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Question About Seeing Colors

Hi. I'm not trying to bring up my disability for no reason, but I noticed something about my daughter yesterday that I wonder if I should be concerned about, and it sort of relates to the fact that I don't see colors.

My daughter will be five at the end of the week. She knows all of her basic colors just fine. But when we ordered her birthday cake at the bakery yesterday, she wanted to look at the doughnuts. She was telling me about them, and she said some had plain black frosting, and some had black frosting with pink sprinkles. I was curious and asked an assistant what kind the doughnuts were; he said chocolate, so I'm thinking the frosting must have been brown.

That got me to remembering a few other incidents like that, things I hadn't thought much about at the time. I had on a gray sweatshirt one day, and my daughter referred to it as black. There have been a few other such occurrences.

Should a five-year-old be able to distinguish black, gray, and brown? Or could she be having issues with seeing colors? I have an appointment with an an orthopedic ophthalmologist in a few weeks anyway to see if her lazy eye has improved, so I can ask, but I'd rather not look stupid if this is a non-issue. Thanks.


Asked by Ballad at 12:37 PM on Feb. 26, 2013 in General Parenting

Level 45 (193,996 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (20)
  • The chocolate icing on doughnuts is very dark brown, and depending on the lighting in the case, it can look black. There's also a lot of wiggle room with color descriptions; if your hair is the color of that chocolate icing, people will call it black. Some people will call a lipstick red, when others will say it's deep pink. We use the words "Black" and "White" to describe people whose skin colors are often the same. I think it's just confusing for kids.

    Answer by SWasson at 1:45 PM on Feb. 26, 2013

  • I think that if you feel that there may be a problem that you should absolutely mention it to the Dr. Better safe than sorry. Could be nothing but you never know. You have the appointment anyway so take advantage of his/her expertise. GL!


    Answer by ILovemyPaulie at 12:43 PM on Feb. 26, 2013

  • I would say go get some paint chips and ask her to pick out the grey one, the black one and so on. My father is color blind, and he can tell the difference between red and green he just sees them different than we do. I sure would bring it up to her doctor. Good luck!

    Answer by jerseydiva at 12:42 PM on Feb. 26, 2013

  • Have you tried a test to see if she is colorblind?


    Answer by KristiS11384 at 12:46 PM on Feb. 26, 2013

  • Doesn't mean you wouldn't have been colorblind. Colorblindness is genetic and can still be passed on regardless of what other maladies may affect vision later in life.


    Answer by KristiS11384 at 1:40 PM on Feb. 26, 2013

  • Well if YOU"RE colorblind there's a good chance she could be colorblind as well, you know since the gene for colorblindness lies on the x chromosome and all.

    Answer by KristiS11384 at 12:42 PM on Feb. 26, 2013

  • Aren't YOU ''blind''?

    Decided to try something out here... Husband bought donughts this morning (bastard.) I just showed them to my 5 year olds... They both said black. The frosting is a very very dark brown.

    Answer by FreeForAll at 1:04 PM on Feb. 26, 2013

  • You see pictures on here and comment on them but you don't know if your cat is gray or not? But you can tell if donut frosting is black or brown?

    Answer by FreeForAll at 3:11 PM on Feb. 26, 2013

  • Actually your explanation isn't clear because you jump between how 'blind' you are all the time. I highly doubt you have people describe pictures for you. I love how you switch between needing to read braille, to being colorblind, to being neither, to being both.

    You're about as blind as me... which is to say you aren't. Several people have noticed this and we've talked it over time and time again.

    Answer by FreeForAll at 4:43 PM on Feb. 26, 2013

  • my DD is 4 and black, brown, and gray throw her for a loop. she gets them mixed up a lot. especially dark gray & dark brown. she thinks they are all black. i just correct my DD and move on, but that may be harder for you since you cant really do that. i wouldnt worry too much, maybe bring it up with her teacher and explain that since you cant really "fix" this if it was something she could look out for.

    Answer by okmanders at 11:33 PM on Feb. 26, 2013