Community creates Halloween do-over after Utah teen with special needs has negative trick-or-treat experience

Posted at 6:23 PM, Nov 05, 2017

LEHI, Utah -- A 17-year-old girl with autism went trick-or-treating with her siblings in Sandy on Halloween only to have people shut the door in her face and tell her she's too old.

Katina Burnett, who often goes by Trina, dressed up as Sally from "The Nightmare Before Christmas", but came home crying.

“You know they go out, knock on a few doors and they get the comments, 'Oh you’re too old and close the door in their face?” said her dad, Myron Burnett, shaking his head.

“It was sad for me as a parent to see that happen to them," Trina's mom, Tara Burnett, added.

Trina said she did not let the experience and a few rude people get her down.

“Some people just had some bit of misunderstanding, which is fine," she said Saturday.

One of Trina's sisters posted about the incident on Facebook and it blew up. Immediately, Heather Chadwick wanted to help.

“I have a little cousin that’s special needs as well and I lived with her for a long time, and they have a really special place in my heart, so I was like, ‘Well she needs a redo!’” Chadwick said.

She had never met the Burnetts before, but said she knew she had to do something for the family. She posted in community Facebook groups to try to get people to help hand out candy on Saturday and keep their Halloween decorations up.

She also suggested a trunk-or-treat in the parking lot at Lehi Junior High School around the corner from her house. More cars than she expected showed up.

“I knew that it was a good community, but I did not expect that at all!” Chadwick said.

“So many people, from all around the country really, have been sending us packages of candy," Myron Burnett said.

“It’s been so crazy," Tara Burnett said. "This has just been amazing. This is the real story: this story of kindness that we’ve been shown has just been awesome and so heartwarming and we’re so grateful."

Trina agrees: "Well it feels very heartwarming to see that people care so much... When we have each other, we’ll be able to overcome any challenges."

With a bag full of candy and even an appearance by the Chick-fil-a cow, Trina still made sure to thank everyone and give them a hug.

Chadwick said the Lehi Jr. High administrators want to hold a safe trick-or-treat for kids with special needs next year.