Working with color and light truly became serious business for me when, my now 29 year old son, James, was diagnosed with Tourette’s Syndrome and severe ADD at the age of five. Not just any ADD, but severe ADD. In 1988, there wasn’t a lot of forward thinking and I was on my own with a “different” kid when he was on Ritalin, as Ritalin was the only answer. That was not the total answer. I researched everything I could get my hands and then stepped back and just observed my then 5 year old son. He reacted differently than most kids to different light and colors around him. James was always either full throttle or off sleeping … no medium. His emotions were constantly up and down also.
After getting a grip on his diet, and changing things drastically, I went to work on his environment. We discovered that James was more emotionally stable, ready to do his homework, and could wind down for bed with a bluish charcoal room. Soft lighting from lamps and no overhead lighting worked best for him. He was not as easily distracted if his desk and homework area had opaque storage as opposed to tinted see- through storage bins. Less was better for him. Academically his grades were raised and he was able to control a little of his own life. Special needs children with ADD, ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Down’s Syndrome, and even color blindness grow up and become special needs adults that learn to cope and adjust according to their environment.
From Color Theory to Color Therapy
Color – the hue – also known as the actual color makes a huge difference to each individual in their own way. The intensity or saturation level can create a sense of comfort, security and calmness. And lastly, the lighting is the color’s source. Color is light, and whether it is natural or artificial lighting, light not only affects the color itself within the confines of a room, it also affects people differently.
While studying different color theories I was so pleasantly surprised that I had been using the Munsell Color System technique all along. It works so amazing with my more hyper sensitive population.
I have worked with parents that have children with ADD, Down’s Syndrome, and ASD. I also have an adult friend that is colorblind and changed his world with colors that were comforting.
About The Author
Margie Taylor is the community relations specialist with experience in public relations, social communications, nonprofit fundraising and presentation at Colors Matter.