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A blue bucket on Halloween means a special trick-or-treater

Halloween is a holiday for kids and adults alike, a way to socialize and visit neighbors while the kids have a ton of fun and the grownups enjoy the children's costumes and cuteness. But for a child with a developmental or intellectual disability, trick or treating may not be as enjoyable.

A kid with a disability may not understand the traditions. Crowds, pumpkin faces and scary costumes could intimidate them. They may have trouble saying, "trick or treat" or "thank you."

A new practice has spread across the country and even internationally, spurred by social media posts by a couple of mothers. A child with autism or another developmental disability can use a blue plastic pumpkin bucket or other blue candy bucket as a respectful signal to neighbors that they may need a little patience or extra understanding because of the symptoms of their diagnosis. They may be frightened, anxious or overstimulated, which could cause behavior that the blue bucket will flag for adults as related to the disability.

The blue bucket can also raise awareness that a trick-or-treater is nonverbal or facing speech challenges, explaining their silence or speech impairment.

Newsweek reports that adults with autism or other developmental disabilities may also use the blue buckets to go trick-or-treating, giving neighbors a dignified explanation for why they might still enjoy trick-or-treating. The Newsweek article tells the story of one 21-year-old with autism who will use a blue candy bucket this year because he is not "too big" to enjoy trick-or-treating, reported his mother.

Many of our clients have disabilities or are families of people with autism or other disabilities. We provide a range of legal services and advice to support them concerning:

  • Special-needs trusts and other specialized trusts
  • ABLE accounts
  • Guardianship and conservatorship
  • Public benefits like Supplemental Security Income, Medicaid (Health First Colorado), Medicare and others
  • Private health insurance
  • Long-term care insurance and planning
  • Residential placement and in-home services
  • Powers of attorney
  • Estate planning

We wish those that we serve with autism and other disabilities and their families an enjoyable and more inclusive Halloween.

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