Trick-or-treating includes children with food allergies, autism

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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Nowadays people are thinking of others while celebrating holidays. Halloween is one that is becoming more inclusive for all children.

Some children have food allergies or special dietary needs. Offering alternatives to candy and other food treats is one way to acknowledge those children.

Teal means food allergies

The teal pumpkin project raises awareness of food allergies and promotes alternatives for kids who can’t eat candy.

According to the Food Allergy Research and Education Organization, teal has represented food allergies for nearly 20 years.

Homeowners can place teal pumpkins in the yard or on the doorstep to alert trick-or-treaters that the home has non-food treats.

You can also go online and print flyers for your door or yard.

Blue means autism

Brittnee Tollison, the pediatric speech and language pathologist at the Autism Center for Navicent Health, says there is an increase in children who have been diagnosed with autism.

“Visual cues of houses that the child or adult has autism takes out the verbal conversation or questions that may arise,” Tollison said.

An autistic child or adult uses a blue pumpkin or blue candy bucket.

“They may not be wearing costumes, they may not be able to say trick-or-treat,” Tollison said. “They could be struggling with their costume at the door.”

Tollison says you should not expect to have the same interaction that you may experience with other kids.

“Every kid wants to trick-or-treat and participate, we just need to increase awareness to those who have blue buckets,” Tollison said. “Talk to them, but try not to make them uncomfortable with questions.”