Last night I had inkling that my daughter might be color blind. I know she is only two and that she still does not know her colors well and that I am worried over nothing really. But you never know… I again, hit the Internet to find out if there were some tests that one could do online to check whether or not their child was color blind.
First let me explain what color blindness is. Many people assume that colorblindness is a condition where the person only sees shades of black, white and gray. However, this is just in extreme cases and most people who are colorblind have difficulty seeing the different shades of green and red which makes “stopping and going” at traffic lights a bit frustrating.
So what causes it?
Our eyes see when light stimulates our retina which is made up of rods and cones. The rods give us our night vision but cannot distinguish color, which is why at night we can see shades of black and white but never color. The cones, on the other hand, are not used at night but perceive color during daylight.
Now this next part is a bit confusing so bear with me while I try to type the information and make sense of it myself while I do so…. LOL… so the cones contain a light sensitive pigment which is sensitive over a range of wavelengths. Our genes contain a coding instruction for each of these pigments and if these instructions are wrong then the wrong pigment will be produced which then means that the cones will be sensitive to different wavelengths of light which results in ‘color deficiency’.
Think of it as a paint mixing factory… if you had loads of paint and each shade of paint had instructions to go with it then it would be easy for the machines to produce the same shade of paint over and over again and you would be able to paint several pictures that are all the same… However, if the instructions were wrong then the machine would never be able to produce the same shade of paint and your picture would be different and lacking color.
Studies show that one out of twelve men and one out of two hundred women are colorblind. No wonder women have more taste than men! LOL
Anyway… there are some tests that you could do with your child to check whether or not they are colorblind.
This below test is easy to do and you can do it with your child so long as s/he knows their colors and can count from 1 – 10:
This test you can do with children 3-6 years old:
Colorblindness and School
Our educational system expects our children to know their colors and the teacher uses colors throughout instruction which makes it difficult for students with colorblindness to cope and not be poked fun of. Therefore, it is important for teachers and parents to understand what can be done to help those children in their learning.
Among the colors most often confused are pink/gray, orange/red, white/green, green/brown, blue green/gray, green/yellow, brown/maroon, and beige/green. Pastels are difficult to distinguish.
If you are a teacher this is how you can help and if you are a parents then this is what you can ask your child’s teacher to do:
1. Label a picture with words or symbols if the task at hand demands the child to recognize the colors.
2. Label the coloring tools such as pencils, crayons or paint, with the name of the color.
3. Use black markers on a whiteboard to increase the contrast factor.
4. Photocopy parts of the textbooks or instructions that use color in their texts.
5. Buddy the student with another to help ‘colorblind’ students with assignments that require them to recognize color.
6. Build awareness of colorblindness in the classroom.
7. Teach color deficient student the color of common objects and items around him/her.
Do not stress about your child being colorblind… it is just something unique about him/her and so cool to talk about with other children.