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Blue Halloween buckets signifying autism draw mixed reaction from El Pasoans

Blue Halloween bucket
A blue Halloween bucket, which is being used to signify that a child has autism.

EL PASO, Texas -- The blue bucket trend started after a post on Facebook went viral. It was posted by a mother whose son has autism, encouraging parents to use a blue Halloween bucket to help children who have a difficult time communicating. The switch from a traditional orange bucket to a blue bucket, would signify the child has autism.

“They're not a standardized practice for the Autism Society of El Paso,” Diana Serrano, administrative assistant for the Autism Society of El Paso said. “As a society, some of our families, they appreciate the opportunity to show that some of their children may need extra patience or support, however some really resent the burden of disclosure."

Serrano is also the mom of a 9-year-old autistic child. For her and her family, trick-or-treating is something they put on hold.

"When we attempted trick-or-treating after he got diagnosed, he would scream and run so it actually became a danger to our family. That's one of the reasons why we don't do it anymore," said Serrano.

While Serrano does not completely disagree with the Blue Bucket trend, she does understand how for some parent's with autistic children, a blue halloween bucket could feel like a label for their children.

"For years parents have been told not to put children's names or other private personal information on anything visible to the public. It might make them easy targets for predators," said Serrano.

She encourages alternative ways to make trick-or-treating more convenient for children with autism.

"I remember the last year that we went trick-or- treating we made a hand held sign for my son that read trick-or treat, and as he would flip it over it read thank you. At the bottom it also read, I'm non-verbal," said Serrano.

Ultimately, Serrano said trick-or-treating should just be about children enjoying themselves. 

“I really don’t think as a parent it should have anything to do with us disclosing anything about our child’s disability,” Serrano said.

The Autism Society of El Paso is hosting its first ‘Trunk-or-Treat’ event Saturday from 4 p.m. - 6 p.m. at 9244 Gateway Boulevard East. The event is open to anyone in the community. If you would like more information you can contact the Autism Society of El Paso at (915) 772-9100.

Article Topic Follows: El Paso

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Iris Lopez

Iris Lopez is a weathercaster and reporter for ABC-7.


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