You may have seen the idea of blue pumpkins for kids on the Autism spectrum floating around social media the last few weeks. The idea is that our kids can carry these pumpkins around, then people will be aware they are on the Autism spectrum and give them grace about how they are asking, or not asking for candy.
I really appreciate the thought that when into this. As a mom of a teenage son on the spectrum, I really want other people to understand him better. I wouldn’t want anyone to judge him because of the way he tricks or treats. I want him to have just as much fun as any other kid might have.
I think this leads to a bigger issue. Kindness, and in this case, kindness to all children, no matter what.
There are so many reasons why a kid might not be able to say, “trick or treat” properly when they come to your door. They could be really shy. I was as a child. It was very hard for me to talk to people I didn’t know.
They could have speech delays, my oldest son couldn’t speak in full sentences until he was 6 years old. They could be on the Autism spectrum or have other special needs that mean they are not going to follow the expected pattern when it comes to trick or treating.
As far as costumes go, I want my kids to be dressed up, but I am also aware that some kids just can’t do that the way everyone expects them to. My son is very picky about his clothing. It is totally possible that a costume that worked well for photos, is suddenly too itchy to wear for the rest of the night. It is possible that the child wasn’t going to go out, and then did at the last minute.
As we get ready for another Halloween night, let’s remember that Halloween is a community holiday. We like to trick or treat around our neighborhood. We love to see our neighbors and know that we all live here in a community with one another. And I would hope that anyone who came across any child would extend grace and kindness to them, give them some candy, and not worry about anything else.
Are there rude children out there? Yes, there are. Do some kids come across that way because of their special needs? Yes, they do. Can you always tell the difference? No, not always.