Color Blindness Seen by Colorblind Boys

Color vision deficiency is in 99% of all cases inherited from the parents to their children. In this case, the boys and girls will be colorblind for their whole lifetime—like most of us colorblind fellows.

If it is not only a weak form of color blindness, the parents will often recognize it between the age of 3 and 10 years. After the diagnosis mothers and fathers are looking for information to help their children. But what about the young boys and girls themselves? Can they understand such an abstract thing as color blindness, what do they think about it and how colorful is their life?

I put together a questionnaire of seven simple questions and had the chance to get them answered by two young boys. Let’s call them Six and Eleven, according to their age.

Simple questionnaire for colorblind children

What are your favorite colors?
Six: Black…. (pause)… and red.
Eleven: Red and black.

Do you like to paint colorful pictures?
Six: No!, well I guess I would. (Interviewer comment: I think his initial answer was because he doesn’t really do much art.)
Eleven: No way!
What do you see if you look at the childrens testing poster?
Six: (Interviewer: He didn’t really see anything.)
Eleven: Nothing.

What does “color blindness” mean to you?
Six: It means people’s colours are different colours.
Eleven: That someone that is colour blind sees colours all messed up.

Can you see rainbows?
Six: Yes.
Eleven: Yes.

What colors have the following animals: elephant, tiger, fox, flamingo, bee, frog, and parrot?
Six: Grey; black & orange; brown, maybe?; pink & black; yellow & black; green; all colours.
Eleven: Grey; black, white & orange; red & white; pink; yellow & black; green; rainbow.

Which colors can you seen on this picture of a clown?
Six: (Interviewer: He pointed at colours and correctly named them – but he had some troubles in the transition yellow, green, blue area.)
Eleven: Umm… Lots.

This are great answers aren’t they? I like it how the two boys find some simple and obvious explanations for color blindness. And even if they really have some problems with colors their life is still very colorful. I hope this are some happy news if you are one of those moms or dads who just found out about the color vision deficiency of your child.

Thanks to Tanya, a mother of two colorblind boys, for going through the questionnaire with Six and Eleven.

Photo taken by Tim Pierce.