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should I be concerned about colorblindness?

576 Views 13 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  nikisager
Hi all,
I am starting to get concerned about my 3yo's identification of yellow and blue. He consistently calls yellow things "blue" and blue things "yellow." My dh and I have both noticed this happening again and again. Otherwise, he is a very bright little fellow and has no trouble with other colors.

Any experience with this or something similar? I know some colorblindness affects only certain colors. What do you think/suggest?
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I think colorblindness is not being able to see the difference between red and green so he must just have the names mixed up. He'll sort it out with some discrete parental observations like "Oh look at the yellow flowers" or "the sky sure is blue, today". I don't think it is a good idea to directly correct young kids about such things. It could squelch their self-assuredness which is a precious thing.

FWIW, my niece, who is certainly bright, didn't really learn her colors until she was almost four.
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Yea my guess is hes just mixing up the colors. He'll get it

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there are a number of kinds of color blindness, red/green is just the most common. There is also a kind that is total black/white.

Many kinds run in the family in an x-chromosome linked pattern. Is your dad color blind? Your maternal grandfather or any of your mother's brothers?
My older kids knew their colors well before they were two years old. So, when my youngest child hit three and only seemed to know orange, I stopped worrying and decided he must be colorblind. It wasn't a great stretch; both of his grandfathers are seriously colorblind. Oh well, I thought. Then, suddenly, months and months later, I realized he knew *all* his colors. He just needed more time and then *boom* he had it all at once. Either way, though, I had already decided would be fine. I just stopped worrying or trying to dissect what was going on.


Originally Posted by Ravin
There is also a kind that is total black/white.
There would be other symptoms like light sensitivity, squinting, rapid blinking, not being able to see much at all unless the lights are dim and there is a lot of contrast.
He might need more time, he is still young but I won't put it completely out of my mind.

There is something called blue-yellow color blindness.
That was interesting reading - the first time I've ever seen a description of dh's colourblindness. He's the only person I've ever known who has the kind of colour vision that he has.

OP: It's possible that your ds is colour-blind. But, honestly, that sounds like typical mixing up of labels to me. For example, dd insists that lettuce is salad. She didn't quite get it sorted out right at first, and maintains that the name for the green is "salad". We can't convince her otherwise, so we just continue to use the correct word at the appropriate time, and wait for her to figure it out. Your ds may be doing the same thing - just scrambling the labels.
My dad is color blind (totally red/green color blind -- he sees them all as a murky brown/grey) which means that each of my boys has a 50% chance of inheriting it from me (I am not color blind but carry the gene.) There are different degrees of color blindness. My oldest ds has been diagnosed as "color blind" though he can see the primary shades. He can see red and he can see green, but as you get into the different shades, he can't tell them. It was diagnosed at a school eye exam and I was a bit surprised because he had passed the really basic test they gave him at the opthomologist. Strange, huh. The test they gave him at school and then the next time I took him to the pediatrician was much more comprehensive as far as colorblindness goes.

We also suspect that my second ds may also be color blind to a point, but at his last pediatrician exam they couldn't be sure if he was, or if he didn't know all the numbers used in the test.

It hasn't been a problem for my oldest son at all. He never told us colors incorrectly and new them all by the time he turned two. It hasn't affected him at all.

The only way it affected my dad was that he sometimes needed help making sure his clothes matched (he used to ask if the "grays" he had chosen went together), and he owned a hair salon but didn't do any coloring -- after all, who wants a color blind colorist.

My guess is that since your dc calls blue yellow, and vice versa consistenly, she is just mixing up the names. If she were to call shades of blue, blue sometimes and yellow sometimes then it sounds more like a degree of color blindness, but if she is using the same word for the same color each time, it's more likely that she is seeing the color the same, but has just assigned a different name to that color.
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Moved to The Childhood Years...
There is a type of yellow/grey color blindness (but that might be being able to only see in shades of yellow and grey not a confusion between them)

There are online tests you can do. has ones where you can ask him to find different shapes.

I don't think you need to worry, but he might find it fun to look for the shapes and that'll give you some reassurance.

Thanks for the link to the ArtLex site, it's reassuring to know that colorblindness passes through the mother's line, that means our future children probably won't be colorblind like dh. Not that it would be a real problem, it's just nice to not have to worry about it.
When your child gets his eyes examined by a pediatric opthamologist (NOT the screening at the pediatrician's) they'll check for colour blindness. We did our first visits at two because of a family history or nearsightedness, and each year thereafter.
My DCs have both done this and now they both know their colors VERY well. For a while, blue and yellow were commonly confused. They've each grown out of it and now they have no problems identifying their colors. I was watchful because DH is red/green colorblind. I think it is just a stage they go through, some connection wasn't quite made properly, but in my experience they grow out of it!
My 12 yo ds is colorblind, has never effected him tho, I didnt even know it till kindergarten because he learned alot of shadow colors that he thought was what they were, kwim? My dh said it wont effect him in life unless he goes in the army, he would only be allowed to be a cook... but I dont see that happening. It doesnt affect his learning ability at all, but people look at him kinda funny when he refers to our van as green, its very purple, I just have to remind him sometimes... kwim?

sorry, nak
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