The holidays can be an especially lonely time for the estimated 19,000 kids in Florida’s foster care system. Many of these children are without not only their parents, but also siblings, extended family, and most material possessions. FOCUS Therapy is hoping we can come together to help offer them a small measure of comfort this season: Cozy, holiday-themed pajamas.
We’re asking for donations of brand new, soft, holiday-themed pajama sets. Donations are welcomed for boys and girls of all ages & sizes. Statistically, the average age of a child in foster care is 8, and there are slightly more boys than girls.
We’ll be collecting these PJs at our two FOCUS Therapy locations, at Royal Gulf Circle and Interstate Commerce Drive.
Foster care is the temporary placement of children and youth with families outside their own home due to abuse, neglect, or other circumstances. The goal is to provide a stable, nurturing environment in a time of crisis until they can be reunited with their parents or extended family members. Many children in foster care arrive to their temporary placements with little more than the clothes they’re wearing.
To learn more about the Florida foster care system or becoming a foster parent, visit the Florida Department of Children & Families at https://www.myflfamilies.com/service-programs/foster-care/.
If you have questions about donations or FOCUS Therapy in general, call our office at (239) 313-5049.
At FOCUS Therapy, you’ll never hear us say, “Let’s go back and do some therapy.” We say, “Let’s go play!”
Research has shown time and again that for therapists who work with kids, play-based therapy approaches are truly the most effective. Play is how children learn to understand and use language, regulate emotions, and bridge symbols and thoughts into actions.
Whether we’re working on speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy or ABA therapy, we first find out what kids are most interested in. Then we use that to teach them the skills they’re going to need in life – to talk, move, listen, and participate.
To those on the outside looking in, it may appear we’re “just playing.” But each sessions is tailored for each child, targeting their unique goals. We love what we do, and have so much fun doing it – but the main reason we use the play-based approach is because: It works!
To learn more about our services or to schedule testing or an appointment, call (239) 313.5049 or Contact Us online.
FOCUS Therapy families are invited to join us TONIGHT for the 2nd annual FOCUS POCUS Trunk-or-Treat event! We’ll be in the parking lot at our Colonial Boulevard location (4997 Royal Gulf Circle, Fort Myers) from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Bring your brothers, sisters, and best buddies & see all your favorite FOCUS Therapy staffers, therapists, and friends for a frightfully fun time! We’ll have games, prizes, decked-out trunks, trick-or-treat & more! Can’t wait to see all your boo-tiful faces!
Join us! Thursday, Oct. 28th from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at our Colonial Boulevard location for our 2nd Annual FOCUS POCUS Trunk-or-Treat! Wear your most spook-tacular costumes and see all your favorite FOCUS Therapy staffers and therapists for games, prizes, and trick-or-treat! We can’t wait to see all your boo-tiful faces!
Big news, FOCUS Family: FOCUS Therapy is opening a second location in Fort Myers!
Our new FOCUS Therapy location, conveniently situated near FGCU, Gulf Coast Town Center and Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW), will allow us to expand our vital services (speech, occupational, physical & ABA therapies and ADOS testing) to hundreds more children in one of the fastest-growing communities in the country.
The new FOCUS Gulf Coast Office, located at 9961 Interstate Commerce Dr., Unit 150 & 160, will officially open its doors Aug. 9, 2021. This new facility will allow us the capacity to ultimately onboard an additional 20 therapists and treat 200 more children than our existing patient list. We’ve hired 10 new therapists to start, and will bring on more as we grow throughout the next year.
“Opening this new site is both extremely exciting and deeply humbling,” said FOCUS Owner/Founder Jennifer Voltz-Ronco. “I set out to fill a critical need in this community 10 years ago, at a time when there weren’t enough clinics providing pediatric therapy in Southwest Florida. There still aren’t. As the population in our area continues to grow at a rapid speed, the demand for quality therapy has expanded at an even faster clip. This brings us one step closer to ensuring all children in Southwest Florida have access to the therapy services they need to succeed.”
At our existing location on Royal Gulf Circle off Colonial Boulevard, we have a waitlist of 160 children. Similar waitlists are reported at other pediatric therapy clinics throughout Southwest Florida.
According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, roughly 9 percent of kids in the U.S. have a speech sound disorder. Further, about 5 percent of kids have a noticeable speech disorder by 1st grade. Now consider that in 2020, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported approximately 1 in 54 children in the U.S. is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). That’s 1 in 34 boys and 1 in 144 girls, with diagnoses being reliably made as early as 18 months. There is a mountain of clinical evidence showing these kids can thrive – but only with access to intensive, early intervention therapies (speech therapy, occupational therapy and applied behavior analysis).
Whether we’re talking about a speech delay, down syndrome, autism, cerebral palsy, brain injury or other condition, the more assistance a child receives early on, the better their odds of school readiness, social engagement, academic success and long-term independence. That’s because neuropathways for young children are still developing, and young minds are little sponges for new knowledge. This ability of the brain to change, rewire, relearn and strengthen key connections is called neuroplasticity. It’s especially agile during early childhood, and that’s why we’re so adamant in preaching early intervention. It’s also why we couldn’t delay any longer in opening a second FOCUS Therapy clinic location.
“Children cannot wait for services this important,” Voltz-Ronco said. “This new Gulf Coast location of FOCUS Therapy is going to allow us to reach more kids in this community – and faster – benefiting not just themselves, but their families, the schools and our entire community as a whole.”
FOCUS offers pediatric speech therapy, occupational therapy, ABA therapy, physical therapy and ADOS testing in Fort Myers. Call (239) 313.5049 or Contact Us online.
More Blog Entries:
Therapy Isn’t a Quick-Fix – Why You Should Still Follow Our Course Until Successful, May 7, 2020, FOCUS Therapy Fort Myers Blog
Why FOCUS Therapy Celebrates With “Therapy Graduation” Ceremonies, Sept. 5, 2020, FOCUS Therapy Fort Myers Blog
FOCUS Therapy ABA Talks
At FOCUS Therapy, we offer speech, occupational, physical, and ABA therapy. For that last one, "ABA" stands for "Applied Behavioral Analysis." It also sometimes goes by the name, "behavior therapy." It involves the study of behavior and ways it is reinforced. ABA therapy is considered the gold standard for treatment of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other conditions that make it difficult to communicate and behave in ways that are expected.
The concept of what ABA therapy is and how it works is often unfamiliar to families who first seek our services on the basis of a physician referral. In an effort to help parents and families better understand ABA and how it works, Dr. Dean Funk, M.D./B.S. Biological Science and the rest of our FOCUS Therapy ABA team have created a series of in-depth videos we hope will better explain it all.
Insight is provided by invaluable members of our FOCUS Therapy ABA team, including Ignacio Fernandez, BCBA.
Watch the videos below!
- Composition books
- Pencil pouches
- Tissue boxes
- Germ X
- Other school supplies that are sure to be on your child’s back-to-school list!
Attention FOCUS families: Our office phone lines have been down intermittently this morning (1/14/21). If you need to reach our office and cannot get through to the main line, you can call the FOCUS cell phone: (239) 671-4144. If your concern is less than urgent, you can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or send us a direct message on our Facebook page.
Dear FOCUS Therapy Families,
If ever a year could be described as a rollercoaster, it was 2020. FOCUS Therapy is beyond grateful for the families, therapists and staff who stuck with us through whirlwind months of office closures (in accordance with CDC guidelines), rapidly-expanded teletherapy services, scheduling upheavals and enhanced safety protocols. Our services are vital to patients’ health and development, and we’re committed to delivering no matter the obstacles. Still, our success has always hinged heavily on the dedication of our FOCUS families.
As a token of our thanks, this new year we’re gifting each patient a clean slate on their appointment cancellation record. Starting Jan. 1, 2021, cancellations for the prior calendar year will not count against you or adversely impact your child’s standing as a FOCUS patient.
A friendly reminder that FOCUS Therapy will be closed December 21st through 25th for the holidays. Our clinic will also be closed for a half day on New Year’s Eve and a full day on New Year’s Day.
Individual therapists may still schedule teletherapy services for speech therapy and occupational therapy patients.
Our annual scheduled office closings can be found on our Contact Us page.
If you have any other questions, you may email us or send us a direct message on our Facebook page.
From all of us at FOCUS Therapy, we wish each of our clients and their families the happiest of holidays and a new year that is both merry and bright!
FOCUS offers speech, ABA, OT and physical therapy to children in Fort Myers, Cape Coral and throughout Southwest Florida. Call (239) 313.5049 or Contact Us online.