Does Your Child See What You See?
Joey Knight was puzzled. What did his parents mean by his color? Green shirt, red shirt, brown shirt, gray shirt. Hey? They all looked more or less the same. He thought his parents were smarter than him.
Approximately 1:12 men and 1: 200 women have some degree of color vision deficiency or color blindness.
Preschool books, puzzles, games, and other toys are bright enough in color that most children can distinguish colors, although they may not look the same to the child with CVD as they do to most people. However, two percent of the male population (and a rare female) cannot see red or green at all, and they also confuse other colors. These children may not easily pick up on preschool games that are based on color. They may also be reluctant to play with puzzles that depend on both color and shape. They may not be as enthralled with crayons as most children. They would prefer to draw with a thick pencil. They may not see optical illusions that are easy for other children to see. These children who are severely affected by CVD see all reds, oranges, yellows, and greens as one color and all blues, purples, and purples as another red green colorblind test.
Children who are mildly or moderately affected by CVD may have difficulty combining light shades of colors, especially red (or pink) and green. They often mistake these colors for other colors, such as gray or tan. Those who see red slightly confuse blue and purple because they do not recognize red with purple.
From everyday conversations, children learn that “the grass is green,” “the sky is blue,” and so on. To help children with CVD learn the names of colors (but they do not always recognize the color itself), parents can label objects in their homes, such as a picture. from a “bear” for a brown sofa or a “fire truck” for red curtains, or a “sun” for a yellow wall (although most children with CVD recognize yellow). Parents can also teach their children the first letter of color names printed on crayons so that children can more easily identify them. They can also encourage early childhood teachers to reinforce this teaching-learning process in the classroom.
It is important, for children with and without CVD, not to point out “mistakes” or reprimand children for not naming colors “correctly”. Some children, and adults, just don’t see as many colors as other people. Also, parents are better off saying “I like that green shirt” rather than asking red green color blind test “What color is your shirt?”
A mother of a preschool-aged child who had moderate cardiovascular disease said that her husband had been extremely frustrated with her son because she had tried to teach the boy the names of colors. It is not surprising that the child could not learn the names of the colors. Some colors, especially the lighter shades, seemed identical to him.
Another mother with a son with CVD said that she thought her son had a language problem. “I thought you didn’t understand the words,” she said, when she couldn’t make out the names of the colors.
CVD is known as a sex-linked recessive disorder. It is carried on the X chromosome. A man has one X and Y chromosome, and a woman has two X chromosomes. When a man inherits an affected X, he will have CVD because, unlike a woman, he does not have an unaffected X for master the affected X. Because a man always passes the Y chromosome from him to his children, he does not transmit CVD to his children; however, he passes the X from him to his daughters, who are then “carriers.” Typically, a carrier does not show CVD symptoms, but she has a 50 percent chance of transmitting affected X to each of her children. Females that inherit X will be, like their mothers, carriers; males who inherit affected X, as well as their maternal grandparents, will have CVD.
If you have any concerns about your child’s color vision, see an eye doctor. Specialists usually have color vision tests for preschool-age children. Your local school nurse can usually assess children up to four years old easily and quickly using special books that use the person’s confusion of red and green with gray.
Best of all, a child does not need to realize that she “failed” the test. He can just tell you how well she did. Parents can talk to the examiner beforehand to make sure this happens. “Your eyes are fine. You just don’t see as many colors as most people,” is one explanation. The child can be told that he is like her grandfather (maternal) or perhaps like an uncle (maternal).