Often, parents find out their child is ‘colour blind’ when they begin school. Some parents might worry their child will be disadvantaged as the years go on. But often as it is an inherited condition family support and knowledge can be helpful.
At iRo Lenses we believe the term “colour blind” is misleading because it has little to do with blindness. It is actually referred to as ‘colour deficient’ because it most often impacts the way people see selected colours.
In Australia, as many as eight per cent of males and 0.5 per cent of females are known to be ‘colour blind’. As it is inherited and there is a stronger leaning towards men being colour deficient a father can’t pass his red-green colour blindness on to his sons. But if a woman is red-green colour blind, all her sons will also be colour blind. Click here to our previous Blog
Often a parent knows or suspects their child is colour vision deficient. Seeing how their child uses colours in drawing, or if they occasionally pass a different coloured object to their parent from the one they were meant to. As a child gets older they may have odd choices in clothes, beyond the scope of “expressing themselves”.
Children aged 2-6 years may not know exact colour names, to them colour is a concept rather than an object, and most objects can be described with different colours. For example, if a parent says there’s a red car, no matter what the child actually sees that is perceived to them as red – so that can mask colour deficiency.
It is when they come to drawing may truly show if they paint the sky purple, or grass brown can be signs that a colour deficiency is present.
To support children with colour vision deficiency, it helps if there is an awareness and understanding of the red-green congenital colour deficiencies as mostly those affected are not truly ‘colour blind’ and can see some colours.
It often is the little things like labelling boxes rather than relying on colours, asking children to let the teacher know if they have any difficulty in understanding any tasks where colour is used to differentiate points, and even using contrast differences rather than relying on colour alone. Other simple things like avoiding red writing on a dark background, using graphs with horizontal and vertical stripes as well as colour, and ensuring maths programs or any other computer-aided learning program does not involve a lot of colour interpretation. Luckily today many online programs have colour vision modes. You just may need to investigate if this is an option.
While each state in Australia has a vision testing program for primary school children, colour vision is not tested. But people can take their child to an optometrist for a test and there is the online tests here on our website you can do at home and then you can also purchase a colour vision testing kit before seeing an iRo Lens qualified Optometrist.