That blue pumpkin

I’m guessing many of you have heard of painting a blue (or teal) pumpkin and putting it on your front porch Halloween night. Maybe you have seen the blue pumpkin candy buckets. Do you know what these represent though?

If any of you are wondering what these blue decorations mean, the painted blue pumpkin on a porch means that you are offering non-edible treats for kids with allergies or some kind of diet restrictions; such as spider rings, Halloween pencils, stickers etc. These understanding homes often have 2 bowls, 1 with traditional candy and the other with non-edibles.

Now kids with the blue candy buckets are probably children who might have some kind of disability and by carrying around a blue pumpkin to collect candy in are hoping others will be extra understanding. These kids may have food allergies, speech delays, learning disabilities, texture sensitivities, etc.

These gestures are cute and the idea of having a universal sign is sweet. Showing acceptance is always nice to see and I feel like these concepts fall under the same as wearing autism awareness shirts and posting awareness bumper stickers on your car. But I’m a little disappointed that people feel they need to do these things with hope that their special needs child will be included. Isn’t this a holiday? A holiday that includes dressing up and being a part of your community?

Relax it’s a holiday

Honestly, it’s a holiday where people hand out candy. Why do people get their panties all up in a bunch over what counts as a costume? And who invented the age rule?? I hear so many curmudgeons say things like “I only hand out candy to kids” or “If they don’t have a costume they don’t get candy”. Do these people really check for birth certificates? Or is this based on where people score on mental capacity tests? And the made up rule that people have to dress up? This rule excludes people who can’t afford costumes, people with texture sensitivities, and simply people who don’t process the reason for needing a costume.

Basically who is so high and mighty to make all these rules? Do people with limited to no speech not get to experience being a part of their community because they can’t say the magical words, “Trick or treat”?

I think if someone comes to your door with good intentions of being a part of the holiday and your porch light is on, you can recognize that they are trying. Hand out candy and don’t try to scare the little ones.

New to Trick or Treats

Not everyone understands how trick or treating works. It can take kids on the autism spectrum years to figure out the social rules of this holiday. There is not always a lot of practice before the big night and it only happens once a year! Then you throw in costumes, knocking on strangers doors, and small talk and things can get overwhelming.

Little mr. L’s first real door-to-door Halloween experience didn’t last very long, 3 or 4 doors at most. It was cold, snowy and wet. The concept little mr. L couldn’t grasp was the not getting to go inside the warm houses part. He got dressed up, walked to the houses, knocked, got his treat and then wanted to go inside and visit. This resulted in pulling away a kicking, screaming and crying kid from every door. Hence the low number of doors we attempted.

Since that first attempt it has got less stressful every year and mr. L is picking up from his little brother mr. C how it’s done. But this is a little insight to the sweet families who still choose to hand out candy on Oct. 31st. Some kids have anxiety, some have social disorders, among many other possibilities, and it isn’t based on their size or age.

Teach your kids to say thank you!

On the other side, I just got to say, my kids are taught that saying thank you is equally as important as learning to say trick or treat. Apparently this is rare and last year it earned them MANY extra handfuls of candy from grateful candy handing outers.

Costumes may be optional

Mr. L likes costumes and he likes dressing up, but mr. L doesn’t always care what society thinks. He wore red mini mouse shoes because they had a zipper that made putting them on easier. He didn’t care if mini mouse is traditionally targeted towards girls. He also likes wearing Lularoe leggings because they are soft and stretchy. My son doesn’t care if Lularoe is mostly a girl clothing brand.

This year mr. L picked out a Lego batgirl outfit for his costume. Will he wear it Halloween night when he goes trick or treating? I don’t know 🤷‍♀️ His siblings wore costumes to a Halloween convention and my husband brought mr.L’s batgirl costume but he never wore it. I mean he likes the costume, he plays in it at home. My son has all sorts of super hero costumes he likes to wear and sometimes we all just wear capes when we run errands or go to lunch because… Why not?

But when I take my 3 kids trick or treating this year and if my 8 year old doesn’t understand the expectation that his costume equals candy in his bucket, are people really going to harass him on their front porch? That would be really embarrassing for whatever human thinks they are an adult when in fact they are being so childish and intolerant. They would be missing out on the cuteness of hearing my 3 little ones chiming “thank you” in chorus. I hope all 3 of my kids choose to dress up but I’m not going to cause stress or tears over it and I hope no one is cruel enough to do so if they don’t dress up.

So this year, paint a blue (or teal) pumpkin if you want, use a blue pumpkin bucket if that’s your thing, remember to say thank you, and be friendly and hand out candy (or toothbrushes if that’s your thing) to anyone who tries to come to your door with good intentions, and have an inclusive spooky holiday everyone!

Do your kids like to dress up? Do you? What do you like to hand out for Halloween? Let me know in the comments below!

Please remember to follow, comment, like and share! 👻🎃👀🍬🧩



  1. I completely agree with you. When I heard about the blue pumpkin thing, I thought, “well, I guess.” But the more I thought about it I got annoyed. Why is there is something else I have to do to help someone else understand? Can’t you just be nice to all the kids no matter what? One time a lady was insistent on my son saying Trick or Treat. He was non-verbal at the time and had the attention span of a flea. When the candy didn’t land in his bag when it was supposed to he just bounced to the next house oblivious of her. Maybe she will read about the blue pumpkin and now think twice about her rules. Because my son is not going to carry a blue pumpkin but he still may not say a required Trick or Treat.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I saw this post on Facebook about a golden pumpkin idea and the explanation of why I don’t like the blue pumpkin totally made sense.
      The golden pumpkin tells the trick or treaters that their home is autism friendly and accepting of others.
      The blue pumpkin makes me share their diagnosis in order to be included which is ridiculous.
      I love your story about your son just moving on because he wasn’t going to say trick or treat. I hope that lady will learn a thing or two also with the blue pumpkin idea floating around.
      You summed up my feelings towards the blue pumpkin though: annoyed.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I didn’t even know what blue pumpkins signified! (Thanks for educating me.) I did know that some people are particular about their Halloween rituals but most everyone’s doors have been good to my girls, especially my Gracie with her special needs. Im looking forward to a fun, inclusive Halloween!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My 9 yr old daughter is very tall for her age and has a bit of a belly on her. She always wants to be Ariel (Little Mermaid). The costumes are too small. The adult ones are, well not appropriate for her. I found a mermaid dress, but it has to be exactly what she sees in her head (Oh Autism Life). So I tried to get her to try a new costume idea, but she wouldn’t. She really hasn’t been trick or treating a lot. She prefers I fill her bucket with little sensory items and a few pieces of candy. We have a fun day at home with food and activities. Hopefully one day she will settle on a better costume and can go out with the other kiddos. Great post

    Liked by 1 person

    • Your daughter sounds adorable but I can see how her costume could complicate things. Autism really can be tricky to navigate, but I like the creative solution you came up with! Your own bucket of prizes, I love it.
      Thank you for commenting 😊

      Liked by 1 person

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