Kids of all ages love Halloween. I mean what is not to love about it? They get to get dressed up as whatever their little heart desires and go around trick or treating, collecting tons of goodies that will last until the next Halloween.
When some kids grow up, they grow out of the trick or treating, but some kids, like kids with autism don’t. Physically they are adults, but mentally some of them are still children, and continue to enjoy Halloween just like the little tikes.
One such boy is BJ, a 22 year old from Louisiana who is on the spectrum. He, and other kids with autism, will be carrying around a blue pumpkin to let you know they are on the spectrum. So now you know what blue pumpkins mean on Halloween.
BJ’s mother Alicia would take BJ trick or treating every year. Often times she and BJ were not greeted nicely. Year after year it was a struggle, but Alicia never desisted because her son loves Halloween.
When confiding in a friend, Lisa Lee, Lisa suggested using a blue pumpkin to alert people that BJ had autism. While blue has always been a symbol for autism, and blue pumpkins have been used in the past, it wasn’t until Alicia posted a heartfelt message on Facebook that the blue pumpkin became popularly associated with autism:
Trick or Treat….the BLUE BUCKET…if you see someone who appears to be an adult dressed up to trick or treat this year carrying this 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. 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 message went viral and has been shared 28,000 times.
According to Wendy Wilcox, a resident of Coral Springs, and mother of a 19 year old boy with autism, some people with autism “...appear to be fully functional adults, but their minds function as children and the joy they take from Halloween is pure just as a child that goes trick or treating“.
When asked what she thought of the blue pumpkins she said “It is a step in the right direction. The more awareness there is the better it is for our community. All you ever want as a parent is for your children to be accepted and shown the same kindness as everyone else’s children“.
By introducing the blue pumpkin into popular culture, people with autism can subtly communicate to others their disability. If you are on the other end of the blue pumpkin, you may not get a thank you, but that doesn’t mean they are not thankful. Be assured you have made someone very happy and that families that cope with autism every day are thankful to you for making their child’s Halloween a happy one.
We encourage you to help create awareness about the blue pumpkin. Share this article with your social network and let’s help raise awareness everywhere!
EDITOR, PUBLISHER, WRITER, PHOTOGRAPHER, REALTOR®
Désirée Ávila has called Oakland Park her home for over 33 years. In addition to publishing LivingInOaklandPark.com, Désirée has been featured in print publications, locally and abroad. Désirée was an award winning teacher for 10 years and has a doctoral level education in Educational Technology. She is currently a licensed Florida Realtor® and is committed to a high-level of professionalism.
Désirée consistently professionally develops herself and has earned several different professional designations and certifications in real estate including the PSA, e-Pro, AHWD, SRS, ABR, and SFR. She was also awarded the C2EX, Commitment to Excellence award by the National Association for Realtors (NAR). This award is given to Realtors® that distinguish themselves for their commitment to excellence in the real estate industry.
She is esteemed by her real estate colleagues and has consistently received 5 star reviews from her clients. Her philosophy about real estate is that being a Realtor® is a way of teaching and helping people, and in the process a real estate transaction may occur, that is to say her foremost priority is and has always been about helping others.
She is dedicated to her hometown of Oakland Park and works consistently on building and fostering a strong community. She is passionate about photography and loves to read books about history ; the more detail the better! In addition to English, Désirée is fluent in Portuguese, Spanish, French and Italian.
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