Monday, October 7, 2019

The Blue Pumpkin and Why I will Never Get One for my Children

With Halloween coming up, the blue pumpkin project has surfaced online. The blue pumpkin is to make the autistic children stand out so people know that the child may not be able to say "trick or treat." It seems innocent enough but the autistic community as a whole is against this.

Blue for autism was started by Autism Speaks. The blue signifies that it is a boy's disability. They control the tragedy narrative that we are working so hard to fight. They encourage parents to grieve the child they thought they were going to have. They are still the same child .

We are a Jewish family. I never hide this fact. Holocaust education is very important, even more so as an Autistic Jew. After going through my photos of the March of the Living, a Holocaust trip I took as a child, the parallel of the Jude star came through my mind. It may seem extreme. The blue pumpkin is meant to label every autistic child as autistic. It makes them stand out.  The Jude star labeled every Jewish person so people knew who the Jews were.

The blue pumpkin leaves them open for bullying. Autistic children are easy targets and bullies know this. They try to take advantage and exploit anyone who has a perceived weakness. While I do not consider being autistic a weakness, other people do. That can leave the children vulnerable.

Just like during the Holocaust, that is how the Nazi forces were able to round up people to bring them to concentration camps or death camps. I know autistic children are not being brought to their death BUT it is strikingly similar.

These children are not going to be without their parents, there is no need to label them. They want to enjoy Halloween, just like every other child. Labeling them will cause people to treat them differently and that is the last thing the autistic community wants.

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