Jennifer “Jenny” Lunsford has been an occupational therapist at FOCUS since 2017. A Miami native, she moved to Fort Myers at 18 and attended Florida Gulf Coast University on a full academic scholarship, earning a bachelor of science in community health and a master of science in occupational therapy.
Inspired by her mother, a pediatric occupational therapist, Lunsford gravitated toward working with children, seeing the greatest potential for impact at such a pivotal stage in development. Lunsford approaches therapy with the belief that every child is unique and created for a special purpose. In developing fun, creative and effective occupational therapy strategies, she enjoys helping each child discover their own purpose and passions and live life fully.
“With the right intervention early on and a therapist who truly believes in them, children can grow to to live out their fullest potential with the greatest quality of life,” Lunsford said. “It is such a blessing that I would get to play a small part in setting a child up for success to be able to participate in anything they want to in their lives, whether it is playing a sport, successfully navigating social situations, regulating their emotions or even performing self care with increased independence. I love that I get to help kids ‘catch up’ with their peers and build their self confidence to go out in the world and make a difference.”
Lunsford has experience working with children with autism spectrum disorder, sensory processing disorder, Down Syndrome, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, developmental delays, intellectual disabilities and more. FOCUS, she says, is unique not only in its commitment to providing a fun, stimulating and adaptive environment for growth, but also in the opportunity for cross-disciplinary therapist collaboration, allowing the team to fully assess and address every aspect of the child’s needs. While therapists are always productively working to help each child build their skills, the kids consider it “play time.”
Lunsford spends most of her time enjoying the slower pace of Florida’s Gulf Coast with her husband, Tom, young daughter, Samantha, and dog, Dixie. The family is also excitedly anticipating the arrival of a second daughter, Taylor!
“We are raising our children to appreciate the differences that they will notice in their peers and that they will have themselves and embracing them to reach their fullest potential and to help others reach theirs. … My motto is live life to the fullest!”