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Advice for Parents - “The Talk” With Your Colorblind Child

Most parents of color-blind children don’t know that they have a colorblind child and in most cases, the child won’t realize it either. If your child gets a positive diagnosis on the colorblind test, it can come as a shock to everyone.


My son was recently diagnosed with color vision deficiency. How should I explain it?


Children normally won’t understand that something like not seeing colors can be a problem, so as a parent, it’s your job to support your child and present color blindness in a good light. You can share with your child how he is different from others and that it’s a good thing; he has a unique vision.


colorblind children - colorblind students

Many recent research studies have shown that ‘color blindness’ has a deep effect on a child's psychology, if not treated well. It affects a child's confidence, and self-esteem and the thought of ‘being different” can lead to a child’s behavioral issues like the feeling of embarrassment and social withdrawal.


Often parents mistakenly think that if their child finds out he is colorblind, he will be very upset about the news or might not take it well. Any child counselor can tell you that it’s all about ‘sharing” the news. It’s how you say it or present it to your kid.


Children tend to mirror everything we do, including our emotions and emotional reactions. If you look sad or feel unwell the moment you’ve got the news, give it a few minutes before you decide to talk with your child. You must let go of any negative feelings before sharing the news because it will change the way you explain to your son what color blindness is.


Note: Regardless of what you say to your child with a smile on your face (if your eyes look sad or you feel like it is heavy news to share) your child will be able to recognize your emotional state, and in his mind, it will be a negative thing, after all, to be color blind.

If you wonder, will your child face some challenges being color blind, yes he will. Nevertheless, it's all about ‘what you can do to make his life either a wonderland or a misery.


colorblind children

5 Actions to Help Your Child overcome any Color Related Challenges:


1. The first thing to do is: find out what type of color blindness your child has, so you can understand what colors he can see and which ones he cannot.


2. Inform the school/kindergarten teachers, so they can adjust the markers and color materials they use in the classroom, to make sure your child doesn't miss any information. Inform his teachers what colors your child cannot tell apart from other colors; such as red and green. Audit worksheets, textbooks, websites, and other resources and equipment for potential problems. e.g. training bibs.


3. Your child will use inappropriate colors in drawing or painting e.g. purple leaves on trees, brown grass, red cat. He can feel reluctant to play matching games and has a low attention span when it comes to coloring in homework sheets. So what you can do is label pencil crayons. Also look for ways to add extra information e.g. for pieces in a matching game, to help children who can already read, you can write out color names or use capital letters; for younger children, you could use a symbol such as a frog for ‘green’ or a banana for ‘yellow’.


4. Help your child with simple daily tasks at home that they can find challenging:


  • Choosing matching clothes/socks.

  • Some food may portray an unappetizing look due to the colors your child sees (so your child might seem like a fussy eater)

  • Help your child with any color-related projects (e.g. painting, craft, science projects), so he doesn't feel embarrassed at school.

  • Whenever he is doing any work, make sure he sits in good natural light (but avoid bright sunlight)


color names label for colorblind people

5. If your child is above 7 years old feel happy to explain about CVD and ask their friends for help when needed.


Regularly ask your child, out of earshot of other students, if they are experiencing difficulties that may be related to their condition – encourage them to voice any concerns

A FREE GUIDE TO COLOR VISION DEFICIENCY

CHILDREN/PARENTS


Learn more about color blindness (CVD)


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