How a child sees color is a function of both the color receptors in the retina of the eye as well as specialized neurons in the occipital lobe of the brain. Color vision deficiency (sometimes called “color blindness”) can be caused by issues with the receptor cells of the eye’s retina or by damage to the color processing centers in the brain caused by stroke, traumatic brain injury, or seizures. Certain types of anti-epileptic drugs can also cause issues with color vision as well.

Brain-based color blindness is called cerebral achromatopsia. Usually both sides of the brain would have to be affected. While no research shows that hemispherectomy, TPO, or occipital lobectomy is correlated with cerebral achromatopsia, a history of seizures, stroke, cortical dysplasia, or anti-epileptic drug use can cause it. Assessments for color vision should be regularly performed on a child after these procedures as appropriate. Challenges from color vision deficiency, if recognized, are able to be addressed easily in the classroom. If unrecognized, however, it may be frustrating for the teacher and the child.

Next – Visual perception and processing