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Could my 2 year old be colourblind?

12 replies

Fionn · 29/07/2002 22:17

Ds, just turned 2, keeps getting his colours mixed up, particularly green/red and green/blue. I really can't remember when they learn colours, but he recognises all numbers up to 20 and some letters too so I don't think he's a slow learner. It's not a big issue even if he is, but I'm just curious as both my maternal grandfather and my brother are colourblind, and I've heard it's passed through the female but tends to affect males. I don't know whether to correct him or not when he says the wrong colour if that's what he sees. Can anyone help?

OP posts:
janh · 29/07/2002 22:41

Fionn, I have a friend whose father and elder son are both severely colour blind; from what she says they see much of the world as shades of brown. (Doesn't cause them too much practical difficulty though.) With your family history it seems quite likely.

Had you thought about taking him to the optician? They have special pictures to detect colour blindness - he may be a little young for them yet but it would be a good place to start. Or else ask your GP for a referral to a paediatric specialist. There may not be a problem but you need to know!

pupuce · 30/07/2002 12:35

Fionn - DS was exactly like that.... I wouldn't worry just yet. He now get his colours right and he is 2 1/2 (I did worry too!)
I did correct him but I tried not to test him too often. Hope this helps !

Harrysmum · 30/07/2002 12:52

Ds was referred for a potential squint at less than a year. Given that it's quite hard to test a baby's vision at that age they use similar tests to the Rorschach tests used in colour blindness; essentially if he couldn't see the picture in the spots (if he saw something he would be distracted by it, do a double take, they were looking for any kind of recognition that a picture was there) then he would have a squint. I guess they should be able to do the same thing if you stay concerned but he's only 2; doesn't it take much longer for wee ones to get their colours right?

Azzie · 30/07/2002 13:11

Fionn, he might be (with the family history), but he might not be. My dd is 2.75yo, and has only started to get her colours consistently right over the last couple of months (I was starting to wonder about her, as she was otherwise fairly advanced). So it's still young for him.

Fionn · 30/07/2002 19:52

Many thanks for all your comments. Sounds like it's too early to tell so I'll see how it goes over next year or so.

OP posts:
IDismyname · 30/07/2002 22:10

My 4 y.old ds is still getting orange and green muddled up; he's known all his other colours for ages, and my dad is colour blind, so it might have been passed on through me.

Get a tube of smarties or opal fruits, and ask them to pick out different colours. That's how I originally detected that we might have a problem.

I just really pity him when it comes to art lessons, and the grass is orange.... Poor thing!

mollipops · 31/07/2002 09:40

Fionn, most children can't consistently identify colours by name until age 3 or 4. If he is still mixing up colours by age 4 I would get him tested. About 7% of boys have colour-blindness and it is passed from mother to son as you say, so it follows that your mother is a carrier since your brother has it, as was your maternal great-grandmother! It would depend if you got the "carrier" gene from your mother I guess, but your son is still too young to tell. It wouldn't affect the clarity of his vision, an dit does not have any correlation with learning difficulties or low intelligence, so try not to worry about it too much. The severe colour blindness that janh describes is very rare. It is usually simply a difficulty distinguishing between green and red, sometimes blue as well. Those who have it mildly have no trouble at all in normal light and only have difficulty in dim light.

Maybe you could try showing him a pile of blocks and asking him which ones are the same, rather than using names? Then you would know if he is mixing up red and green if he sorts them together. But try not to worry about it too much for now - just enjoy him!

janh · 31/07/2002 11:44

Sorry, didn't mean to be scary about the degree of colour-blindness, it was the relationship thing I was thinking more about; and I thought that if he actually is colour-blind a professional might be able to advise Fionn on how to deal with colour labelling etc.

fms, how do you handle the orange-green confusion with your ds? Do you try telling him which is orange and which is green or doesn't it help?

Fionn · 31/07/2002 18:16

Mollipops - I didn't know that the average age for children getting colours right is 3 or 4. My other child knew his primary colours and a couple more by 2 (as did most of his friends, who were however much later in recognising letters and numbers so I presumed that colour recognition was a comparatively early skill), so I assumed that was average, even though I'm very aware of not comapring my children with each other!
I'm not worried about it at all, just curious. Ds is so good with numbers, mainly learned through Thomas books and trains, that I thought they'd be a good vehicle for teaching colours as well. It's good advice not to "test" too often Pupuce, I'll remember that. Just didn't want people to think I routinely examine my kids on what they know, I just play with them and do enjoy them!

OP posts:
IDismyname · 31/07/2002 19:41

Having talked to my father about colour recognition, he says that when he looks at say, red, he sees another colour instead - a browny colour he calls it.
Because it's only 2 colours that ds gets muddled up with, about 50% of the time he gets them the right way round, and I wonder if he's not colour blind at all!
I guess only time will tell

Saramel · 30/04/2003 11:35

My son, aged 2 1/2, has learned numbers, words, shapes and speaks more like an adult than my teenagers; all of this by osmosis rather than teaching. However, he still has major difficulty with red, green and blue. My health visitor sent me to an optician to see if they could test him but although he may be able to do their tests, we all know kids who can stack bricks until they get to their development tests! I don't want him wrongly labelled if it is just a case of time.

I notice your original message is nearly a year old and wonder has your son become more able to differentiate colours?

eefs · 30/04/2003 12:04

just saw this thread, I cannot do links yet (i intend to learn, any teachers out there?), try these two sites with your son to see if you think he could have a problem.

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