Teaching colors to children with autism
The learning process for children with autism should certainly include lessons about colors.
However, the teaching method should not be confusing as too much information at one time can be tough to understand for children with autism.
Children start to identify and understand the colors around them around the age of 30 months or about 3 years. Starting lessons before that is not advisable as children are still trying to get used to words and sounds.
Here are some ideas about how to teach about colors to children with autism.
• Do not force color lessons on the children as learning new things at once can be too much. Learning about nouns is a huge task for the kids so take it slow.
• Pick two or three colors to start with such as red, yellow, and green. Avoid picking orange and red at the same time or orange and yellow at the same time as that may be confusing.
• It is better to start with the primary colors as compared to brown, black, white, gray and pink or pastel colors.
• One good idea is to start with a favorite color.
• Take colored paper and cut 6 - 8 squares that match red, yellow, and green. Then encourage the children to pair them, match red with red, yellow with yellow and green with green.
• Matching colors with objects at the very beginning can be confusing. 'This is a red fire truck' or 'this is a blue bus' can become complicated for children with autism. Once the child understand the color, then combine the items with color description.
• Do not try and introduce new colors unless the first set has been completed. This might take some time but the learning will be more effective if colors are introduced slowly.
• Be patient and follow the interests of the child as all children learn at different speeds. Comparing the learning ability and grasping power of children with autism is not rational.