The earlier a diagnosis of colorblindness comes, the easier life in general is going to be for your little one. One of my friends wasn’t diagnosed until he was a teenager. I hate to think of the educational and daily obstacles he had to face with that undetected disability!
If you suspect your child is struggling with color identification issues, you will want to confirm the diagnosis with an eye care professional. However, before running to the doctor there are some unmistakable clues you can watch for. Males with a history of colorblindness on the maternal side of the family are at highest risk. Here are some other indicators:
1. He has a hard time seeing outdoor animals in the grass or trees if the animal is not moving. Someone who is red-green colorblind sees most reds and greens as shades of brown. If the brown bunny in your green yard is not moving, your son will probably not be able to see it. My colorblind sons conspired together to pretend they could see an animal through the window when someone pointed it out just to keep the peace.
2. He dislikes coloring and will most often choose another activity. The indicator here is when he confuses skin tones and hair colors with greens in grasses and trees. He may prefer to draw with a standard pencil rather than crayons, and do an above-average job with monochrome shading and details. If he is old enough to read, he will check the printed color name on crayons or colored pencils before choosing one.
3. He has difficulty with puzzles, electronic games, flashcards, maps, or anything where the colors are all the same tone, either subdued or bright. He will have a definite dislike of Candy Crush, Flo, or any brain game which relies on colors for sorting. You have to watch carefully for this, as colorblind children quickly learn coping skills in order to fit in when others are seeing something they can’t.
4. He regularly confuses blue and purple. Purple is a combination of red and blue, so when you can’t see the red in the mix, all you see is blue. My colorblind cousin still carries a chip on his shoulder about his mom letting him choose purple sheets for his college dorm (“Barney purple”). His mom defends the decision, saying she liked the sheets and thought they were cool and edgy. He spent most of his dorm years thinking his sheets were a deep blue.
5. The best clue that your child is colorblind? Someone who is colorblind tells you they think your child is as well. No one knows what they see like they do. And if it runs in your family, your colorblind relatives are probably watching for it.
Traci Matt is the author of two best-selling homeschooling books and wedding devotionals available at Amazon.
12 thoughts on “Five signs your child is red-green colorblind”
Thank you for this. I honestly have not considered to even look for these signs. My Father was color blind. It never seemed to be something we thought about or discussed. “Daddy just saw the world differently.” I can not say 1oo% that my youngest is not color blind, but my oldest has no issues with color. It is something I will now be on the look out for. Thanks for the awareness.
So glad to bring this to your attention, Diedre. With your family history it’s definitely something to watch for. The inability to tell blue from purple is a sure sign there’s an issue.
Thank you for this! We have known that my 4 year old has had trouble with reds/greens for a while now, but the purple never made sense until now! He ALWAYS calls purple blue!
Kelsey, you have no idea how glad I am that this helped you! When my sons were diagnosed there was nothing out there to help me understand their struggles. I’m also glad that you have a diagnosis so you can better help him as he starts schooling. Please email me if you have any other concerns (mommamatt3 at gmail dot com).
You’re welcome! Glad to help.
Love this! My husband (who currently designs, using colors on a daily bases) has this, he was never diagnosed in school it was really bad for him. He didn’t figure it out until he was older. I had both my children tested at an eye doctor along with the regular test. This is such a great way to watch for it being the in the children. Another thing is to make them realize it is nothing that makes them “stupid”, as they will often feel that way because most feel colors should be “easy”.
It is incredible how long some people go with no diagnosis, but it sure gives artists a unique view of the world!
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Great post thank yyou