View Full Version : An interesting scenario ....

05-17-2004, 06:15 AM
Perhaps some of the ladies here have heard of this, or have some suggestions.

My gf's little boy is nearly five. He recognizes colors and can identify them ... MOST of them. That's the problem. She found that he consistently shuts down when faced with pink, yellow and orange.

It is as though he cannot differentiate between then, and so guesses. She had him tested for color-blindness and the results were that he is NOT color blind. However, he is quite clever and could have guessed his way through that test. This boy has very good visual acuity so it's hard to believe he has a sight problem.

My dd's cast is as pink as pink can be and when I asked him what color it was, he didn't hesitate one second. He said "I don't know ... yellow?? orange??." He didn't even offer anything like blue, green, brown, because he KNOWS those colors for a certainty. We were in a store at the time, and when he guessed yellow, I pointed to a yellow package and asked him THAT color and he guessed again ... and was wrong.

Now here's the basic question. Do you think it's one of those developmental things that he will grow out of, or perhaps a vision deficiency that requires further exploration.

Have any of the teachers here encountered children that presented the same difficulty, and what was the outcome, if so? Have you dealt with children that just don't see certain colors, whilst seeing most others?


PS One of the reasons for the question is because this eye doctor they have has said some really wild stuff lately ... like that my gf's dd can stop wearing her glasses all day (SHE HAS ASTIGMATISM for goodness sakes !!!). We both wonder if he's a moron, or what LOL.

05-17-2004, 07:33 AM
One thing I know is that kids are all so different. I finally came to this conclusion only after teaching kindergarten for six years, my dd for four and then my ds for two. I realized with him that children are so different. I don't know what took me so long, lol. He learned everything totally opposite of what I had always thought kids should learn things. Anyway, my son didn't know his colors back in the Fall. So, for prek I decided that was #1 on my list of things to learn. I bought a neat book that someone suggested ...I think it was THE PURPLE COW. It basically taught a color by relating it to something of importance. I didn't even read the book (it's a storybook) to my ds. He was not at all interested. But, I started with basic colors and would ask him constantly what the color was. I would then tell him it was "Blue like Blue's Clues". I would relate to something that he loved/liked alot. It worked! He now knows all his colors well. BTW, I also considerd my son might have a color blindness. But, I believe the colors they most often mix up are shades of red/blue/black?? It just sounds like he hasn't had enough practice with the colors you mentioned. Plus, those colors are kind of similar. I would just tell her to do more reinforcement activities with one color in focus for a few weeks...then move on to another until he seems to be mastering them.

We said Yellow like the sun and stars.
We said Orange like Daddy's orange Clemson hats!
For pink we used a stuffed animal that was pink.
Use whatever is in the house that the child is familiar with is my best advice!

05-17-2004, 07:35 AM
I just read that it's hard for them to distinguish reds and greens and sometimes blues and yellows.

05-17-2004, 09:56 AM
I'm no expert, but it sounds like a colorblindness to me, even if it is development and will improve over time. If you are close to a university with a visual screening department, I'd give them a call and let them know what other information you found out and see if they screen in a different way or would be interested in screening again. Our nearby university has a vision and audio screening clinic that gives WAY more of a screening than you would typically find because they are teaching students and using new techniques that you might not find anywhere else.

05-17-2004, 08:01 PM
Go figure!

You know Kathe, my son who just turned 7 has ALWAYS had problems with remembering and naming the numbers 11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,and 19. Never mind the fact that he could count to 100 before Kindergarten and could WRITE them! Yeah....now what ups with that?:confused:

I have done flash cards, we have thrown bean bags at each other with the name on them and some other tricks, but he still can't remember their name! Its like he draws a complete blank!

I showed him tens and ones. He UNDERSTANDS place value and will demonstrate it with manipulatives. He did that in Kindergarten too! So I know he knows the VALUE, now only if he could recall that the symbol 11 says eleven! I've sluft,(is there such a word:p :D ) it off to the fact that his brain will have *an AHH HAH moment* and it hasn't had one yet! LOL

It hasn't stopped him or slowed him down from learning quickly his addition and subtraction facts since he knows the value of the numbers.

I'm not expert either, but it may just be developmental! I know my son ps Kindergarten teacher said that *most kids that seem confused are just trying to work it all out in their little brains*.

05-18-2004, 03:33 AM
It's a hard call. Could be just confusion and with time he will sort out orange, pink and yellow. If your friend isn't happy with her eye doctor, maybe she should consider switching? Maybe you or another friend have an eye dr. you are really, really happy with? The screening at a university is a great idea, if you have that possibility where you live.

About astigmatism: I just found out I've had it all my life (left eye only). I've never worn glasses and it was never diagnosed until recently. My eye doctor said it probably never got caught because my good eyesight (20/15) compensated for it. She also said my prescription for my right eye (the reason I went in for a screening) is so weak I could actually postpone wearing glasses until I'm forty - a couple more years. (I did go ahead and get the glasses, but hate to wear them! They feel weird.) So I don't know that your gf's eye dr. is such a quack for telling your gf her daughter doesn't have to wear the glasses all day. Of course, I'm no expert and also don't know what other vision correction her glasses provide. But I guess some astigmatism is worse than others. (My father, sister and brother all have astigmatism and near-sightedness and have worn glasses all their lives.)

Tina, you really encouraged me about the numbers 11-19! My six year old can count to 100 and beyond, adds, subtracts, etc. Totally understands the concepts of eleven through nineteen, but still gets stumped when asked to identify them when they are isolated from other numbers. He tends to say "fifty-one" for "15", etc. I've tried all sorts of ways to help him get this down, maybe he just needs some time to have that "ah-ha" moment you mentioned! Thanks!



05-18-2004, 06:06 AM
It has always amazed me that children can learn colors! How in the world do they ever figure out what BLUE is, when we have so many different shades? I mean, a robin's blue egg is NOT the same color as my jeans, yet a child will identify both of those as "blue". It is something that has baffled me since I was teaching colors in the classroom!

05-18-2004, 05:17 PM
We both sort of ruled out that it's simply a naming issue, based on his acuity in so many other avenues. He has been drilled and quizzed and worked with, as has been suggested, and the result is the same.

As for astigmatism, advising that it is so weak you may as well not wear corrective lenses for it is a bit dense IMHO. Even in a young child, it's unlikely that they can improve the muscles enough to avoid wearing glasses all their lives. That's what happened in my case. In an adult, even a slight astigmatism will never get better and without corrective lenses, causes an overworking of the "good" eye ... which won't stay "good" for long at that rate.

My gf is going to seek out another eye doctor, and she even wants to retest him for color-blindness.

I'm just surprised that no PS teachers had any comments, given the fact that they encounter quite a number of young children. The possibility of them having seen this before would be much greater than the possibility among homeschoolers. When my gf told me about it, I was puzzled instantly since I've only dealt with little ones and colors five times, and there was no confusion ... thankfully :D

Tina ... the "teens" in numbers are always a pain. I think it's the mere name. It makes no sense ... 10 is "ten" but when you add it to "ones" suddenly it's "teen." What's up with that, huh? LOL

The Ahhh HAHHH moments come when we least expect them ... as you well know. They are the greatest rewards of homeschooling. :)


05-18-2004, 05:21 PM
Anne ...

Don't worry too much yet about your little one transposing numbers.

My twins are also six and one of them does what your little one does ... he will SAY fifteen, but is likely to write "fifty-one."
He also confuses "b" and "d", and writes "3" backwards which is still a developmental thing and causes me no concern. His twin does nothing of the sort. None of my other kids did it either. He's just different. :rolleyes:

HTH, Kathe

05-18-2004, 09:06 PM
OOOOOPS! sorry mom2ampm -- accidentally deleted your post.

Originally posted by mom2ampm:

I taught ps for six years ...kindergarten! So, I know a little about color blindness. We had a game in our school that you could use to test for this. However, I never came across a child that I thought was color blind. Like I said above, usually the colors they confuse are greens/reds and blues/yellows. It's a weird combo in my opinion. I had plenty of kids that didn't know all the colors when they entered kindergarten. I even had a few that were beginning readers that didn't know some colors. I honestly don't think it necessarily means that the child is color blind. They could have some other eye problem I guess. The point is that color blindness is extremely rare. If she had him tested that would surely rule it out. It may just be that he has a hard time processing the difference in similar colors. That may just come with age. All kids learn differently. I have certainly learned that with my own children. It doesn't hurt to explore all avenues, but I wouldn't jump to any conclusions right away. There may be nothing wrong at all. :)

05-18-2004, 09:29 PM
I had a little boy with colorblindness in first grade. He had trouble distinguishing reds and greens. This is the most common form of color-blindness. Sometimes he would use a green crayon when he meant for it to be red. He felt stupid because he couldn't see the difference. :(

My husband gives me an interesting perspective. He didn't know he was color blind until a few years ago when he had to take a test for his job. He can distinguish red from green, however, certain shades of reds and brownish reds are hard for him to distinguish. I think there are different levels of severity when it comes to color-blindness.

I am not sure about distinguishing yellows/oranges. When I do have kids that come into kinder not knowing their colors, those 2 are usually the ones they mix up, so it may be developmental.

Good luck with your second opinion. My eye doctor as a child didn't recommend corrective lenses for my astigmatism either, since it was so mild. I lived my whole life thinking the world outside a 5-10 foot radius was blurry!!! I never knew it was normal to see people's facial expressions across a room. I was so amazed when I finally got glasses. I could see leaves on the trees. I could see people smiling and waving at me from a distance. I was 20!!! No matter how mild the astigmatism, there is no excuse to not see clearly!!

05-20-2004, 07:01 AM
I agree totally on the 'blurry' issue and that even the mildest astigmatism should be dealt with.

I try to tell my friend that her little guy is likely not color blind, but she's the mom and needs peace of mind, I guess.

If he were only confusing yellow and orange I'd dismiss it, for a while anyway. However, he just hits a wall with pink, yellow and orange. As I mentioned, I asked him about my dd's cast on her leg .. it was nearly NEON pink and he had no clue.

I am inclined to think it's some other vision thing and not color blindness.


05-30-2004, 12:43 AM
My husband is quite colour blind and he has trouble with pinks, oranges and yellows. Especially if they're the same shade or tone. If I coloured all these colours on a piece of paper and asked him to identify them, he would have trouble. He also gets dark green, purple, deep red and brown confused. He frequently mistakes grey and pink. The only time he loses red and green colours are when he's driving down a long road at night and the street lights (white) and traffic lights all kind of run together. He loses the traffic light colour in the mix. As he gets closer he can tell what colour it is.