Unless there is a direct link to the parent, the symptoms of a colour vision deficit (CVD) are often so mild that some children do not know they are colour blind. Parents may find signs of colour blindness when children are learning their colours. However, it can be missed because it is not just our eyes that see – it’s our brains.
We say we see different colours because of how our brains learn to link the signals they get from the eyes with the names of different colours. When a child points at a ball and the father asks, “would you like to play with that green ball?”, the child learns to associate the colour they are seeing with the word “green”, and will soon call things of a similar colour “green” as well.
So it is all about the phrasing and rephrasing parent’s words which also help children learn colours as well. Find out if they can see colours is the first step – think about this – ask Johnny not to pop “the red balloon,” but if you want him matching colours, rephrase with, “find the red balloon and pop it.”
It is important that children are diagnosed early as it can affect their schooling and create a stigma which can stay with them for the rest of their lives. Parents of colour blind children need to be able to assist their children with normal colour perception but let the children in their own way re-program their brain from the perceived colours to normal colours. Then help them develop a colour sense of humour!
Did you know that colour blind pre-school children may be turned off some fo because, as one child said, “It looked like Cow–Poo?”
Colour Blindness Signs and Symptoms
The signs that your child may be colour blind include:
– Difficulties recognising and identifying different colours beyond the age of around four years
– The inability to separate things by their colour.
If a lot of tasks at school are colour coded, children with colour vision problems may develop learning difficulties. It is often recommended that all children, especially boys, have a routine colour vision test while in the early years of school.
Colour Vision Testing in Children
Colour vision testing can be done by our own ophthalmologists (eye specialists) and Australian optometrists (who are listed by state on the Practitioner page of this website) by using specially designed charts. Some school health services will also be able to test children’s colour vision.
If a colour vision deficiency is found, further testing might be needed to tell exactly what the nature of the deficiency is, as this will affect whether the person will be able to do certain jobs or be able to get certain types of driving licences. However, Colour Vision Optical iRo Lenses can help with approx. 95% of all colour vision deficiencies including Protan Deutan Colour Blindness.
Remember – Any child who is found to be colour blind should be told that colour blindness is not a disease.