Your colorblind child needs you to tailor your teaching to him.
Color is a commonly used learning tool. Color-coded notebooks are used to organize subjects. Worksheets feature bright red apples and yellow bananas. But children affected by colorblindness look at the world a little differently. It’s not that they see only black and white -- they have trouble seeing differences between certain colors. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says colorblindness affects about 8 percent of males and 0.5 percent of females. Just as eager and capable of learning as any other child, your colorblind child needs you to tailor your teaching to him.
1Seat your child in an area with strong natural light. Bright light makes it easier to recognize color. Use strong contrast on computer screens. If you are using a chalkboard, use white chalk to create high contrast with the background. Yellow chalk may blend in with the green of the chalkboard. Photocopy worksheets in black and white ink on white paper to increase visibility.
2Modify worksheets to incorporate patterns and shading. If color is important, label pictures to identify the colors used. Don’t use pastel colors or a red and green combination in your learning materials. Look at the shape and texture of pictured objects and discuss those elements with your child to allow him to build on his strengths and self-confidence.
3Give your child colored pencils and paints labelled with the name of the color. Even though he can’t recognize all colors, teach him to match colors with items they typically represent, like blue with the sky and yellow with the sun. Organize some art activities based on using different mediums, like charcoal, textiles and clay.
4Check all of the books you will be reading with your child -- look for pages that might pose a problem, like colored pages with text on top and colored text on a colored page. Children who are colorblind are sometimes afraid to read aloud because they have difficulty making out words. Read problematic pages aloud to your child. Ideally, look for books that have white pages with black text.
- For a color blind child, red, orange, yellow and green may appear to be one color. Same goes for violet, lavender, purple and blue. Often, affected kids will confuse pink and gray and orange and red, as well as green paired with white, brown, yellow and beige. Pastels and muted tones are also difficult to read. Most color deficient children can identify pure primary colors, but have difficulty with shades and tints.
Things You'll Need
- White paper
- White chalk
- Paints, pencil crayons and markers