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Do blue Halloween buckets signify trick-or-treaters with autism? Yes and no

Parents may be seeing more of a push to have children with autism carry a blue bucket when they go out for trick or treating this year.

A social media post from a woman who says she has a 3-year-old nonverbal son who has autism. She said in the post that she will have him carry a blue bucket this year to alert those handing out candy that he is on the spectrum and may not interact as other trick-or-treaters do, WNEP reported.

This isn't the first year for a post like this to go viral, urging not only parents of children with autism to carry the blue buckets, but also those doling out the treats to be aware.

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Last year, another woman made a similar post that her 21-year-old son would be taking part in the festivities and asking social media users to "spread awareness."

Trick or Treat....the BLUE BUCKET...if you see someone who appears to be an adult dressed up to trick or treat this year...

Posted by Alicia Plumer on Thursday, October 25, 2018

But the debunking website Snopes.com says don't bank on every child with autism carrying a blue bucket, or every child with a blue bucket has autism.

While the move is gaining popularity on social media, there's no official campaign sponsored by Autism Speaks. Snopes said, "Carrying a blue bucket while trick-or-treating is not a widely recognized symbol for people with autism."

The advocacy group Autism Speaks has a guide for celebrating the holiday with children who have autism. The group does not mention the blue buckets specifically but does have the suggestion of the child wearing a badge or have a sign on their bag that they may not communicate the same way as other children.

Autism Speaks: Halloween guide by National Content Desk on Scribd

The group though did share last year's post leading up to the holiday.