FOCUS Therapy

Amanda Baranski, RBT

RBT (Registered Behavior Technician) 

Amanda Baranski has been an RBT providing ABA therapy to kids at FOCUS Therapy in Fort Myers, Florida since 2022.

FOCUS Therapy

Anabel Turrubiartez, RBT

RBT (Registered Behavior Technician)

Yenibet Hernandez, Fort Myers ABA therapist

Yenibet Hernandez Betencourt, BCBA

BCBA (Board Certified Behavior Analyst)

FOCUS Fort Myers Therapy

Anissa Avalos, RBT

Anissa Avalos, RBT

FOCUS Therapy

Marysol Ramos, RBT

RBT (Registered Behavior Technician)

Marysol Ramos is an RBT with more than 5 years of experience who joined FOCUS Therapy in 2022.

“I wanted to become a therapist – specifically for kids – because I am aware that it truly ‘takes a village,'” Ramos said. “And when it comes to raising kids, I never want anyone to feel alone.”

Working with kids was something she felt destined for. Her mother owned a daycare at their home in Lee County, where they moved from California when she was 9-years-old. Many of the kids she for whom she cared were in the foster care system and had endured much turmoil and trauma. She wanted to mirror the loving example set by her mother, who treated each child as a unique individual and always looked for ways to help them each blossom and flourish.

“When I first become a therapist, it didn’t take long before the families and kiddos just took over my heart. I knew almost right away, without a doubt, that ABA was the field for me.”

Bilingual in English and Spanish, she’s worked with kids of all ages with a wide array of disabilities, delays, and disorders.

“Every child is unique in their own way, and I so enjoy getting to know each child,” she said. “As they teach me who and how they are, I can learn how to properly treat them in ways that are most beneficial for them.”

FOCUS Therapy, she said, is that it strikes the balance between effective therapy and simply allowing kids to be kids with a play-based approach. The FOCUS Therapy mission, she says, closely aligns with her own therapy philosophy which is, “Trust the process.”

“In the world we live in, fast results are practically an obsession,” Ramos said. “When we don’t get fast results, it’s easy to get discouraged. Trusting the process creates real results.”

Genesis Moreno, RBT, ABA therapy Fort Myers

Genesis Moreno, RBT

RBT, Registered Behavior Technician

Beau Voltz, ABA therapy

Beau Voltz, RBT

RBT, Registered Behavior Technician

Beau Voltz has been a licensed Registered Behavior Therapist at FOCUS Therapy since August 2021. He was drawn to ABA therapy after spending 17 years as a teacher in the Lee County School District.

“I believe I have been called to work with the youth in helping them reach their highest potential,” he said.

Through years of working with youth on the sports field as a coach and athletic director, to the classroom as a middle school teacher, Voltz looks to working in the clinical setting as his next great adventure.

As a native of Eau Claire, WI, Voltz graduated from the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire with a bachelor’s degree in Special Education, specializing in learning and cognitive disabilities.  In 2004, Voltz relocated to South Florida, where he took his teaching degree and worked with students with IEPs in the areas of reading and math. He had a gift for working with these students, as he was nominated 15 times for the Golden Teacher Award, as well as one of the only educators to be rated “Highly Effective” by the State of Florida 7 years in a row.

In 2020 he was approached about the opportunity to take his work with students in the classroom to children in the private, clinical setting.  Voltz enrolled at Arizona State University and will graduate with his Master’s degree in Special Education Applied Behavior Analysis in the spring of 2022.

“After years of working in large group instruction, I have enjoyed the opportunity to work one on one with clients at FOCUS,” Voltz said. “Working with motivated clients and families has been one of the greatest joys of working at FOCUS.”

When not working at FOCUS Therapy, Voltz and his wife spend their free time, cheering on their two sons and daughter on the baseball field, basketball court, football field, and gymnastics mat.

FOCUS Therapy

Kallyn Tiner, BS RBT

RBT

ABA Therapy

Christie Lawrence, RBT

RBT

Christie Lawrence has been a Registered Behavior Therapist at FOCUS since March 2019. She joined the ABA therapy team in after spending four years as an ESE paraprofessional in self-contained ESE and inclusion classrooms.

“I enjoy working with kids and helping them reach their highest potential,” Lawrence explained. “As a mom to son with autism, I understand the journey a lot of our parents are on. I find it rewarding to be a part of the process and facilitate a relationship with our kids and families.”

A native of Philadelphia, PA, Lawrence moved to Southwest Florida at age 12. Now with extensive personal and professional experience with children diagnosed on the autism spectrum, she particularly enjoys helping discover what motivates each child – and finding ways to use those interests to craft reinforcing activities through play to spur growth and development.

“FOCUS has such a unique, whole-child approach where meeting the needs of each individual child is such a priority,” Lawrence said. “FOCUS has created a culture where we collaborate and support patients and their families every step of the way, helping them to reach their highest potential.”

Her philosophy regarding ABA therapy is that play is the work of the child.

Lawrence is a parent board member with the American Diabetes Association through Golisano Children’s Hospital and a Type 1 diabetes advocate. She enjoys hiking with her husband and two children, and is passionate about a healthy lifestyle.

Dr. Dean Funk, Consultant & ABA Therapy Manager

M.D., Consultant, ABA Manager

Dr. Dean Funk joined FOCUS Therapy Fort Myers in 2017 as a consultant for ABA Therapy (Applied Behavioral Analysis) services. By then, he had nearly three decades of practicing family medicine in Wisconsin. Now, Dr. Funk’s prime area of interest is with assistance in behavior treatment services for pediatric patients with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Down syndrome.

Family medicine is broad discipline compared to ABA therapy, he says FOCUS is unique among Southwest Florida pediatric speech, occupational, physical and ABA therapy providers in its dedication to promoting not just interdisciplinary services, but emphasizing an active role of family involvement in therapy. Children with disabilities are more than those characteristics, and with FOCUS Therapy’s steadfast commitment to holistic treatment, providers build relationships not only with patients but also their families – of special importance through the ABA therapy process of positive reinforcement. 

Just as speech therapists aren’t solely treating a mouth, nor physical therapists a pair of feet, children can’t be effectively if the approach is pretend they exist in a bubble with no impact on their family (or visa versa). Holistic therapy considers the WHOLE child – including the integral role of families.

“It offers us the special capacity to view the child in the family context,” Dr. Funk says. Although therapy is almost never a quick fix, the insight of this unique window into family dynamics allows therapists and support staff to provide customized care, in turn increasing pace and accuracy of generalized skill outside the clinic setting. In other words: Faster, more significant gains by patients means better outcomes long-term.

Dr. Funk earned his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Illinois and his Medical Doctorate degree from the Universidad Central del Este, Dominican Republic in 1984. The Chicago native completed his family medicine residency from Southern Illinois University. Dr. Funk is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family Medicine of the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and was a Fellow in Surgical Obstetrics in 1995 in Rockford, IL. He is also a visiting Professor at Capitol University of  Medical Science in Beijing, China. Dr. Funk speaks fluent Spanish and Chinese and is proficient in French. He has also studied Latin, Greek and German. Dr. Funk is certified in Accent Modification for adults (primarily health care workers and other professionals).

He enjoys East Asian language and culture and has an affinity for the study of world history. He is an Aikido student and instructor. Dr. Funk is married with three adult children and six (soon-to-be-seven) grandchildren.