BENTONVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — With Halloween over a week away, one local organization wants to ensure the public stays aware of kids with special needs.
“Blue pumpkins have recently become a universal sign for children with autism,” said Britney Cook, secretary for the board of directors of Autism Involves Me or AIM.
With kids trick or treating, she says children carrying blue pumpkins are one of the ways neighbors and people can know whether a they have autism.
“They may not say trick or treat or may not look the same as the other child whenever they come up to your door,” said Cook.
Cook says blue pumpkins were introduced a year ago. She says parents ask for tips on preparing family and kids for the holidays each year. Around this time, she says it takes a team effort.
“We get a lot of those questions on the support groups. So not only do we as professionals give out advice, but we have other moms that give out advice as well on what works best for them,” said Cook.
Although she feels most people are not aware of blue pumpkins, she feels the initiative has played a part in more people becoming aware.
“Drop any expectations of everyone coming to your door the same way you’re walking down the street the same way, and especially if you see the Blue Pumpkins, that helps with that,” said Cook.
Rachel Simpson is a behavioral analyst at Blue Spring Pediatrics in Bentonville. She says even when you don’t see a blue pumpkin, still keep a look out for the signs.
“You might see kids covering their ears. A lot of kids will cover their ears when it comes to sounds or even if it’s not sounds. But that’s just kind of like a safe way to dampen the sensory experience,” said Simpson.
She also encourages everyone to be patient, stating it can go a long way with families and trick-or-treaters.
“Kids need a lot of support from their parents or their siblings, and some kids don’t need very much support. So just be really patient with them,” said Simpson.