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#1 of 10 Old 11-14-2011, 03:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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You know you are are One of Those Moms when you start worrying about your little boy being colourblind because he confuses his colours at age two and you think he shouldn't be because he might be gifted - and his maternal grandfather being colourblind of course, which meant he had a 50-50 chance of inheriting it or so i thought. And then start a thread about it:

http://www.mothering.com/community/t/1086310/update-w-dx-when-and-how-to-tell-a-toddler-he-s-colorblind/20

 

You know you are really One of Those Moms when all this time, you just refuse to believe in the Ophtalmology school's diagnosis at age two because he took so much time identifying the shape in the test and you just couldn't believe you were so wrong about this - but until Friday last, according to our reputable university's ophtalmology school, he had normal colour vision.

 

Yeah, right.

 

Recently, he has begun to check all his gummi bear colours with me, still getting green, yellow and orange wrong as often as not. My mom had a good laugh recently when she went for a walk in the woods with my father and DS and unthinkingly said "oh look at the huge flaming red R someone's painted on that tree right ahead!" and both the old and the very young male at her side simultaneously said "where?" and had to be led right up to the tree to see it. We have now all begun to casually let him know after all that he has his grandfather's eyes, and he will sometime check with us about colour stuff saying things like "it's orange that's hard for me, right?" and we say yes that's right, just like grandpa, remember?

 

Only we just didn't get how, while clearly making lots of mistakes, he was still consistently doing much better at telling colours than my father - so how could he have inherited his defect? And if he had, how on earth had he passed the test (my father is genuinely redblind, which is rare, and will consistently and immediately point out exactly the wrong thing on those plates).

 

So when we went for a routine eye checkup last Friday, I asked the doctor (who is some kind of national guru on children's vision, though he is specializing in shortsightedness, not colourvision) to finally bring out the Ishihara plates as I thought DS was finally old enough.

 

DS would bend over the plates until his nose nearly touched them, eventually getting some right, wavering on others. Being able to find some shapes and trace them, drawing a blank on others. The doctor noted all the ones on which he hesitated, then said with a flourish "and now for the real sensitive test!" and whipped out .. a kiddie colouring book, asking DS to identify something green for him. DS, unhesitatingly, pointed to the clown's flaming orange hair. "That settles it", the doctor said knowingly, and proceeded to explain that DS, while not completely colourblind, was clearly colourdeficient, with a marked weakness on the brown-green-yellow spectrum, doing somewhat better with red. Good enough for the police and fire service and for electrical engineering, he thought, not a problem with driving as traffic lights have been adjusted for deficient colour vision, possibly not good enough on red to be an engine driver. (Thank God for DS, while being very interested in the police and fire service and still loving and living trains, wanting to be a control center engineer these days, I hate it when they discuss these things so unthinkingly in front of little boys. DH was crushed when he found out at age 6 that he couldn't be an engine driver because he is colourdeficient too).

 

He also explained that even though it is my father's defect passed on over the X chromosome, DS' colour vision did not have to turn out identical to my father's. Which was totally news for me. In fact, he suggested that as soon as DS is a little older (as you have to focus and cooperate for 15 minutes or so straight) he can take a test with something that is called an anomaloscope and get a precise spectrum of his colour vision which is like a genetic finger print, individual for any person, and which he could later use to prove he has sufficient colour vision for a specific employment as the testing plates just aren't sensitive enough to correctly pick these things up. And the kiddie plates apparently aren't very sensitive at all and will only pick out truly colourblind children which are very rare.

 

And the moral? Trust your instincts, I guess. Just thought it might interest some of you who were around then! 


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#2 of 10 Old 11-15-2011, 06:24 AM
 
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My son is also color deficient. He has the most trouble with greens but is also deficient on reds. We went through quite a bit of testing for it and in the end, they told us that it shouldn't hinder his life in any way. I'm surprised they told you he couldn't do something. My Optho was very adamant that color-deficient people rarely have any special considerations and can go on to do just fine in whatever career they choose and that many times, they will compensate for their site in their own way.

We actually don't say anything to our DS about it. We treat him as if he can see all colors and just gently correct him if he is mistaken in a color ... and he usually does pretty good (Other than matching clothes, lol) ... He's 8 and has straight A's in school. We've never mentioned anything to his teachers either so it doesn't seem to have affected his education at all... other than getting a letter every year informing us that he didn't do so hot on the color vision test that the school performs every year. eyesroll.gif

My grandfather is also color-deficient so that's where our DS gets it from as well. Although, Grandpa has more problems with reds than DS. He just has troubles with closer shades of red... he can't tell greens/browns apart for ANYTHING. He'll see khaki and Forest green as the exact same color. We just giggle a bit when he comes out wearing Camo pants with an Emerald Green shirt believing wholeheartedly that he matches perfectly, lol.

Anyway, glad you trusted your instincts. It's always good to know so we can help them a bit more. wink1.gif

Jeri, Natural lovin' Mama to Elijah (9.29.03), Eden (10.2.06), and a little one lost along the way (1/12)., Step-monster to Shelby (18) and Stephen (16). Celebrating 12 years together with my soul-mate, Eric. Hoping for a rainbow1284.gif someday! 
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#3 of 10 Old 11-15-2011, 07:48 AM
 
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I wish I could remember the name of it but there are those who are more "hue" blind than color blind. My DH is like this. He has no trouble seeing primary colors but some of the blends he has trouble deciphering. He can differentiate a true blue and a true purple but a more bluish purple? Forget it. Sometimes he has trouble between certain browns and olive greens. He doesn't qualify as color blind and it's never been an issue for him but occasionally he'll ask me if things match.


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#4 of 10 Old 11-15-2011, 12:27 PM
 
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Thanks for the update Tigerle.  That's very interesting!


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#5 of 10 Old 11-15-2011, 12:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Attached2Elijah View Post

My son is also color deficient. He has the most trouble with greens but is also deficient on reds. We went through quite a bit of testing for it and in the end, they told us that it shouldn't hinder his life in any way. I'm surprised they told you he couldn't do something. My Optho was very adamant that color-deficient people rarely have any special considerations and can go on to do just fine in whatever career they choose and that many times, they will compensate for their site in their own way.
We actually don't say anything to our DS about it. We treat him as if he can see all colors and just gently correct him if he is mistaken in a color ... and he usually does pretty good (Other than matching clothes, lol) ... He's 8 and has straight A's in school. We've never mentioned anything to his teachers either so it doesn't seem to have affected his education at all... other than getting a letter every year informing us that he didn't do so hot on the color vision test that the school performs every year. eyesroll.gif
My grandfather is also color-deficient so that's where our DS gets it from as well. Although, Grandpa has more problems with reds than DS. He just has troubles with closer shades of red... he can't tell greens/browns apart for ANYTHING. He'll see khaki and Forest green as the exact same color. We just giggle a bit when he comes out wearing Camo pants with an Emerald Green shirt believing wholeheartedly that he matches perfectly, lol.
Anyway, glad you trusted your instincts. It's always good to know so we can help them a bit more. wink1.gif


My DH's maternal grandfather, being colourdeficient, had to settle for being railway mechanic as he wasn't allowed to be an engine driver. Apparently they are still very strict about that where I live. My father is a neurologist - he wanted to be a pathologist but his colour vision was nowhere near good enough for that one - he might kill someone missing discoloured cancerous tissue in a sample. He also thought that he should not have been a dermatologist being unable to see rashes, for instance. Even being a neurologist and running a hospital, having to see whether tissue is reddened occasionally comes up for instance as an indicator for infection (I've been there when I happened to be a patient myself, he'd have to ask a nurse. and of course staff has to be sensitive to point it out on their own). Wires are colour coded so electricians need to be able to identify red. My father could no way no how identify a red wire as opposed to a dark grey or black one. I do not think there is much he can compensate with, except for arranging his wardrobe a bit more carefully than other people, but my mom has to help him arrange it in the first place - he's just always had to rely in others to help him with stuff. Not that it impedes a happy and active life! It 's really mostly matching clothes that is an issue, now that traffic lights are so much better to tell apart. If you read my old thread, a lot of us had stories to tell how to help their colourblind family member! I think it is a lot easier if you are merely colourdeficient as you can compensate with good lighting and taking a little time. Today we played Rummy together and it was very funny to hear my two guys constantly murmuring to themselves "hmm what colour is this...oh this is red...hmmm so this is green...".

I rather want my DS to be aware of his deficiency. I started that thread in the first place because DS appeared to be really confused about getting some colours consistently wrong while doing so well on others (it came up a lot playing those preschooler board games) and I felt I needed to explain to him that it was okay and not his fault. He is a perfectionist and gets upset easily. I also let his teachers know we suspected this so they wouldn't shame him or try to drill him for getting things wrong. And I keep up a running commentary on the colours when we play games where he has to tell apart orange and green, he's got no chance on those - just the way I used to keep up a running commentary on traffic lights when I used to drive with my father!


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#6 of 10 Old 11-15-2011, 12:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whatsnextmom View Post

I wish I could remember the name of it but there are those who are more "hue" blind than color blind. My DH is like this. He has no trouble seeing primary colors but some of the blends he has trouble deciphering. He can differentiate a true blue and a true purple but a more bluish purple? Forget it. Sometimes he has trouble between certain browns and olive greens. He doesn't qualify as color blind and it's never been an issue for him but occasionally he'll ask me if things match.



I imagine that it is a kind of colour deficiency as opposed to colour blindness, too - I am beginning to gather now that it is really a spectrum, with people like my father at the farthest end, and some people's spectrum, like your DH's, just slightly skewed, and that there isn't really such a clear delineation beween "colour blind" and "red blind" and "green blind" as I thought and as some websites have led me to believe. It's almost a philosophical question isn't it - who is "right" in their perception of colour? And do you and I see colours exactly the same way?

 


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#7 of 10 Old 11-16-2011, 03:47 AM
 
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My DH's maternal grandfather, being colourdeficient, had to settle for being railway mechanic as he wasn't allowed to be an engine driver. Apparently they are still very strict about that where I live. My father is a neurologist - he wanted to be a pathologist but his colour vision was nowhere near good enough for that one - he might kill someone missing discoloured cancerous tissue in a sample. He also thought that he should not have been a dermatologist being unable to see rashes, for instance. Even being a neurologist and running a hospital, having to see whether tissue is reddened occasionally comes up for instance as an indicator for infection (I've been there when I happened to be a patient myself, he'd have to ask a nurse. and of course staff has to be sensitive to point it out on their own). Wires are colour coded so electricians need to be able to identify red. My father could no way no how identify a red wire as opposed to a dark grey or black one. I do not think there is much he can compensate with, except for arranging his wardrobe a bit more carefully than other people, but my mom has to help him arrange it in the first place - he's just always had to rely in others to help him with stuff. Not that it impedes a happy and active life! It 's really mostly matching clothes that is an issue, now that traffic lights are so much better to tell apart. If you read my old thread, a lot of us had stories to tell how to help their colourblind family member! I think it is a lot easier if you are merely colourdeficient as you can compensate with good lighting and taking a little time. Today we played Rummy together and it was very funny to hear my two guys constantly murmuring to themselves "hmm what colour is this...oh this is red...hmmm so this is green...".
I rather want my DS to be aware of his deficiency. I started that thread in the first place because DS appeared to be really confused about getting some colours consistently wrong while doing so well on others (it came up a lot playing those preschooler board games) and I felt I needed to explain to him that it was okay and not his fault. He is a perfectionist and gets upset easily. I also let his teachers know we suspected this so they wouldn't shame him or try to drill him for getting things wrong. And I keep up a running commentary on the colours when we play games where he has to tell apart orange and green, he's got no chance on those - just the way I used to keep up a running commentary on traffic lights when I used to drive with my father!

I wasn't disagreeing with you at all. I know it's very much of a spectrum and some are much worse than others. I was just stating our experience with it. I don't think my son's is quite as dramatic as it sounds your family member's is. I haven't really looked into the ways it might hinder DS because of what our Optho had told us but what you are saying does make sense... I guess there would be options that would be limited, despite what he says. He made it into a no-big-deal situation so I followed suit. I'm wondering if maybe I should make DS more aware. I just don't want him to think that he *SHOULD* be limited because of it. His teachers have never even recognized that he is color-deficient as he never has trouble at school and are always surprised when I tell them... so I'm not sure what action to take.

Jeri, Natural lovin' Mama to Elijah (9.29.03), Eden (10.2.06), and a little one lost along the way (1/12)., Step-monster to Shelby (18) and Stephen (16). Celebrating 12 years together with my soul-mate, Eric. Hoping for a rainbow1284.gif someday! 
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#8 of 10 Old 11-16-2011, 08:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Well if his school routinely does colour vision testing with the kids they must be perfectly aware that he has a slight deficiency, and if it has never come up so far, not even in arts class, it must really be a slight deficiency. So it all comes down to sartorial choice and if he is like my DH, he'll end up wearing nothing but black pants, coats, shoes and socks with black, blue, grey and the occasional burgundy (daring, I know!) shirt or sweater anyway!  

Of course I am coming from a different place, with my father telling the story how he was beaten in school by the teacher because he kept underlining the verbs and nouns with the wrong colours and the teacher thought he was just messing! After they found out that he was colour blind the teacher told the other kids in class to help him and the kids thought it was a hoot to pass him the wrong crayons all the time. At least he wasn't the one to get in trouble anymore. My father laughs talking about it now, but I'm sure he wasn't laughing then. I am actually very glad my child's deficiency isn't as bad, not only because he will not be very limited with what he will be doing professionally (as my father clearly was) but also as he is showing such a talent for drawing and appears to be enroute to be as talented a amateur artist as my DH.


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#9 of 10 Old 11-16-2011, 08:32 AM
 
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Thanks for the update Tigerle.

15yo ds is colorblind and, as commented on in the older thread linked above, I chuckled about ds picking tomatoes. My father sent ds out to the garden to pick the red tomatoes and ds had more green in the bucket than red. My father just slapped his hand to his forehead and shook his head at his own silliness. :-)

Happy to hear things are getting sorted out.

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#10 of 10 Old 11-17-2011, 05:52 AM
 
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Well, it's not the teacher's that do the tests and they actually have no idea of the results. It's also usually at the end of the year so they go pretty much all year without knowing, but yeah, I do think his is pretty slight as I didn't even realize it myself until it was pointed out by the school in kindergarten and then had him tested with our Opthomologist -- and the only reason he went there was because of DD's Strabismus surgery.

I can imagine how much more aware you would be of it because of that... That's sad greensad.gif My Grandpa told me he never had any issues other than matching clothes and sometimes in his job, he would have trouble with certain building aspects (He was a pipefitter) but that it was always easy enough to ask someone else for help. It's kind of interesting to see how varied the degrees of color-deficiency can be. I guess I didn't realize it was so wide of a spectrum before.

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