SELAH, WA - The blue bucket on Halloween signifies a child has autism. To know the real meaning behind the bucket, NBC Right Now spoke with a family that is not only participating in the Blue Pumpkin Project but also the Teal Project, which have different meanings.
"Nico is on the autism spectrum and things are a little bit difficult or indifferent for him," said Nico's mother, Alma Balderas. "For example, he can not say, 'trick or treat.' "
Nico has been prepping for Halloween, but even with all the prep work, his mom knows it might not be an easy day... and that is why Nico's bucket is blue.
"You know, we practice and we go through a lot, and he goes through a lot of therapy to learn these basic social skills and sometimes we just need an extra tool," Balderas said. "So, the blue bucket for us is not just spreading awareness... it's also giving us a tool so Nico can have the best possible experience trick or treating. We haven't had the best experience yet because of all the overwhelming effects of it. In no means do I mean to single out my son, but we hope that if people start recognizing the blue bucket as autism awareness that we would practice a little more kindness and we would practice a little more patience."
Nico's family is also participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project.
"What the teal pumpkin means is that we practice and we acknowledge those kiddos that have food allergies."
By participating in both projects, Balderas says it gives her the opportunity to include everyone.
"It's very much something that is happening in our community, and really to include the other kids that are in this very community that participate, and live, and love this community, that they are acknowledged."