Colour-Blind Early Childhood Educator

Pencil Crayons Black & White by Adam Clarke, Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0

Colour deficiency is when you can see all the colours, but your eyes can't make the distinction between them when taken out of context. 

Lights are the worst. I describe my perception of lights as warm or cool. I can't tell the difference between red and yellow lights unless they're next to each other. Blue is usually okay. I could mistake a cooler green for blue. I have no idea what colour street-lights are; I think they can be all different colours . . . right? 

I used to use red to draw grass. 

I've called a yellow car lime green. 

At work, if a pencil was out of a child's reach, they might ask me to get them the blue pencil. And I might get it for them. Only to be told. That's purple.

I was asked to go get the red mop bucket. I did. On my way back a co-worker said: "That's green, dear."

It's always a laugh, and I explain that sometimes my eyes can't make the distinction.

The other day in the three-year-old room, the educator had everyone in a circle. She held up pieces of paper with cartoons of different-coloured crayons. First she revised them all with the children. Then she picked out children and asked them to find whichever colour she called out. Or she held up a colour and asked them what it was. The children called out what they were, when I might have said something else.

Occasionally, a child would hesitate, or say the wrong colour.

It made me wonder: How would a colour deficient child feel when presented with these colours? When shown a bright orange that looks like yellow, or a dark purple that looks like dark blue, or a beige that looks like pink, or a red that looks like brown, or a brown that looks like green?

How does it feel when everyone else "knows their colours", but you can't get it right no matter how hard you try? 

And you have no way of knowing there's nothing wrong with you.


  1. That must be quite frustrating. :(

  2. My coworker also has a color deficiency, and you're right.. people will make jokes and he will laugh too. I think he's gotten used to it, but I can only imagine just how difficult it must be.

    1. Yep, you just have fun with it and try to work your way around it. Thanks for dropping by. :)