What It Means To Put A Yellow Pumpkin On Your Porch

In the last few years, the iconic Halloween pumpkin has taken on new meaning and has been used to bring awareness to the needs of different children during the Halloween season. So, if you see a yellow pumpkin displayed on a doorstep this year, you'll know it's the home of someone who cares deeply about children. The yellow-hued pumpkin trend was started by a woman named Laura Slatter to raise awareness about a condition called apraxia of speech and help make trick-or-treating more inclusive and enjoyable for all. She got the idea after seeing teal pumpkins on front porches and learning their meaning.

Apraxia of speech is a rare neurological condition that affects one's ability to communicate verbally. Placing a yellow pumpkin on your porch signifies that children with special needs or who can't greet you with a "trick-or-treat!" will have a positive experience at your home. Slatter's Yellow Pumpkin Parade project also uses yellow trick-or-treating bags to help candy givers easily identify children with disabilities to eliminate confusion and create a sense of understanding and compassion among those participating in Halloween festivities.

Why the Yellow Pumpkin Parade was started

Slatter started the Yellow Pumpkin Parade after an unpleasant experience while taking her 4-year-old son, who has apraxia of speech, trick-or-treating. The motor speech disorder affects his ability to coordinate the movements required for speech. This was the boy's very first Halloween where he was able to verbally communicate with his parents what costume he wanted to wear to go trick-or-treating. 

Uttering his best version of "trick-or-treat" when knocking on doors, Slatter's son was thrilled when the first piece of candy was dropped into his bucket. But things didn't go as planned a few houses down the way. One woman kept pressing him to properly enunciate "trick-or-treat," but Slatter's son was unable to do this, so he left that proch without a piece of candy. "He wouldn't go to another house. He knew he was different, and my heart broke," Slatter wrote on her Kickstarter page.

She was very disheartened about her son's trick-or-treating experience and knew he was probably not the only child with apraxia of speech who had encountered issues like this. Thus, inspired by other parents who started pumpkin movements to raise awareness, she decided to start a movement of her own.

How the Yellow Pumpkin Parade was started

"A yellow pumpkin says that the child holding this pumpkin out for a piece of candy, for a moment of joy, can [walk away] with that candy and joy," Slatter explains (via Kickstarter). She sees yellow pumpkins as a symbol that can help children have a trick-or-treating experience like every other child while also helping to start a conversation about awareness and acceptance. In addition to launching a marketing campaign to encourage the use of yellow pumpkins on porches, she also raised funds to pass out yellow trick-or-treat bags for children with apraxia of speech and other disabilities. 

It's already the perfect time to put out your pumpkins. If you plan to add a yellow one to your doorstep this Halloween, you can opt for a natural or painted one. Mellow Yellow pumpkins are an early maturing species that are bright yellow in color. You can have one shipped to your door for $18 from Harris Seeds or grow your own for next year with a $6 packet of seeds from Johnny's Seeds.