Colors play an enormously important role for some children on the spectrum, but as in real life, it's never easy to get right and crushingly easy to get it wrong. The developing autistic child often associates colors with speech components or numbers. Since Ricky is only 10, I had been advised that the first thing he sees on his computer screen needed to be vivid, yet not too noisy. His mom sat next to Ricky as she pushed the on button of the computer.
When the desktop appeared, the boy's eyes grew wide and then slowly, tears formed. I had picked this particular image with Ricky's scale and temperament in mind. He tried to grasp the picture with his hands and his mom attempted to stop him before he broke the monitor. With his hands in his mother's hands he leaned forward and kissed the screen. His mom began to cry as well. Ricky put the side of his face on the monitor screen and closed his eyes, a soft, subtle smile forming as he did so.
He repeated that pattern for several minutes, looking intensely at the computer screen, then kissing it and "hugging" the screen with his face. I left Lisa and Ricky and made sure she knew that the instructions were on the kitchen table.
As I turned back to them before closing the door behind me, mother and child were weeping and embracing the blue flower on the computer screen. It was all I could do not to join them.