You might have seen a new movement surface over the past few years, using blue pumpkins to signify during Halloween if a trick or treater is autistic.
But is this really helping the autistic person? Here are some problems the blue pumpkins can bring.
The origin of the color blue
Blue has long represented the autistic community due to its links with Autism Speaks, an organization largely seen as problematic within the autistic community for multiple reasons — including the fact that only 4% of their annual budget goes to Autistic people. They have likened Autism to that of a terminal illness and promote ableist views among non-autistic people.
"Outing" your child
Making your child carry a blue pumpkin singles them out, declaring them as "other". This can harm their mental health, but also cause physical harm because their pumpkin signals to others that they are more vulnerable to predatory behavior.
It's less fun
Why should a child be forced to carry a specific bucket just because they have a single diagnosis? Other diagnoses don't require special buckets. Instead, why not just let a child use the bucket of their choice?
Many people don't know what it means
There's no guarantee that the houses your child is trick or treating at knows what the blue pumpkin symbolizes, which likely will bring more attention to the matter — further singling out your child.
It furthers the stigma
Autistic kids should be treated like kids, and they don't owe the details of their diagnoses to anyone. Nobody should have to carry around a bucket that identifies their diagnosis in order for other people to treat them the same as everyone else.