“Mumma, I found some whitebells” Me, “Huh? Oh, um, yeah, well I know they are white, but they are actually called bluebells.” Cue very confused child.
To be fair, I think that this could confuse an NT child, especially a young one, but for a child with autism it is really doubly so. We have a profusion of the aforementioned flowers coming into bloom in the wooded area at the back of our garden (very late but then everything seems to be this year). M has been looking forward to the bluebells coming as she’s heard me talking about the variety of flowers we get – first snowdrops, then daffodils and now bluebells.
It really doesn’t help that we have three colours! Yep, we also get pink ones. When all of them are out there is a riot of colour which gladdens my heart whenever I look out, but I can imagine that M will always be niggled by them and their “stupid name”.
It got me thinking: monkey puzzle, wallflowers, pussy willow, dog roses. I’m no gardener but these names came to me as examples of just how strange the world of nature could possibly be to a child who takes things literally. But at least it has made me think ahead, so when she learns the name of another plant or flower I am ready to do my best to explain that a name is just that, and not an indicator of intent – think snapdragon!