I love giving out candy on Halloween. Love it.
Even when adults come to the door in costume I fill up their bag or bucket.
However, if you do not say "Trick or Treat" then you get nothing... NOTHING!! ;-)
Cueing kids to say "Trick or Treat" instead of just sticking out their candy receptacle is commonplace at our home and this practice is generally well accepted by kids and parents alike. Its a wonderful reciprocal tradition that encourages animated and generous behaviour.
Recently a mother, Omairis Taylor, posted on Facebook that her autistic son is non verbal and that people, like me, asking for a "Trick or Treat" before the candy is handed over can make things difficult for her child. Omairis ends up having to explain to every person giving out candy what her son's situation is and you can imagine this gets difficult quickly. She will be giving her son a blue pumpkin bucket to signify her son's situation and to raise awareness for Autism.
I think this is a great idea and so does much of the internet. The Facebook post has been shared over 130,000 times and other media outlets are spreading the news. Here is an article from USA Today about it all.
Not everyone thinks this is a good idea though. Autism Canada thinks this will single out Autistic kids as different and set them apart from their peers. Instead they suggest "If a non-verbal child goes trick-or-treating, the parent could put a little label on the costume or hand a card to the homeowner that reads: ‘I don't speak but I still want to tell you -- Trick or Treat? and Thank you!'". Here is a CTV article about Autism Canada's position.
Personally I prefer the idea of a non-verbal cue to signal a non verbal situation. Wouldn't the words on the child's autism label single them out from their peers as well? Even more so than a blue candy bucket?
Regardless, I will be on the lookout for blue candy receptacles this Halloween and will act accordingly.