in order to receive candy? Kids shouldn’t have to present themselves a certain way in order to get a candy bar. Blue buckets create a noninclusive Halloween.