Saturday, June 30, 2012

Color Blind

Two of our sons, H and Z, are color blind.  I've mentioned it before, I believe, but I just wanted to clarify which of our children live with this condition.  They are half-brothers biologically from birth and we have learned that their maternal grandfather was also color blind, which means their mother was a carrier.  I'm not sure if that means S is a carrier as well since she is also their half-sibling biologically.  I'm no genetics expert.

Anyway, I've been researching stuff for the human body studies we'll be doing all next school year for Science (and extending into other subject areas, too) and trying to make a plan.  In my research this evening, I discovered a video about color blindness.

When people find out two of our boys are color blind (they struggle with the red-green spectrum, which is most common apparently), they often have many questions about what exactly they see.  Of course, I do not know because I cannot put myself behind their eyes, but I have gotten some clues about what they see in watching their interactions with the world and how they describe things and how they draw things and what they notice about colors.

I have learned that for them, traditional Christmas season colors aren't so exciting.  It all sort of looks brownish.  So we try to use a lot of blue and yellow wrapping paper and many-colored, multi-textured decorations so they can appreciate the season more.

I have learned that my favorite time of year -- autumn -- is pretty boring for them.  The colors aren't bold and exciting as they are to my eyes.  Red, orange and brown sort of blends into one shade with slight differences.

I have learned that to them, blood looks black.  I have learned that if they misplace a red object in the green grass, it's nearly impossible for them to locate without feeling around with their hands.  I have learned that if there is green text on a red t-shirt or orange text on a green t-shirt, they cannot read it.

I have learned that pastel shades associated with red or green are even more difficult for them to discern than bold red or green.  Pink often gets mistaken for gray.  I know that a peach crayon looks like the color green and so a lot of their pictures with people in them end up with green faces unless they remember to read the labels.

But here is a well-made video that I stumbled on that might help my readers understand better what life is like for the color blind.  It's not too long, so take a few minutes and check this out.  Apparently there is a much longer version of this film that won several awards.  I have not seen it.

Some times our boys resent their color blindness, but I try to encourage them by saying how much richer the colors in heaven will be for them than those of us with color vision here on earth.  Their perfect vision will have come so much further than mine will have when we walk through those pearly gates.  I'm almost envious of the amazing vibrancy that awaits them there.


  1. My brother is color blind. He's always had a good attitude and sense of humor about it. People ask him a lot of dumb questions - his favorite is "How do you drive?" :)

  2. Really? I had no idea he was. Our boys don't yet have much of a sense of humor about it. Well, sometimes they do. Mostly, though, they're just annoyed. But maybe someday they'll laugh it off!

    Add to it 20/100 vision for both of them due to their astigmatisms and their eyes just cause them all kinds of frustration.

  3. Very interesting video. It makes me appreciate my ability to see all the colors. When I saw that video of the 12 year old girl who paints heaven, I was amazed with the spectrum of color. She says there are thousands more colors in heaven. We are all color blind now compared to that!