Ignacio “Iggy” Fernandez
Ignacio “Iggy” Fernandez is a Registered Behavior Technician and part of our Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy team at FOCUS Therapy Fort Myers. A native of Punta Gorda, FL, Iggy earned his Bachelor of Science in Community Health Languages from Florida Gulf Coast University in 2017. He is bilingual English-Spanish, and his primary focus and passion is working with children on the autism spectrum.
Quoting the insight of Dr. Stephen Shore (longtime Adelphi University professor of special education who himself is on the autism spectrum), Iggy notes that, “If you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism.
“Every kid is unique and has been gifted to learn in an individual way. Each child has a different way of learning – and I get to help them find that. I love connecting with each individual and helping him or her reach their maximum potential.”
Iggy’s first introduction to pediatric therapy was in elementary school, where he was treated by a speech-language pathologist as a child. Later, a few dust-ups in high school athletics like rugby, soccer and football required pediatric physical therapy to recover.
“I was always thankful for those therapists who challenged and pushed me,” he recalls. “When I got to college, I knew that wanted to return the care and compassion that was shared with me by those therapists!”
Working with children seemed a natural progression after growing up surrounded by younger cousins and other relatives and family friends at dinners and parties.
“I enjoy the playful nature of children, their curiosity – and I’m a pretty patient person too, so I knew I would enjoy working with children,” he said. “My favorite part about working with children is their happiness when they know they did a great job. When they say, ‘I did it!’ or ‘Ta-da!’ after they complete something they couldn’t do a few weeks or even days ago – it’s just so great to watch.”
His therapy philosophy boils down to compassion. Compassion for patients, for families and the unique situations – is the foundation of the genuine trust that’s key to delivery of high-quality ABA therapy for children in Lee County, Florida. In FOCUS, he says he’s found colleagues who have “a real love for the kids” and play-based, child-led, collaborative therapy across professional disciplines that truly works to help children with disabilities and delays overcome their biggest challenges – especially when initiated early.
“We aren’t just a group of people showing up to a job,” Iggy says. “Helping these kids excel is a daily team effort.”
Outside of FOCUS, Iggy says he spends a lot of time at the beach, in downtown Fort Myers, enjoying FGCU athletics, visiting family and active involvement volunteering with youth programs at his church.