Roberta McCall, an occupational therapist at FOCUS Therapy in Fort Myers, graduated from Kaiser University in 2018 with a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy.
Before joining our occupational therapy team in 2019, McCall worked at Poinciana Elementary School in Naples, where her Level 2 field work included elaborating and expanding treatment plans to improve student performance. This involved making adaptive changes to classrooms themselves to boost participation and implementing personalized sensory diets for students.
Her therapy philosophy centers on a holistic approach, with special attention to sensory development as much as cognitive, social and emotional development.
“I enjoy treating children of all levels and abilities,” McCall said. “I especially enjoy working with children with social cognitive challenges, developmental delay and autism spectrum disorder, as well as sensory processing and self-regulation challenges.”
Fluent in English and Portuguese and having an intermediate skill in Spanish, her special training and licensing includes:
- DIR Floortime. This relationship-based therapy approach is used with children with autism and other developmental and emotional challenges. It uses the power of relationships and human connections to promote engagement, play skills, communication, and positive behavior.
- Handwriting and Keyboarding Without Tears (Pre-K – 5th Grade). This program takes a developmental approach to teaching handwriting and keyboarding.
- Therapeutic listening. This intervention is intended to help children who experience challenges with sensory processing dysfunction, listening, attention and communication.
- Astronaut Training. This protocol was designed to stimulate and integrate the vestibular, visual, and auditory systems thus improving the child’s ability to control movement, improve balance and visual motor skills.
- Social Thinking training. This is a framework created by Michelle Garcia Winner to help children with social cognitive challenges.
- Zones of Regulation. This is a cognitive behavioral approach used to teach children about self-regulation.
McCall said she is privileged to apply these techniques in her work as part of the FOCUS team.
“FOCUS has an amazing reputation within this community,” she said. “The staff are very dedicated to their clients. They truly care about every single child they work with. All disciplines collaborate to improve each child’s potential to the fullest.”
Her first inspiration to seek a career helping others was in witnessing the devastating toll of Alzheimer’s disease on her grandmother. But it was was her son’s diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder just after his second birthday that spurred her into a career in occupational therapy.
“I have dedicated my life to learning about the many evidence-based treatment approaches available to help improve the lives of children with autism, and I look forward to sharing this knowledge with other families,” she said.
Born in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, McCall has lived in the U.S. since 2001, first in Massachusetts and since 2014 in Southwest Florida, where she enjoys the warm climate, year-round bicycling, a great community and her English Mastiff, Zeus.