The use of colour therapy and coloured lenses in autism

Autism Spectrum Disorder affects around 1 in 100 children with boys affected more. Colour therapy including specially tinted glasses can have a calming effect in some people with autism. Professionals from all disciplines therefore now need to be more aware of the specific design requirements needed to cater for autistic children and adults.


Autistic children frequently have problems with sensory integration which includes vision and the ambience. Research suggests autistic childrens’ photoreceptors have a chemical imbalance which causes them to change and be more sensitive to light and colours.

Colours look more intense to an autistic child. For example, Red appears like a fluorescent colour. One of the management strategies is to provide tinted lenses which are muted. So for example, if an autistic child’s favourite colour is Red, then a Rose Pink tint can provide a calming effect. By no means a “cure” for autism, tinted lenses can help manage some of the symptoms associated with autism in some people especially if they have meares-irlen syndrome.

The following list of colours are a useful guide on what tint works best in glasses for autism:

Green as a favourite colour: Mint Green tint

Blue as a favourite colour: Sky Blue tint

Red as a favourite colour: Pink-Rose tint. Incidentally appears to be the most popular colour

Yellow as a favourite colour: Cream tint

Orange as a favourite colour: Peach-Orange tint

Light grey as a neutral colour tint if an autistic child has no colour preference

Read123 tints come in these colours as part of our standard range of 20 tint colours. Bespoke customised tints are also available upon request. It’s no coincidence that half of our standard tints for Meares-Irlen Syndrome can also help some autistic children and adults. More information on tinted glasses for autism can be found here.

Autistic children are also known to benefit from Phototherapy using Light Boxes. It’s imperative that Light Boxes have a minimal ultraviolet light output as this is harmful to childrens’ eyes. Most UV exposure for human eyes occurs during childhood due to the larger pupil size, so ultraviolet protection is essential for healthy eyes. Read123 tinted glasses for autism are specially coated with a UV400 coating to give maximum protection from harmful ultraviolet rays. Uncoated lenses won’t provide this level of protection.


Read123 work with fully qualified UK optometrists with 10 years experience working for both Independent and well known High Street Opticians. Their extensive experience examining the eyes of children from all age groups has given them a unique insight into using colour to help reading problems in Dyslexics and Autistics. They are members of The General Optical Council, The College of Optometrists as well as The Association of Optometrists.

Leave a Comment