Misdiagnosed ADD, He is Colour blind....

Desiree - posted on 02/28/2011 ( 35 moms have responded )

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I have just learnt that for the past 3 years my son has been treated for ADD and it hasn't been his problem at all. He is now 10 and he is still struggling. for the past 2 weeks he has been complaining that he is struggling to see the board at school. So like the good mom I took him to have his eyes tested and guess what the poor child is Colour Blind or Colour defintiant is the word they use. Black is still Black and Colour blind is still Colour blind no matter how you dress it up.. The teachers are writing on the board in green, red and blue and my poor child has been uable to see!! No wonder he has been playing up, getting bored and unable to keep up and he sits right in front. If you write in Red, Green and Blue he says it goes Blurry, but what it actually does is grey out. Try writing on white paper or a white board in light grey step back and they try to read what you have just written..

I am just wondering how many people would tink to check for colour blindness in our children when everyone else is saying ADD or ADHD. we trust the Dr's but they don't even think to do those tests. So basically my son was on meds for 3 years for nothing, because he was misdiagnosed with ADD and he is Colour Blind.

Am I the only mom who thinks this is nonsense??

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Sharon - posted on 02/28/2011

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You never noticed that your kid couldn't pick out particular colors?

Jodi - posted on 02/28/2011

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"if mom carries it but dad does not, all boys will be colour deficient and all boys born to the females carriers will have it as well."



Tara, that isn't entirely correct. If mum is a carrier she only has the gene on ONE of the X chromosomes she passes on. So each boy she has has a 50/50 chance of being colour blind, and each girl has a 50/50 chance of being a carrier. I have 4 brothers, only one is colour blind. The only way all of the boys are guaranteed to be colour blind is if mum is colour blind (which means BOTH X chromosomes have the gene).



And Dad can't be a *carrier* as such. He is either colour blind or he isn't because he only has one X chromosome. If dad is colour blind, his daughters WILL be carriers (they get his deficient X chromosome), but his sons won't get the gene at all.

Desiree - posted on 02/28/2011

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Deanna I am sure that you are correct, they never sent my son for Scans.

Mike no because they learn to compensate for it. If i teach a child from birth that black is pink that child will always think that black is pink. Same with my son, his brain has some how managed to adjust itself in how to identify colours with out him being able to see them clearly. I asked him if he can see red and blue and green he says yes, but I have no clue what those colours actually mean to him and how he sees them. All I know is he can't see them the way you and I do so I have to go on his word. The thing is when it is in writing form it tends to grey out for him at least thats the way I understand it. I am not a Dr and I have heard that many men go through life not knowing that they are colour blind untill they are much older because the brain compensates for it in someway. We only found out because he kept complaining he couldn't see the board and teachers kept complaining that he wasn't keeping up.His best friend couldn't understand how he could be right by the board and still struggle.



Today I have come home to a very happy child who was able to keep up in school for the first time because he was able to see and teachers werre able to help him. So even though it was missed I am just very glad to have my son happy.

[deleted account]

Does anyone realize that ADD and ADHD is actually diagnosed correctly when it is accompanied by scans and not just verbal talking? I truly believe that at least half of the kids diagnosed are NOT actually ADD or ADHD but have a different problem that can be fixed or controlled.
I know. I know. I am wrong. I don't know what I am talking about. yadda yadda yadda..........Your right. I am a nurse and yet I have NO CLUE what I am talking about. uh huh.

Tara - posted on 02/28/2011

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Hi Desiree,

All my boys are colour deficient, I'm an expert, lol.

Were you given the type of deficiency when he was diagnosed? There are several types.

I would find out which one he has and send all the info to the school. It's hard for kids like this to do well in a normal school environment where so much has to do with colour.

My own struggle with geography as most of it is colour related.

If both man and woman carry the gene all children will be colour deficient, if mom carries it but dad does not, all boys will be colour deficient and all boys born to the females carriers will have it as well.

It's a strong genetic trait that does not usually miss a generation or skip someone entirely.

My 14 year old is a protanope, he can not see any shade of red at at all, nor can he see anything that has a red pigment. Baby blue and pastel pink are the exact same colour, as are purple and navy blue, orange and green etc.

in his world our orange cat is green. And his sisters room is painted blue not pink. And I pick a lot of his clothes!!

It's shitty too cause there exists a whole list of careers he cannot pursue. He cannot be a cartographer, a pilot, a welder, an electrician etc. etc. etc.

I think it's nonsense that you kid has been medicated for 3 years because of the lack of a proper eye test.

Most kids have their eyes checked before pre-school so that this deficiency is caught along with any other sight problems etc.

did you not have his eyes checked before he started school?

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Tara - posted on 08/15/2011

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I'm going to lock this thread as Desirees son has improved now that the problem has been addressed and the most recent replies are more related to misdiagnosis of children, please feel free to start a new thread with a similar topic to discuss. This one is old.
Tara DM mod

[deleted account]

My daughter was acting up and going through a tough patch were i was thinking "could she have add or adhd".I also refused to believe or even think it could be once i did my research.Thankfully her teacher caught the hearing problem and i took her to the doctor.He linked the hearing prob to the acting out etc.I feel for you both.Esp if he had to take meds for nothing:-(



I was at my wits end.Turns out she had problems with her ears.The doctor said when a child can't hear great they act out.Out of frustration.So Desiree i can understand your story 100%.Hope your son is doing good now.

Desiree - posted on 08/15/2011

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Thank you so much for your support ladies it has really helped. as to being checked at school you would think so but I live in South Africa and it seems that its not as important here as else where in the world. You would be surprised what they consider as more important. but everything is now back on track and his highnesses marks have come up so it seems that we have found the main problem.

Jurnee - posted on 08/10/2011

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Im surprised the school didnt catch this when they did vision testing. I have helped out with the vision testing previous years and there were tests to detect color blindness. Thankfully your son is doing well now. Its a shame that doctors jump so quickly to an ADD/ADHD diagnosis.

Laressa - posted on 08/10/2011

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I read recently that up to 9 out of 10 times ADD/ADHD is mis diagnosed. it can be allergies, excess sugar or in your case colour blind. Colourblindness runs strong in my family, so it is something I will watch for. Hopefully now that you know theproblem you can deal with it and teach him to live with it.

Karen - posted on 08/10/2011

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I take my kids in for a full eye-check up before they hit kindergarten and every year after. I have 2 color-blind children except one is only green/yellow deficient. This is part of their regular check up here.

I forgot to let his gr. 2 teach know and at the 1st report card parent teacher interviews I was told that he wasn't listening to directions because he kept writing under the wrong colomns (which were all color coded). I laughed and told her I forgot to let her know about this problem and she said " OH....that really explains a lot" oop.

Karen - posted on 08/10/2011

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Hi Desiree. China has been having great success with blind kids getting vision as well as macular degeneration patients and patients seeing colour for the first time. http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/new...

Above is the link of the family I met while in china. There little girl has vision now !!! Stem cells are the future healers. Umbilical cord stem cells they use . Hospital stay is free. I have all the pics of the hospital. Also I never spent one cent with fundraising , facebook and raffles etc helped me get to china for my son. Never think money is the issue when it comes to helping your child. For more info email me ok. I am a Patient Representative for Beike biotech in china. karenkzn@telkomsa.net .chat soon.karen
083 328 1938
China help with ALL disabilities, autism, Cerebral palsy, spinal cord injuries, ataxia etc etc If you would like to know the procedure to follow to see if your child can be accepted, its free of charge ,though they would need all doctor diagnosis reports, MRI scans etc depending on the diagnosis .

Desiree - posted on 02/28/2011

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No offense taken Jenn it took me 6 months to accept the ADD diagnoses in the first place I first did all my research, what I didn't know was that I was a carrier for the gene otherwise I would have made sure to check his colour perseption. He dreams of being a Design Engineer one day so I will just teach him that some of the greatest men in the world has problems be it deaf as in Bethoven or ADD as in Richard Branson. connor can still do his hearts desire no matter what people will tell him in the future and if he wants to climb to the top of the world then nothing is going to stop him. Not people and definatly not a small hickup like colour blindness. Thanks ladies for listening to my gripes over stupid people and helping me to understand better.

Jenn - posted on 02/28/2011

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I'd be ticked for sure! But I wouldn't have accepted an ADD diagnosis in the first place. That's not a judgement against you - I just wouldn't have wanted to accept that. Mostly because I feel like Dr's hand this title out far too quickly instead of dealing with the cause of the problems. My uncle is colour blind - and strangely enough worked as a graphic designer up until he went legally blind a few years ago due to his diabetes.

Iridescent - posted on 02/28/2011

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That is horrible that it's been missed for this long. Other common causes of misdiagnosed ADD and ADHD include seizures and pain. Many things can appear to be a mental disorder when they are not, and the treatments, while they could help, they can also make things worse and are certainly not treating the problem that is really there.

Desiree - posted on 02/28/2011

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Thanks Tara now I understand better that he can see the colours but to him they are very pale, but its not just in one colour its in all three so when he sees these colours on a white board they tend to fade into the white. but he can see them if they are on their own in big and bold. he is a Anomalous Trichromat in all three colours. so if he is looking at blue it's very pale. Now it make better sense.

Tara - posted on 02/28/2011

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you're right Jodi, it seems to be a very strong gene though, at least in my family, not one male has escaped unscathed in all recorded or remembered memory. lol
So for us, it is every male.
But not for everyone.

Lady Heather - posted on 02/28/2011

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That's nuts that colour blindness isn't standard for a kids' eye exam. Such a shame it took so long to figure this out, but sounds like it's made all the difference! I remember when I couldn't see as a kid. My mum thought I was faking for a while because my best friend had glasses and we did everything the same. Finally I convinced her and I got glasses and it was like my whole life changed. I imagine your son is feeling the same way with his new study methods. Finally being able to understand what is going on is a big deal.

Jodi - posted on 02/28/2011

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And just for the record, my colour blind brother is a Graphic Designer :D Fully university qualified. So that just shows how WELL they learn to compensate for it. I hope that gives you some hope Desiree.

April - posted on 02/28/2011

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I would be mad too. Your son had chemicals put into his body that he didn't need and you have unnecessarily paid (co-pay?) for meds he didn't need! I found it very interesting about how the brain compensates for color blindness. He didn't know he was color blind because it's his normal. I am so happy he is doing well in school and finally feels happy going to school! Even though you can't get the last 3 years back, he is now in a better situation!

Tara - posted on 02/28/2011

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http://www.iamcal.com/toys/colors/

go here, click on the type of colour deficiency your child has and you will see what he sees.
My son is a protanope and so sees the world in shades of blue and green for the most part.
It's very interesting to see, and to image never seeing the colour purple, or pink or red. Sunsets are boring as hell to him so are topographical maps etc.
Check it out everyone!

Desiree - posted on 02/28/2011

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Thanks Tara I live in South Africa I have had his eyes checked several times they just didn't seem to think to do a colour test and I have been to 3 different optomitrists the 4th a lady asked him the right questions and she discovered it. Trust a woman to get it right. All the optomirist has said it that he struggles with red, green and blue. I have red that red/Green is common but blue isn't. Trust my son to be unusual nothing ever simple with him. It's nice to know that there are other parents I can talk to about it and who understand. He says he sees the colour but what I understand its in greys but the brain has adjusted so well it doesn't register it as different. One the career side it does mean that Connor can't enter the army either at least under S.A law.

Desiree - posted on 02/28/2011

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Unfortunatly there is no cure or anyway to help him, other than the school has to write everything for him in a colour he can see and he has to write in a colour he can see. Black being the safest. It will be with him for the rest of his life. He will just have to adjust accordingly. He has fairly well so far, only now its starting to seriously give him problems.

Rosie - posted on 02/28/2011

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what were they able to do for him to help him see better? i'm having my youngest tested for color blindness on the 18th.

Katherine - posted on 02/28/2011

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That's a really interesting thing to know. I wonder how many other kids are misdiagnosed because of color blindness or vision problems.
Or other issues for that matter that have nothing to do with ADD. I always thought it was overly diagnosed, my mom had 70% of her kids in her class one year diagnosed with it.
That's insane!!!!


So sorry this happened. Maybe he will be a case to refer to before people start diagnosing ADD all over the damn place.
I think it's shit that they didn't even think to check his vision and irresponsible on their part!!! Hope fully this will open some eyes before they are so quick to diagnose ADD.

Mrs. - posted on 02/28/2011

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If you ever want to read about how a whole fictional society deals with being colour blind, read Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde.

My father in law has no sense of smell and apparently it's rare but genetic. I've been putting things under my little girl's nose since she was little just to make sure it wasn't passed on.

Lindsay - posted on 02/28/2011

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They have the same thing here, Cathy. I'm assuming it's that way all over the US but I'm not 100%. Before entering preschool or Kindergarten, kids have to have eye exams (which include the spot charts where they have to identify the number within it), physical, hearing test, and dental screenings.

Desiree - posted on 02/28/2011

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@ Jodi I didn't know I was a potential carrier until the weekend my mom never told me that there was colour blindness in the family, until I told her that Connor was coloured blind. Only then did she tell me that 2 of my Uncles and my Grandfather were coloured blind. Nice mom thanks! But it isn't the norm in South Africa to be tested. Even when they had the eye people from school come and test the kids they didn't do the colour test. But then again not surprised. They just don't seem to realise that Colour blindness can set a child back just as easily as any learning disorder. The kids can't see so they struggle. Now thats what go me upset.

Jodi - posted on 02/28/2011

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Oh, wow.....
I actually would think to test colour blindness, but only because I am a potential carrier. I have a brother who is colour blind, which means my mum is a carrier, and I could be a carrier. It absolutely is common in males because it is carried on the X chromosome.

However, having said that, here in Australia, they do eye tests, hearing test, check teeth, weight, height, etc in Kindy year at school - it would never get to that age before you knew about it.

Yep, I'd be pissed off that they hadn't thought to check too......

[deleted account]

Oh wow, I had no idea it was so common! It should be routine to check it then, especially when having problems in school, complaints of not being able to see the board yet their vision is 20/20. Makes perfect sense now.

Desiree - posted on 02/28/2011

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Stephanie Unfortunatly there is no cure for colour blindness its an inherited thing, carried by the mother.

The teachers an only write in black or they going to spend alot of time reading it back to him and he can only do his homework in black, or he won't be able to read his homework or study. At least this explains why his handwriting is such a mess and he is struggling with simple tasks in class. Because there is nothing wrong with his brain and how it works.



Cathy it isn't a normal eye test and the only reason the optomistrist checked was because she asked him the correct questions so she knew to look for it. They use a special chart of mixed colours and ask the person to pick out the number. There is nothing wrong with his actuall sight that 20/20 vision. It's just that he can't see certain colour. And I took him to see specialists in the field. I am begining to think that they are just in it for the money because not one of them thought to check for colour blindness and it is something that is common in males. 1 in 20 males have it.

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Wow Desiree, you certainly do have the right to be upset about it! I would have never thought of something like that. It's something so rare that it's just not thought of. Thank you for posting this and bringing it to other mom's attention. You may have just saved alot of kids from going through the same thing! Is there any type of treatment for this? Or will his teacher need to write in black and not use colors? I'm so glad they realized this. I'll pass on the info to moms I know with add kids. ♥

Louise - posted on 02/28/2011

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This is terrible! I would never of thought to test for colour blindness. I am so pleased that your son can now get some help and get off those meds. I think I would give the doctors a peice of my mind too.

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