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Give a Gift of Independence

Help Kids like Nate this Christmas

Imagine a grey world, where you see no colour and have a sensitivity to light - that is reality for Nathaniel or Nate to his family and friends. 

Nate is 3 years old, an absolute chatterbox and never stops talking. He is fascinated by anything with wheels, especially trains and he just loves to dance.

Nate has a special place in Can:Do history; being the very first client to access a white cane through our new Orientation and Mobility Service which commenced in June 2016.

Nate has been part of our Can:Do family since he was 18 months old and his family have decided to share their story with you. His mum Hayley hopes it will spread awareness for a cure and the visual challenges some children face, and raise much needed funds so Can:Do 4Kids can continue to provide the best possible services for kids with sensory impairments, just like Nate.


A donation today will ensure kids like Nate get the support they need as early as possible.
That is an amazing gift. It is only with your support that we’re able to assist every family who turns to us for help.


Hayley’s journey started when Nate was 3 months old and she noticed his eyes would shake side to side, this is known as nystagmus. As a result of the nystagmus Nate was referred to an Ophthalmologist for more testing and the initial diagnosis was cone dystrophy. More specific genetic testing concluded achromatopsia, Nate cannot perceive any colours; he only sees black, white and shades of grey. Achromatopsia also involves other problems with vision including increased sensitivity to light (photophobia), involuntary back-and-forth eye movements (nystagmus) and significantly reduced sharpness of vision. This is different to colour blindness in which people can perceive colour but have difficulty distinguishing between certain colours such as red and green.

Nate’s Early Intervention therapist Rachelle reflects. “When Nathaniel first became a client of Can:Do4Kids he did not have any NDIS funding however we were able to support this family at no cost to them due to Nate’s vision impairment. This meant the family could access support while waiting for his NDIS funding to be approved. He has such a supportive family, Hayley had already implemented some great strategies in and outside the home to support Nathaniel such as encouraging him to wear his sunglasses and hat every time he went outside, darkening his playroom with curtains and buying highly contrasted toys and books”.

Nate has been thriving in his Orientation and Mobility sessions that are supporting him to develop the skills necessary for safe and independent travel in and around his home, community and childcare. For people who are blind or have vision impairment, the ability to efficiently and independently orient around their environment is an important skill that allows for increased social, recreational opportunities as well as supporting in the future with Nate’s ability to navigate his world independently.

“The services have been great for Nate, he can be very timid and scared in new environments so having the Orientation and Mobility team help with things like visits to the park, social stories, sensory play and childcare transitions has really helped with his confidence. Early introduction of the cane will also be very beneficial for when he is a little older and wants to explore new environments on his own.” Adds Hayley

Despite his vision impairment Nates memory and recall is always something that surprises everyone.

Hayley says “We can be driving in the car and he is able to recall the names of the roads and will give us directions on where to go. He would often sit on the couch and read his stories to himself word for word. Of course he couldn’t actually read them he just memorised them!”

Nate loves his 7 month old sister Asha who also has the same genetic condition. Their relationship gets stronger every day.

Hayley knows that there is a bright future ahead for Nate and Asha, she can be sure that Can:Do 4Kids will be there every step of the way to ensure they have most independent future they can.

A donation today will ensure kids like Nate get the support they need as early as possible. 
That is an amazing gift. It is only with your support that we’re able to assist every family who turns to us for help.