Why Do We Need A Special Pumpkin?

Why Do We Need A Special Pumpkin?

Halloween is around the corner

I can already smell the fall weather, feel the cool air, and taste the gumbo that will inevitably be cooked on those cool days. Halloween is the epitome of fun for most children. They get to dress up and trick-or-treat. And what kid doesn’t love free candy?

However, Halloween can represent something completely different for neurodivergent children. Costumes can be itchy and prickly. Crowds can be scary. Loud noises are sometimes enough to make these children want to skip the holiday altogether. And for some, the biggest fear is having to speak to strangers.

To combat this, many stores sell a blue pumpkin bucket that is supposed to designate a child with special needs. I mean, in theory this may work. It’s very thoughtful for the companies to produce a designated pumpkin bucket. But in reality, I hate this idea.

My child’s diagnosis is nobody’s business

I should not have to advertise that my child is different. There are entire laws prohibiting the share of information like this. Aside from that, we try to make his life as normal as possible. Why should I have to make him stand out to get some candy?

Adults should practice kindness

With or without a diagnosis, not every child is going to say what you want them to say. My child is very verbal, but he still may not talk to strangers. So what if he doesn’t say “trick-or-treat”? Should he or any other child be penalized for their lack of verbal abilities? He also may not say “thank you”, but I always make sure to say it for him.

spirit week and dress up days, Why Do We Need A Special Pumpkin?If a child is not dressed up, does that exclude him from the fun? Sensory issues are no joke. Costumes are often made from polyester, wool, and rayon. These fabrics are hot and itchy. Even neurotypical children have problems purchasing costumes. They are terribly expensive.

The child that you think is too old to be trick-or-treating could be developmentally delayed. Does that mean they should be excluded? What about the child who can’t grab one piece of candy at a time? They may have issues with their fine motor skills. Adults really have no idea what “hidden” difference a child may have. Just be understanding.

It’s just candy

I know, you spent your hard earned money buying it. I get it. I also spent my hard earned money on the costume that my child won’t wear because, even though it was comfortable at the store, it’s itchy now.

But you bought this candy for the sole purpose of giving it to children. You purchased it to make children happy. So why would you keep it from some children? Even though they may not know how to express it in a way you can see, neurodivergent children are just as excited and thankful as neurotypical children.

Why do we need a special bucket?

So given all of this information, why does my child need to stand out? Why do adults need some sort of indicator to say that a child is different? This pumpkin bucket, as well-intentioned as it may be- brings me so much hurt for my child. He shouldn’t have to be different. He shouldn’t have to prove something. Please, practice kindness and acceptance.

The color of a child’s bucket should have nothing to do with this.



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