It's probably something that you rarely pay attention to during Halloween - what color a child's candy bucket is. More often than not, you're trying to figure out what new video game, or cartoon character they're dressed as.

But there's an important reason you might want to look at the color of children's candy collectors, as some might be sending you a message about themselves.

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We recently found out that Lighthouse Autism Center would be moving into the old Family Video on Gull Road, and it made me remember something I learned from an ex-girlfriend actually.

Blue is often used as the color to represent autism, in all shapes and forms. Many children (and adults for that matter) have mild autistic symptoms, that still allow them to be functional members of society. Often, you can't tell that someone with mild symptoms is even on the spectrum.

But there are those who have much more severe autistic symptoms. Many are non-verbal and are very sensitive to loud noises and large crowds. Sadly, this keeps them from being able to participate in a lot of large group activities, and as a child, it can mean being left out more often than some.

So, there are ways for people around these individuals to identify themselves and adapt to help them feel more comfortable.

During Halloween - which can get quite loud and rowdy at times - keep an eye out for children carrying blue buckets. Historically, parents will use these blue buckets to help others identify that their children are autistic and non-verbal.

What should you do if you see one of these blue buckets? Nothing drastic, but for sure be considerate. Many of these children are non-verbal, and may not respond if you ask them any questions. They also might not be as engaged with you as other children.

The best thing you can do is acknowledge them like you would any other child, but don't pressure them for any kind of response, and be patient. Also, if you happen to be wearing a particularly scary costume, it might be a good idea to make yourself look a little less threatening if possible.

The bottom line, though, is these children are just that - children. They want to laugh, play, and participate like the rest of the kids. They just might require a little extra consideration.

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