The streets of the Capital Region will soon be filled with goblins and ghouls. However, this Halloween, you may notice a few blue pumpkins as trick-or-treaters come door-to-door.
Heather Walker's home in Schenectady is ready to welcome around 300 kids in costumes Thursday.
"We are looking forward to dressing up, handing out trick or treats. I think that's me and my son's favorite, looking at all the costumes," Walker said.
Heather's son Meki is 17 and on the autism spectrum. The holiday has always been a special tradition for the family. This year he'll be out collecting candy as an astronaut.
"We take him trick or treating around the neighborhood, and then we come back and hand out candy to all the excited trick-or-treaters," Walker said.
However, this year there's a push for children with autism to carry around blue buckets or pumpkins. The goal is to allow all children, including those with developmental challenges, to join in on the fun.
One in 59 children in the U.S., and one in 36 boys, are diagnosed on the autism spectrum.
"Personally, we do not use the blue pumpkin or want to use the blue pumpkin. We want to use what everybody else uses, and we like to be inclusive with everyone," Walker said.
Walker adds the pumpkin would only bring attention to Meki's differences.
"I don't believe in putting that type of a label on someone to have to identify with a blue pumpkin," Walker said.
Meanwhile, for the Rutecki family in Renssalear, trick-or-treating is a much different experience for their 5-year-old son, Boden.
"Sensory things are very difficult for him, as well as interacting with new people. So going door to door would not be possible,' said Lark Rutecki, Boden's mom.
Instead, his family opted to take him to a 'trunk-or-treat' this weekend at Rensselaer High School. They are thrilled with the blue pumpkin campaign, to make sure everyone feels included.
"He had on a fireman costume and he was able to go around and say hello. The school has really rallied around him and us, and we're really lucky to be a part of it," says Rutecki.