Monday, August 1, 2011

Colours and creative associations

As you may or may not know, my son is autistic. My wife and I have been trying to teach him colours for a while but he didn't seem to understand, or so we thought.

Today while at his regular special needs group my wife pointed out that he does in fact know his colours he just doesn't use the usual names for them.

Here are some examples:
Green is dinosaur
Orange/yellow is teddy
Pink/red is Peppa
Blue is George
Dark blue is outside
White is snow

Peppa, dinosaur and George all refer to characters from his favourite tv show, Peppa Pig.

So instead of naming a colour he associates that colour with something. He is therefore able to tell us each colour as we ask by telling us the association.

My take home is that I need to think more creatively about what my son is trying to tell me. Also its a great reminder that we all think and communicate differently.


  1. How interesting! I"ve always wondered if everyone SEES the same colors, as well. My husband is red/green colorblind, so sometimes something green could look gray or brown to him. This is normal to him - he wonders how the rest of us are so certain about which color is which.

    Communication and perception are so important!

  2. Great point. Thoughts like that could drive you crazy though ;)

    We're pretty sure that he is a visual thinker which neither my wife or I are. My plan is to read up more about visual thinking to understand it more.