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BLUE PUMPKINS: Cedar Falls mom is spreading autism awareness this Halloween

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (KWWL) – Halloween is just one day away. Many of you are buying last-minute candy and preparing costumes.

The day of festivities is fun and exciting for children. However, it can also be overwhelming for kids on the autism spectrum.

Stacey Ward is a member of the ‘Cedar Valley Autism Warriors.’ The group offers support to families who have children with autism. They’ve been around for about six years now.

Ward’s teenage son is on the spectrum.

This Halloween, she’s reminding people to look for trick-or-treaters with royal blue pumpkin buckets. If a child is carrying one, it might mean they have autism.

“Maybe, have that little signal go off in their brains, ‘Alright, I may have someone that’s maybe going to take a little longer to take that piece of candy,’ or again, not be able to say ‘trick-or-treat,’ but they want to enjoy the holiday,” she explained.

If you plan on handing out candy tomorrow, Ward reminded everyone kids with autism may have a hard time waiting in line. Sometimes, they may even come to your door without a costume. In other instances, they may have trouble saying ‘trick or treat’ or ‘thank you.’

She said the night is stressful. There are people in costumes and masks, loud noises and large groups.

But kids with autism still deserve to enjoy Halloween. When you see a blue pumpkin bucket tomorrow, Ward said she hopes you are patient and accepting.

“Including every child in this holiday, I think that’s just one symbol, if we can use that in our tools to get the message out that it should be a fun time for every child,” she said.

You can purchase a blue pumpkin bucket from Amazon, Walmart and Halloween stores. 

For more information about the Cedar Valley Autism Warriors, check out their Facebook group. 

Olivia Schmitt

Weekend Anchor

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