The first concept that children learn in colors, is that colors are different from each other. Sorting colors is a skill that needs to develop before children start learning to name them. It’s the same with children with Autism. Instead of starting by teaching them “This is Red”, start by teaching them to sort colors.
Here is a simple activity that helps develop color sorting, attention and focus and also fine motor skills.
Find/buy 4 baskets or containers clearly depicting specific colors. It’s a good idea to start with primary colors. Find toys, blocks or other objects of these colors that the children can sort easily. Its best that all the objects are the same or similar, so that children don’t associate a particular shape with an object- for example- red apples and yellow bananas are not ideal for teaching color sorting.
Teach your child to arrange the baskets, and then pick up the toys one by one and place them inside the baskets. Congratulate and praise your child when they finish. To make it achievable and easy, decrease the number of items to be sorted. As the child learns, increase their attention span and focus by increasing the number of items to be sorted.
Once the child has understood the skill, you can also use beads or a similar small object. This way you can also develop fine motor skills. Also the large number of beads require the child to focus for a longer period of time.
As your child is more comfortable with the activity, you can start naming the colors as they put it inside. Slowly, your child will also start understanding that each of the colors has a name, and they will start learning the names.