Visual Perceptual

About Us

Natoya Rose has been an Occupational Therapist for 30 years and has worked in New Zealand, Australia and the USA. In 1996, an ‘Ah-ha’ moment forever changed her understanding of how many of us perform those daily tasks we tend to take for granted. She was able to see beyond the superficial levels of her training and see into the depths of how we do what we do and why some people struggle to perform everyday tasks. It also allowed her to see where performance breaks down and to fix it in ways that typically result in rapid and dramatic transformations in kids.

That moment of realisation led to the development of The Visual Perceptual Therapy and in the 20-plus years she has been doing this work she has come across no one else that is doing anything similar. The therapy is unique because it allows us to see what a child is doing in such an obvious way and to understand their struggles in a very practical and common sense way. To this day one of the most common things we hear said by observers of this therapy is this: “Well if they can’t do that, it’s no wonder they are struggling with these other things.”

Life does not need to be complicated and we aim to bring a simplicity and ease to everything we do.

A 21st Century Therapy

The Visual Perceptual Therapy recognises that a child who struggles has had their development and ability to perform interrupted. It makes use of a variety of tasks that any child would normally be performing before the age of 5 and allows us to see what they are doing and how they are doing it.

The Visual Perceptual Therapy exists as an invitation to each and every child, to show us what they are doing and how they are doing it, so we can show them a new way of performing that works.

Ultimately, any child’s struggle comes down to how they are connecting the dots and making sense of their world. If information is missing or being misinterpreted, any action the child then takes will be taken on the basis of a faulty perception of the task, situation or environment they are in. It all does begin with simply connecting the dots and making sense of the world.

The Visual Perceptual Therapy is success based. So often it is apparent that the child is suddenly seeing and experiencing life in a way that is entirely new to them. They get to successfully complete tasks that they know they could not have performed previously. And it doesn’t stop there; when they leave the therapy session and go out in the world, they naturally continue to make use of everything they have been given and start to engage and perform in an entirely new way. It is not uncommon for a parent to call us a few days after the therapy because they are so amazed and relieved and what they are seeing their child do and how they have seen their child change. When we say this therapy is a gift, it most sincerely is.

Parents also learn how to work with their child in a truly effective way. We call this process ‘Paving the way,’ because it allows us to create helpful pathways for children to follow, where we can naturally lead them in their exploration of the world and everything in it. It teaches parents how to facilitate a child’s engagement and performance in tasks and life in general and to have fun whilst doing so. Just imagine for a moment, the stress you routinely experience just melting away because this is one of the things parents get to experience as their child is suddenly engaging in life in a way that was not previously possible.

Providing this therapy to kids who struggle is incredibly rewarding. Over the years Natoya has watched as so many parents have suddenly found themselves engaged in a relationship with their child that they never thought they would have. Natoya believes it is truly a privilege to be able to help so many people in such a profound way. We come across so many parents who have tried so many different things, only to find their child still struggles.

We are not in the game of stringing people along or seeing kids forever and a day. The reality is that most children will only need 3 or 4 therapy sessions (truly, we are not making this up) and those children with more severe issues will still not need therapy for months or years (well we may see them for 2 or 3 months in a couple of blocks, but we continue to say that, while we may like you, we need you to go out and get on with life and enjoy.)

The therapy is entirely driven by the child. They are constantly telling us what they need and what has gone wrong for them. When we put their performance under our microscope we can understand what they are saying in a whole new way and that becomes the doorway to a whole new way of doing things, and a new life for the child and their family.

Physical environment

We work with children in their own homes, but we will also work with kids in school if we see this to be to everyone’s (especially the child’s) advantage. While based in Christchurch, The Visual Perceptual Therapy is available anywhere in the world via Skype. This enables us to consult with parents about their child via Skype, and to work with your child without you ever having to leave your home.

Atmosphere

This therapy is practical and common-sensical. It is about the child and their performance and all you need to bring with you is your observations about your child – what they are doing and how they are doing it – and we can immediately tell you (in easy to understand ways) what the child is telling us about what has gone wrong.

One of the most common things we hear parents say is how obvious it was, the level their child was performing at. So many of us have been led to believe that the problem was with literacy and numeracy or handwriting or social performance, etc, etc, etc. But the reality is that these things are only ever a symptom of something much deeper and, when we work with a child at that deeper level, magic truly does happen. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what anyone else has to say about your child or their condition simply because, we know what happens when we go beyond these symptoms and start addressing the cause of these struggles. This leads to a truly stress-free environment and way of working with each child and their family, because you can also see the things we can.

If you would like to know more, check out our website or email Natoya with a brief outline of your situation.

Services

General development
Developmental delays
Behaviour
Difficulties with reading/dyslexia
Academic ability
Fine motor skills and general upper limb function
Learning difficulties
Self-management and regulation
Planning and organizational skills
Difficulties with handwriting & pencil grip
Self-care skills
School readiness
Play and social skills
Movement and coordination skills
Fine and gross motor skills
Co-ordination and clumsiness
Sensory processing issues
Cognitive, Visual and Social skills

Services

General development
Developmental delays
Behaviour
Difficulties with reading/dyslexia
Academic ability
Fine motor skills and general upper limb function
Learning difficulties
Self-management and regulation
Planning and organizational skills
Difficulties with handwriting & pencil grip
Self-care skills
School readiness
Play and social skills
Movement and coordination skills
Fine and gross motor skills
Co-ordination and clumsiness
Sensory processing issues
Cognitive, Visual and Social skills

“A year ago I was at my wits end trying to find a way to help my 9 year old son. He had been diagnosed with ADHD, dyslexia, a learning disorder and Development Coordination Disorder. He struggled with all his school work especially literacy, communication, making friends and keeping friendships. He had trouble using scissors and riding a bike and because he had spent so much time learning how to avoid the things he didn’t want to do, we also had behaviour issues as well. Then I met Natoya and what a fantastic experience it had been. I admit I was a skeptic at first (sorry Natoya), but one thing Natoya kept saying just stuck with me, “Functional Kids Don’t Struggle,” so I decided to trust her and I am so happy I did. The changes in my son have been huge. From the first session that he sat down with her I knew I have made the right choice. She actually understood him; she understood what was happening and how he felt. But best of all she offered real help not just a band-aid measure. My son has never looked back, he has grown and changed. He would be the first to tell you that is not easy and there have been tears both of joy and pure frustration. Natoya has been there every step of the way to help and encourage his progress. My son has gone from only just achieving a D’s on his report card across every aspect (D is below standard expected) to achieving nearly all C’s on the last report card (C is standard expected). He also got an award for the ‘most improved’ in his class. I am not going to try and describe the therapy process because honestly I couldn’t. I will leave that to Natoya. But what I will say is……. if you have a child who is struggling, contact Natoya, talk to her, trust her, believe in your child. Remember, “Functional Kids Don’t Struggle,” they just need a little extra help and to be shown the way.”

Kathy – Mother, Australia