45 answers

Color Blind

Dose any know how to tell if your 3 yrs old is color blind? I have a 3 1/2 yrs old little girl and me and my mother have been trying to teach her color but all she say is every thing is blue.

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Color blindness in girls is RARE. I would stop asking her what color things are and start saying, "Look at the RED fire truck." Look at the GREEN grass.. YELLOW sun.. then after awhile, follow a look at the _ with can you find something else that is __.

You can mix colors too. One fun (and relatively unmessy way to do it) is to spray white shaving foam in a bag and add a couple of drops of paint or food coloring - then seal and smush. My son learned his colors and predicting mixes this way.


1 mom found this helpful

I agree with Nikki who suggested doing matching activities instead. There are products like sorting bears, in which you put all the yellow bears in the yellow cup, green in the green cup, etc. They're pretty fun!

Women are not color blind. They only carry the gene which they pass on to the males. This is a normal reaction for a child so young. Just keep teaching and she will finally get it. But sometimes they will call one color all the time because this is the one they like

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Color blindness in girls is RARE. I would stop asking her what color things are and start saying, "Look at the RED fire truck." Look at the GREEN grass.. YELLOW sun.. then after awhile, follow a look at the _ with can you find something else that is __.

You can mix colors too. One fun (and relatively unmessy way to do it) is to spray white shaving foam in a bag and add a couple of drops of paint or food coloring - then seal and smush. My son learned his colors and predicting mixes this way.


1 mom found this helpful

By Diane Griffith, HealthAtoZ writer

If your child draws pictures of people with green skin and houses with brown grass, you may think he's being creative. The truth is, he may be color blind.

About 10 million men in America are color blind. That's about 8 percent of the country's male population. Color blindness (also called color vision deficiency) affects less than 1 percent of women. Most color blindness is inherited. Other causes include aging, glaucoma, cataracts and certain medications.

Types of color blindness

Red-green blindness. Trouble distinguishing between shades of red and green. This is the most common type.
Blue-yellow blindness. Difficulty telling the difference between shades of blue and green.
Green blindness. Inability to distinguish the green part of the color spectrum.
Absence of color vision. Seeing only black, white and shades of gray. This condition is very rare.

What causes color blindness?
In the retina of each of our eyes are three cones. Each cone reacts to a different color of light - red, blue or green. A defect in a cone causes mild color blindness. If a cone is missing completely, the color blindness is more severe.

A boy with color blindness inherits it from his mother, who inherited it from her father. This gene (involving the X chromosome) affects the cones.

A woman who carries the gene usually has normal color vision. If she has a son, the chances are 50-50 that he will be color blind. If a woman is color blind, her sons will be, too. The condition is rare in girls. If a girl is color blind, she has inherited one affected X chromosome from each parent.

Recognizing color blindness in your child
A child with a color vision problem may do any of the following:

Refer to colors - especially primary shades - by the wrong name.
Draw pictures differently than others (e.g., a tree trunk may be black or the grass brown.)
Refer to a light pink or light green object as white.
See reddish and greenish colors as similar (e.g., confusing peach and light green, or dark green and cranberry.)

Color blindness can't be cured. Your child may feel frustrated, but can adjust. He or she may have problems with:

Selecting the right crayon or marker
Choosing clothes that match
Reading color-coded maps or charts
Knowing when meat is completely cooked
Understanding traffic signals
Having a career that requires normal color vision (e.g., pilot, police officer, firefighter, printer, etc.)

The most common test for color blindness is the Ishihara. The child is shown a set of plates, each with a number, letter or symbol hidden in a circle of dots. The symbol is easy to see with normal vision, but invisible to someone who is color blind. Using this test, the doctor can determine what type of color blindness the child has.

Teach your child that color blindness is a unique trait, not a limitation.

Help your child by:

Accepting the color names your child uses
Describing an object without mentioning color - ask for the fuzzy pillow or the striped shirt
Gently suggesting clothing choices when something doesn't match
Telling your child's teacher about the condition
Talking about the future and explaining that certain professions require good color vision

Related Articles

Color Blindness

Visual Impairment

External Sources

Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Color blindness: more prevalent among males. Accessed October 27, 2006.

National Institutes of Health. Color vision deficiency. Accessed October 27, 2006.

Nemours Foundation. What's color blindness? Accessed October 27, 2006.

Optometric Physicians of Washington. Color vision deficiency. Accessed October 27, 2006.

Prevent Blindness America. Color blindness. Accessed October 27, 2006.

Women are not color blind. They only carry the gene which they pass on to the males. This is a normal reaction for a child so young. Just keep teaching and she will finally get it. But sometimes they will call one color all the time because this is the one they like

I am a painter who has taught children art in the past.....ask her why it is blue.....at her age she may not understand all the colors yet or that blue is the color of the sky......or she may and just be playing around.....eye docs have color books to check on color blindness..... here are some helpful sites http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_blindness http://www.toledo-bend.com/colorblind/Ishihara.html http://www.eyecaresource.com/conditions/color-blindness/

ask her to just run her finger over the numbers......

found another maybe better for younguns

good luck!

PS girls can be color blind........my daughter was from a somewhat rare neuro disorder.........

It is very unusual for a girl to be color blind. It's not impossible, just unusual. For a girl to be color blind, she had to get the gene from BOTH her mom AND dad. Your doctor can give your daughter a test (pick out a number or letter in a bunch of different colored dots). If she doesn't know her numbers and letters that well yet, the doctor may have a different type of test.

From my understanding, color blindness is only linked to the male genetic code- I would contact an optomologist just to check this info. Hope it helps!

Girls can in fact be color blind. It is just rare for a girl to be color blind. My father was color blind. He had an uncle and a great aunt that were both color blind. So it can happen in famales. It is just not very common at all. However, we are talking about your daughter and whether or not she is color blind. I found a website for you to look at with a little test that she should easily be able to do and you will know for sure then. Go to the following website and check it out. I think this will either put your mind at ease or let you know that you do have a problem. Just remember, you don't care if she knows what color the circle and square are, just that she can see them. As long as she can see them, then what you are dealing with is color recognition and not color blindness. Hope this helps. http://www.kidshealth.org/kid/talk/qa/color_blind.html

That doesn't mean she is color blind... that is just her favorited color and everything is blue. My 4 year old granddaughter instist that everything is green although she knows it isn't. See if she can match things of the same color.
have a blessed day!

Color blindness

Color blindness, or color vision deficiency, in humans is the inability to perceive differences between some or all colors that other people can distinguish. It is most often of genetic nature, but may also occur because of eye, nerve, or brain damage, or due to exposure to certain chemicals. The English chemist John Dalton in 1798 published the first scientific paper on the subject, "Extraordinary facts relating to the vision of colours",[1] after the realization of his own color blindness; because of Dalton's work, the condition is sometimes called Daltonism, although this term is now used for a type of color blindness called deuteranopia.

Color blindness is usually classed as disability; however, in selected situations color blind people may have advantages over people with normal color vision. There are some studies which conclude that color blind individuals are better at penetrating certain camouflages.[2] Monochromats may have a minor advantage in dark vision, but only in the first five minutes of dark adaptation.

The normal human retina contains two kinds of light sensitive cells: the rod cells (active in low light) and the cone cells (active in normal daylight). Normally, there are three kinds of cones, each containing a different pigment. The cones are activated when the pigments absorb light. The absorption spectra of the pigments differ; one is maximally sensitive to short wavelengths, one to medium wavelengths, and the third to long wavelengths (their peak sensitivities are in the blue, yellowish-green, and yellow regions of the spectrum, respectively). The absorption spectra of all three systems cover much of the visible spectrum, so it is not entirely accurate to refer to them as "blue", "green" and "red" receptors, especially because the "red" receptor actually has its peak sensitivity in the yellow. The sensitivity of normal color vision actually depends on the overlap between the absorption spectra of the three systems: different colors are recognized when the different types of cone are stimulated to different extents. Red light, for example, stimulates the long wavelength cones much more than either of the others, and reducing wavelength causes the other two cone systems to be increasingly stimulated as well, causing a gradual change in hue.

Categories: All articles with unsourced statements | Articles with unsourced statements since June 2007 | All pages needing cleanup | Wikipedia articles needing factual verification since September 2007 | Articles with unsourced statements since September 2007 | Color | Ophthalmology | Genetic disorders

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It uses material from the Wikipedia article Color blindness

Hi A.,
I had the same problem with my son when he was three. He was my third child and my othe children knew all of their colors at that age. I was convinced that he was color blind. I talked to his teachers and they said not to worry yet. One day when my son was almost five he told me all of his colors. He is 7 now and has done this with everything including reading. I try and try to teach him something and he doesn't get it and then out of the blue one day he knows it. Don't worry about your daughter yet. She is probably just not ready yet!


Contact your local school district's special education department. They all run preschool programs for children who qualify for services...for free. They may want to test her developmental skills, specifically speech and language.

My brother is colorblind and my maternal grandfather was colorblind. There are different varieties and they were both red-green colorblind.

My mom found out about my brother by having him look at a test chart in a Time-Life book we had as a kid. It's very simple.

Color blindness runs through the mother's family (like male pattern baldness) and it is unusual for it to occur in girls.

My brother says that he sees everything in varying shades of gray, but through years of experience he can distinguish general categories of colors by the shade of gray. As a teen, I played a mean trick on him testing his color recognition. I had a red, a green, and a brown yarn and I asked him to pick out the colors. He did. Then I took three different shades of green and told him to pick out the same three colors. He put names to them, but they were all green.

chances are your daughter is more occupied with learning other things and isn't so interested in colors right now. She also could be learning by testing whether you know your colors. My granddaughter likes to do that.

We used to think our youngest was color blind. His "favorite" color was yellow. Everything was yellow. I searched the net for testing that I could do as a mom that didn't cost any money. Here is one of the sites we used to determine Matthew wasn't color blind. http://colorvisiontesting.com/color5.htm
He was able to see the shapes, some of which were difficult even for me to see. Now at almost 5, he recognizes his colors and uses the names correctly. Good luck and best wishes.

Hi A.,
I used to work for optometrists and I have never heard of girls being color blind. It is just boys as far as I know. I don't think you have anything to worry about. She will catch on to her colors. I have a friend whose daughter was the same way and then one day, she just all of a sudden caught on and knew her colors. Just give her a little more time.

Girls cannot be color blind. We can carry the recessive gene, but only the male can have color blindness. So if your husband is color blind & you carry the recessive gene (your dad is color blind) only your male child can be color blind. I know, it runs in my family.

I've been told this is very normal. My daughter was 18mos old when we really started working on colors. She would say everything was "pink". Her little friend said everything was "lello".

Keep working on it and I bet it's just a normal learning phase.

Good luck!

I don't think this is unusual. My daughter thinks everything is green. We just started adding yellow into the mix too. I think colors must be hard.

I know that it's more prominent in boys and that usually there is another family member that is also color blind. An eye doctor can confirm if she is colorblind. Good luck!

Our oldest son is color blind. When he was 3, we suspected he had a problem when he failed to start naming colors by the time the other children were. We set up a toy game and asked him to match colors---bingo he couldn't! We spoke to the pediatrician. His response was that there was nothing to do about, just be sure to teach him which of the signal lights were red and which were green. That was simple. Once he was old enough to choose his own clothes, he learned to have a trusted person check out them out and help him match so he didn't end up in something goofy. Then he always wears the same combination.

He will be fine. Remember what we see as "green" is what we see. What your son sees as "Green" is whatever he has always seen. It makes for interesting trips to art museums, but he will do fine. Just like any nonconforming issue, it will be part of his life. Don't worry about it, just be sure he is safe.


Keep working with her on her colors. My son used to mix up green and red constantly when he was around 2-3 yrs old, and someone told me that is a sign of colorblindness. Now he is 5 and recognizes colors just fine. He is not colorblind.

I would try different learning techniques (even more) before wondering about color blindness. Although lots of kids learn their colors by now, many of them do not...some are too busy focusing on other areas of growth.

I agree with Nikki who suggested doing matching activities instead. There are products like sorting bears, in which you put all the yellow bears in the yellow cup, green in the green cup, etc. They're pretty fun!

Girls carry the gene to be color blind, but can not actually be color blind. You might see if there is a mother's day out program near you. Sometimes kids respond better to other children and other adults. I have a teaching certificate and would not attempt to home school my oldest. He does things for his teachers that I have to pull out of him. She will get it. Just keep working.
H. M.

The only thing I know about color blind is that it runs mostly in boys and not girls. I would suggest that you look up information on "Color Blind" on the internet. Good luck.

My friend's son is color blind. Go to this website to test. http://colorvisiontesting.com/online%20test.htm#demonstra...

I bet she's fine. My daughter did the same thing around 3 as well. To her, everything was red. My mom kept telling me she thought my daughter was color blind. I never really worried about it and now she is 5 and in Pre-k and knows all her colors. She started to pick them up around 3 1/2-4 years.

Don't worry :)

It is rare for a girl to be colorblind. You may want to consult with an eye doctor, because they do tests for colorblindness. HOwever, at three years old, she just may not know all her colors yet, or maybe she does and she just likes to push your buttons (you know, just a control issue . . . she doesn't want to answer because that is what is expected).

I had the same problem with my daughter. I talked with her pediatrician because my grandfather was color blind. He said that color blindness is normally only a gene that a male will carry, not a female. It took her a while, but she did learn her colors. She is now 6 and doing fine with her colors :)

There are pictures of circles made up of little dots and some of the dots are colored different to make a picture or letter. If you can't recognize the picture or letter then you might be colorblind. You can probably find something like that on the internet.

It is genetically impossible for a girl to be color blind. Only men can be colorblind. Was your father colorblind? The only way that you can have a child who is color blind is if your father was color blind and you have sons. The gene is passed from the father to his daughters. His sons won't be colorblind nor will they carry the gene. The gene is then passed from the daughter to their sons, and their sons only. So if your father was colorblind, you have the gene. But you cannot pass it on to your daughter, in other words she won't have the gene to pass on to her children. You can only pass it on to your sons and they WILL be colorblind. Then, none of his children will be colorblind, but his daughters will carry the gene to pass to their sons. Confusing I know, but genetics is confusing. I know all this from school and also my sister married a man who is completely colorblind and they have 4 girls and 1 boy. She had to get educated in it because of her concerns for her children.

I thought the same thing when my daughter was 3. She also thought everything was blue and when some things weren't blue many were still blue for another year. The odds are she isn't color blind. Percentage wise it's a male affliction. They do have a test for it at the eye doctors office. I wouldn't worry too much yet. -Nita

It is very unusual for a girl to be color blind, as it is a genetic condition that is normally passed from a color blind male through his daughter (she carries the gene but is not herself colorblind) to her sons. My father was colorblind and both of my sons are colorblind. They actually have the more common RG defect instead of total colorblindness. But there are tests you can do at home with her. Look on the internet and you should find some test pages with shapes or numbers made up of colored dots. With normal color vision, you can easily make out the number or shape in the dots, but will not see it or see a different number or shape if colorblind. Your pediatrician may also have some of these tests and you could ask the dr. to check her at her next visit. With RG defect, my sons confuse blue, green, red, and purples. My father couldn't see red berries on a green holly bush. Good luck!

It is unlikely that she is color blind, but the most common color blindness is a blue-green deficiency. This will mean she cannot tell the difference between blue and green.. A good way to check yourself is to do color matching. Rather than the words, have her try to match say a piece of paper or object to another of the same color... Make sure to test red, yellow, green and blue. If she can do that, she is not colorblind, but confused on the words associated with colors, which is simply going to take repitition to learn....If she cannot match colors, I would suggest having her vision screened at a local vision clinic... Express your concerns..If you find she is colorblind, it is not a bad thing, most people function normally with this condition.
I am a SAHM of an almost 3 year old, but was an ophthalmic tech for over 10 years.

I think color blindness is very rare in females. It typically passes from the mother to son..not daughter.

I know it is developmentally normal for children to use one color name for many different colors. You can ask your pediatrician when is is developmentally appropriate for a child to be able to differentiate color names.

Don't ever let someone tell you to not try and teach your children!!

I don't know how your going about teaching her colors, flash cards or pointing at objects and naming the color, but maybe she's just not interested, or just trying to get a reaction out of you. My son is a perfectionist, he will not do something unless he can do it right the first time! Walking, talking, writing, just about everything. It was very frusterating. Lay off for a while, or try to play games like Candy Land (don't worry about the rules, just follow her lead), and say things like "Oh, I'm on red now!" Just by reinforcing the colors, while not in teaching mode, will get the idea across. She'll surprise you!

I would ask my pediatrician, but I do know it is rare for a girl to be color blind.

My son does the SAME thing he is 3 and says everything is green but we determined by testing that he does see color just he cant espress colors yet... give her some time. From what I understand if you are color blind there are only a few colors you can see and I think yellow is one of them but not sure about blue...

I would ask her questions like show me the yellow duck... or show me the red train... not what color is this... cause sometimes they can point better than they can say.

Good luck- A.

It seems as though you heard it. But, only males can be color blind. Just keep working with her. She'll get it before you know it :)

I don't know how long you've been trying to teach her, but my daughter did the same thing for about a month or month and a half. Everything was "green." She eventually got it, but it seemed like it took forever. I worked with her almost every day in different ways. Her favorite game is the paper game. I got some construction paper and spread it out on the floor and then told her to run to the different colors (she's very active). Anyway, unless you've been working on it for more than a few weeks I wouldn't worry about it. She'll probably get it pretty soon.

Try offering her a choice of two things and ask her for the pink one or the yellow one. Give her opportunities to choose colors without having to use her speech.

It is hard to tell if she really knows her colors or not. I would suggest a matching game. Start with big shapes in one color pattern so you know she understands the game.... Flower/flower, ball/ball etc.... Once you know she understands the game try to add colors to match .... Yellow circle/yellow circle, blue circle/blue circle. Good luck!

My 8 year old son is also color blind. His preschool teacher suspected it when he was about your daughter's age. He did not say that everything is the same color, but instead, would consistantly mix up the same same two colors. He could not distinguish between them. I doubt that everything really looks blue to her. I guess it would be best to visit an opthamologist.

I thought only boys can be color blind (but I could be wrong). I do know that my son who is 3 1/2 will sometimes say the wrong color just because he does not like to be quizzed. It is something of a control issue. Have you tried asking her what her favorite color is? Or just telling her colors in an indirect way (wow, look at those beautiful green trees; what a pretty blue sky with white clouds). She will learn her colors that way too but it may be less stress on both of you!

You can go online and find toddler color blindness charts that use shapes instead of numbers. My husband googled it and find them. We tested our son since my husband is color blind. My son could see everything but my husband was unable to see any of the shapes!

We went thru that phase too with our daughter who is now 4. This too shall pass. I wouldn't worry about it right now. At this point just play along and see how long she will get tired of the game when it doesn't get a reaction.

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