How to test your child for color blindness

Color blindness affects 8% of the people.  Hence it is not surprising to find out that your child might have this problem as well. If you think your child is not performing well due to color blindness, read on to find out the different types of color blindness, how they can be tested and how do you cope with this issue as a parent.

test your child for color blindness

Types of color blindness

The first test a parent needs to do is to ascertain the type of color blindness your child is suffering from. Not all cases of color blindness need medical attention.

Case 1: Minor defects

There are 2 cases of minor color blindless:

  • Deuteranomaly: Can’t discriminate red, orange and green very well. Thus most items appear to be more red than it really is.
  • Protanomaly: can’t discriminate red very well.  The most common error for a protanomalous child is not being able to see the redness in violet and may mistaken them as blue.

People suffering from Deuteranomaly and Protanomaly can deal with their daily activities without much trouble. A protanomalous individual might have mistaken red from amber traffic lights but there is not much they can’t do by themselves. If your child falls into this case, they probably will do fine.

Case 2: Major defects

Similar to case 1, there are two types of major defects for case 2.

  • Protanopia: Kids suffering from this can’t tell the difference between red, orange and yellow hue.  It can be so serious that red colors can be seen as grey or black, thus making all traffic lights look like non working. They are also not able to sell lavendar, violet and purple colors. The only colors that they can discriminate are red, yellow and green based on their brightness and not because they can actually see the color differentiation.
  • Deuteranopia:  This is similar to the above except that kids will not be able to discriminate even the brightness between color hues. This means they can tell the difference between red, yellow and green.

Children suffering from any of these 2 defects will need help to cope with their daily activities.  We will cover more this in the later section of this article.

Color blindness test

Now that you know the different types of color blindness, it is time to know how to tell if your child has color blindness.  In this section, we will tell you how is a person diagnosed with color blindness.

There are basically 2 types of test that a parent can used:

  • Color blindness dot test: This is a common type of test an individual looks at colored dots and try to find a hidden letter or number with the colored dots.  You used to go to a doctor for these types of test but now you can do it with a color blindness app on the iOS or android.
  • Color blindness chip test: This test asked the individual to arrange colored chips according to their colors.

A parent can use any of the test to have a sense of whether your child has color blindness and how serious is the condition. This will determine whether you need to seek out any medical attention for him or her.


How color blindness can affect learning

Color blindness, although not a life threatening defect, is something that could potentially affect your child academic performance. A common problem is not being able to answer questions that are color related such as “what is the size of the red ball compared to the blue one?”.  If a parent is unable of the color blindness issue, he or she might misinterpret his or her’s child inability to solve such problems as a learning problem, when it is actually a medical problem.


Teaching a child with color blindness

If you know your children suffer from color blindness, here is a list of things a parent can do to help them overcome the learning challenge.

  • Let your child understand about color blindness
  • Use black and white in all your teaching materials
  • Let the teachers of the child know that he or she has color blindness
  • Request teachers prepare lesson handouts in black and white
  • Request teachers to avoid using color coding in tests and exercises



If your child has color blindness, you don’t need to worry yourself too much. It is a condition that can be easily overcome with an open communication with your child and attention to the activities that he or she might have problem with.


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