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Colour blindness - how early can you tell and should you do anything about it?

(15 Posts)
stirlingstar Wed 01-Jul-09 22:25:34

DS1 is 2.5. He's pretty good at colours but am noticing more and more that he almost never gets 'red' right and instead will say 'don't know' or 'green'.

How early can you tell if a toddler is colour blind? Is there a suitable test he could take? And, if he is colour blind, are there any tips for dealing with it?

I'm inclined to think it's not a major issue - unless anyone wants to enlighen me with things to worry about??

(There's no colour blindness that I know of in the family.)

DontCallMeBaby Wed 01-Jul-09 22:38:15

Oddly enough I was just talking to a friend whose nearly 3yo has just been diagnosed as colour blind. She is a GP so may well have access to tests and suchlike ... optician told her they don't bother testing as there's nothing you can do about it. She disagrees as actually they've got rather 'stuck' on colours with their son rather than progressing to shapes and letters as with their daughter. At least now they know he has a physiological issue rather than something developmental, and can skip over colours to some extent.

Things not to worry about - he can't join the armed forces. He also needs to grow up to marry a woman with the guts NOT to let him choose the paint colours for the house, unlike my in-laws. hmm

stirlingstar Thu 02-Jul-09 14:36:29

Bumping to see if anyone else has tips this afternoon.

Interesting to hear about army.

I had a uni friend who was colour blind. He came to show me his great new charity shop jacket purchase one afternoon. He thought it was v trendy black - had to let him down gently that it was actually a v middle-aged bottle green.

bodiddly Thu 02-Jul-09 14:53:51

hi, my ds (4) is colour blind .... not massively as there are degrees of it but he struggles with certain colours. There was a thread on here a few weeks ago about colours and colour blindness .. it may be worth doing a search and seeing if you can find it as an optician/eye person (sorry can't remember the correct term she used) linked to some tests!

BlueberryPancake Thu 02-Jul-09 15:03:07

I would say take him to optician. It's free, and they have tests for color stuff.

stirlingstar Thu 02-Jul-09 22:32:09

Thanks - will try and find the other thread

Jux Thu 02-Jul-09 22:48:46

He can join the armed forces but he can't fly a plane or helicopter.

penona Thu 02-Jul-09 22:56:26

My kids both had squints at birth and got referred to an eye specialist aged about 12 mths, and they did a colour blindness test as part of a general eye health check. At that age (since they can't talk), it is very simple, a mix of red and green spots which if you are not colour blind looks like a shape there, and the idea is the kids focus on the shape if they can see it. But it's very hard to test until you can actually speak and say what you see!! Am guessing your DS is probably old enough for such a test now. Colour blindess is much more common in men than women, but as far as I know has no other ill effects. The richest man I ever met (and worked with) was colour blind - and he was v v wealthy indeed so clearly did him no harm!!! (his wife did pick out his ties and shirts every morning though)

JoesMummy09 Thu 02-Jul-09 23:45:49

My dad's colour blind so there's a 50/50 chance DS is too (too early to tell though).

Train driver and electrian are also unsuitable occupations for colour blind.

Poor old dad is hopeless at picking out clothes and would have dearly loved to have been a pilot in RAF. Luckily he had accountancy to fall back on!

IMO best to find out as early as pos to avoid DS or DD (although I don't think a DD can be colour blind unless Dad is) setting heart on something they can't do. <Remembering scene from Little Miss Sunshine>

pickyvic Fri 03-Jul-09 19:59:58

go to an opticians - they will do the ishihara test.

someone recently came into the optician i work at and said they had heard of contact lenses for colour blindness, ive not personally heard of this though.

i think its best to know early on as some jobs are prohibited.

spiderlight Sun 05-Jul-09 21:52:46

I'm harbouring the same suspicion with my son, who's nearly 2 1/2. He knows all his colours perfectly except for red and green, with which he's about 50/50, and a couple ofo times he's described red objects as 'grey'. We've got a routine opthalmology checkup later this month (family history of lazy eye) so I'll mention it then and see whether they've got an age-appropriate Ishihara test that they can do on him.

MoonchildNo6 Mon 06-Jul-09 17:19:39

Does anyone know the answer? I have the same suspicions about by 22mo but keep being told by friends that it is far too young for him to even know colours but I seem to recall his brother at least knowing red, blue and yellow at this age?

beesonmummyshead Mon 06-Jul-09 19:06:10

dd genetically cannot be colour blind (as she is a girl with a non-colour blind father) but makes exactly the same mistakes as you are all describing. She will nearly always say "red" when she picks up a green brick. If i ask her for any colour she will find it, even purple or orange. But she CANNOT see green!! she also describes it as grey. she will sometimes also have difficulty finding a red brick. I think it is just a developmental stage, perhaps they are difficult colours to learn?

She is otherwise a bright child and recognises her numbers, some letters and shapes, but for some reason we are just stuck with green/red problems

She is 22months by the way.

girlsyearapart Wed 08-Jul-09 09:36:19

Yes dh (and mil) colour blind. Not a major problem. Has stopped him at the last stage of a job interview for British Gas though and he trained to be a plumber when his other friends were training as electricians. Also I lay out the children's clothes the night before if he's in charge- following some interesting colour mixing when left to his own devices! And he has helpfully touched up some scuffed paint in one room with the wrong colour..

ilikesunshine Wed 08-Jul-09 15:52:55

I have heard from a friend who knows a bit about these things (did science degree) that rods and cones in the eye aren't fully developed until children are at least 2.5. This means that although they can distinguish between some colours, others take longer, specifically red and green. This fits with DS1 who always got these 2 colours wrong until he was nearly 3, and also DS2, who gets all his colours right except red and green, which is about 50/50 at the moment - he is 2. HTH and that my friend wasn't talking out of his **se!

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