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Could DS be colour blind?

(28 Posts)
CeilingThomas Tue 19-Jan-16 23:51:42

My DS is 4 in March and seems confused by colours. He is a bright boy who has grasped letters, phonics, numbers etc really well, he learns other stuff quickly like the names of dinosaurs, his language is great and has a keen enthusiasm for learning new stuff, but despite incorporating colour into every day chat he just isn't showing improvement. It just seems to stump him.

He calls things 'light' or 'dark' and doesn't get primary colours right even.

He's also backed right off doing arts and crafty things when he used to love painting and gluing and scribbling

What age should he know them by and who should we see to get a diagnosis?


TheHouseOnTheLane Wed 20-Jan-16 01:01:50

I should think it's worth seeing a GP first...some opticians test for colour blindness but others do not.

Most 4 year olds know colours OP...usually by the age of 3 a child can tell what colour is what and name them.

OldBeanbagz Wed 20-Jan-16 09:11:11

Is he in Reception? This is around the first time he should have his eyes tested so it's worth booking an opticians appointment. Your DS doesn't need to be able to read before they can test him.

I had both DC tested at around the same age as my DH is colour blind. They were both ok. BTW it hasn't stopped my DH following a creative career.

OldBeanbagz Wed 20-Jan-16 09:11:50

If you mention colour blindness to the opticians they will test for it.

Lauren15 Wed 20-Jan-16 09:21:40

Dh is colour blind and he can't distinguish between certain colours eg yellow and green. MIL said when he was little he was shown a picture of a green snake on a brown background and asked what colour the snake was. He said 'what are you talking about? There's no snake.'. It was all the same colour to him. Look out for things like that with your ds.

Seff Wed 20-Jan-16 09:37:21

My dad was colour blind and talked about seeing shades of colours rather than the colours themselves so your mention of light and dark colours makes me think it could possibly be colour blindness.

I'd go to the optician first, personally.

AFootInBothCamps Wed 20-Jan-16 09:50:28

Ds is colour blind. Ok he will never be a pilot, but that's not his area anyway smile Our optician does a small test when we go in, so worth a visit. We had no idea before she mentioned it!

CeilingThomas Wed 20-Jan-16 14:05:58

Thank you everyone, I'll get him tested. The only affect it seems to be having is a reluctance to do anything creative and I am a little worried that it could dent his confidence if he doesn't understand why he keeps getting colours wrong.

Worth knowing either way so we can respond appropriately!

Emptynestermum Wed 20-Jan-16 17:17:03

I wouldn't worry, he's still only 3 and so not at school yet. I remember from when mine were little that some children learn colours surprisingly late (after starting to learn some basic numbers etc). Don't make an issue of it otherwise, like you say, he will start to feel bad that he can't get colours right.

It will probably fall into place over the next year. I would think it's a little early to be tested personally, but do what feels right. smile

CeilingThomas Wed 20-Jan-16 20:40:49

Thanks empty. He is still very young, and you're right to say I shouldn't worry too much or to compare him to other children. They all learn at their own rates and get there eventually! They should all have a preschool eyes test so I may wait a few months as he doesn't start school until next September.

Kitsandkids Wed 20-Jan-16 20:50:37

My mum was a teacher and was asked by a few worried mum friends about tests for colour blindness over the years.

She always suggested sorting sweets such as Smarties - so all the same shape but several different colours. If the child can sort them into different colour groups (doesn't have to know their names, just see the differences between them) it's unlikely they're colour blind - they just haven't learned the names yet. They are usually quite happy to do this task as long as they are then allowed to eat the sweets afterwards!

redhat Wed 20-Jan-16 20:55:50

Is your father colour blind?

The colour blindness is passed from father (colour blind) to their female children (not colour blind) to sons (colour blind).

Both my DSs are colour blind. DS1 is fairly colour blind, DS2 who is eight hasn't a clue about any colours. He will swear pink is grey, blue is green, red is green etc.

When they were learning their colours it wasn't obvious because primary colours are generally fairly easy for them to distinguish. We picked it up at about 4 when DS1 was talking about a man's green top (it was burgundy).

zipzap Wed 20-Jan-16 20:57:05

I bet if you googled colour blind test images you'd get loads of them come up - if you're not colour blind you'll be able to recognise them (from memory - lots were pix of red and green/blue and yellow etc sets of dots with a number that you could see within them (and I suspect a different number that you could see if you could differentiate shades but not colour).

You could just show them to your dc and see what he can see... and then take it from there. You'd be able to talk to the optician or GP with much more confidence although I'm not sure that there's a lot you can do if he does have colour blindness (there's different types too - different pairs of colours that can't be differentiated) other than know that he has it and encourage him to develop knowing different shades, make sure (when he's older!) that his computers have the best settings for seeing things (albeit it will look odd to non-cb people) and so on.

redhat Wed 20-Jan-16 20:59:03

Interesting on that smarties test. I would disagree. DS1 would be able to sort the smarties into colours because he can look at two colours side by side and see that they are different. If you showed him one in isolation though he might tell you its green when it's red.

DS2 would have greens mixed in with the reds but would probably also be able to separate the others by shade. He basically sees things in shades of grey from what we can ascertain.

RandomMess Wed 20-Jan-16 21:00:13

Erm girls can be colour blind!!!!

DD is blue:yellow colour blind she doesn't see green at all, and her browns and beiges are dodgy too.

This type of colour blindness is rare and linked to damaged S cones rather than being hereditary.

redhat Wed 20-Jan-16 21:02:23

It is worth finding out because then school can accommodate it. My DSs have labelled coloured pencils for example and the teachers made sure they don't colour code anything such as green for correct and red for incorrect. They are also careful about using different colours for different labels when showing things on screen etc since DSs wouldn't see any difference.

redhat Wed 20-Jan-16 21:04:48

Girls can be colour blind but would have to have the gene on both X chromosomes if it was hereditary colour blindness.

redhat Wed 20-Jan-16 21:06:06

That's why there are far more males who are colour blind than females. Females are generally just carriers.

QueryQuery Wed 20-Jan-16 21:07:08

Yep, Google for colour blind tests. There are some that use pictures rather than numbers. I'm not sure if the optician will see them before about five, ours wouldn't as before that age they had to see a GP and be referred to the hospital for any suspected issues. Although worth calling the optician and asking?

anorakgirl Wed 20-Jan-16 21:07:09

Ds1 is blue/purple colourblind. He can distinguish between shades but not colours. His fraternal uncle was colourblind but grew out of it so we're wondering if ds will too. He wasn't diagnosed til he was about 8.

BYOSnowman Wed 20-Jan-16 21:07:32

Colour blindness follows the x so for boys it comes through their mother. Girls need it from both parents (so on both x's). For the most common sorts anyway. So it is far more common in boys.

Ds is colour deficient and the optician tested him at 4 and then again at 6.

The one thing I have found is that when they get to formal exams they should inform the exam board as it can be a problem for science and geography.

I got ds crayola pencils with the colour written on them as he had trouble with questions at school such as 'ring the verbs in green and the nouns in red'. The labelled pens means he uses the correct colour when before he would end up using the wrong colours because he was guessing.

BYOSnowman Wed 20-Jan-16 21:10:18

I have never heard of someone growing out of colour deficiency - will have to google!

Vision express did a test which involved looking at 3 coloured dots and identifying the two that were the same shade. There were quite a lot and at the end the optician said he was middle.

Other things he has trouble with - finding a red ball in the grass where we can spot it immediately!

redhat Wed 20-Jan-16 21:12:36

I don't think you can grow out of colour blindness. There is certainly no cure either. Its more likely that the uncle who "grew out of it" just learnt to adjust and accommodate it (i.e became better at guessing!)

BYOSnowman Wed 20-Jan-16 21:14:10

That's what I thought. Oh well, I do feel sad that ds doesn't see the world in its full multicolour glory but I guess what he doesn't know he doesn't miss!!

redhat Wed 20-Jan-16 21:15:35

We came to the same conclusion.

Neither of mine can be pilots, engineers or electricians but there are plenty of other jobs out there.

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