Look for blue pumpkins on Halloween night

Color blue used to promote autism awareness

SAN ANTONIO – Bobby Lopez is 7 years old, Mark Andrade is 23, but they each love trick-or-treating on Halloween. 

Since they're both autistic, "It's going to affect the way they speak or the way they communicate or the way they act in public," said Cynthia Hamilton, development director for the Autism Treatment Center.

Hamilton said that's why when people open their doors on Halloween, children and adults with special needs will be holding out plastic blue pumpkins to carry their treats.

RELATED: Nextdoor launches ‘Treat Map' for those handing out candy on Halloween

Pamela Allen, Andrade's mother, said some people may be taken aback by her grown son with a full beard in costume at their front door with other children.

Last Halloween, her son was a bull rider atop a "steer," and this year, his mother said he wants to be a Tyrannosaurus Rex. 

"That blue pumpkin sure would make a difference," Allen said. 

Courtesy Pamela Allen
Courtesy Pamela Allen

But Bobby's mother, Melissa Lopez, said not all "autism moms" feel the same way.

"I'm assuming that they don't want to have anything differentiate their child from the other children," Lopez said. 

She said that's understandable.

"Whatever works," Lopez said. But she also believes, "If there's a miscommunication with the child and somebody else, that's when the parent should say he or she has autism."

Hamilton said, "They may not be like everybody else, but they want to have fun like everybody else."

Web Extra Video: People with autism 'communicate a little differently'

RELATED: Community Gallery: Show off your Jack-O-Lanterns

She encourages people to be autism-friendly by being accepting and kind, and not just on Halloween.

The Autism Treatment Center offered some tips on how to be autism-friendly

About the Authors: