Introducing the Play for Real Occupational Therapy Team!
Dedicated to supporting and developing the occupational needs of your child
Lisa Timrick, COTA/L
Pediatric Occupational Therapy Assistant
Lisa joined us in September, 2016 as our first employee at Play for Real and is here Mondays through Thursdays. In 2006, she began working with children as an orthopedic technologist at Shriner’s Hospital for Children in Chicago. During this time, she developed a passion for assisting children with a variety of disabilities. This experience inspired her to become an occupational therapy assistant.
Wanting to deepen her relationships with children and families, Lisa completed course work to become a Basic DIRFLoortime Practitioner. In turn, this led her to become part of our team at Play for Real Therapy Services.
During her time at Shriners, Lisa enjoyed working closely with other professionals in a multidisciplinary team. This approach is something she continues to value. While training as an occupational therapy assistant, she was fortunate to work at Mt. Sinai and Stogers hospitals in Chicago. Here Lisa developed her pediatric experience in neonatal care and outpatient therapy. After graduating, Cum Laude, in 2010, she gained experience in a pediatric unit specializing in trauma. At this time, Lisa also developed an interest in using play to work on pre-handwriting skills in children.
2014 brought Lisa on an amazing journey to Florida where she initially worked with medically fragile children and their families. Through this experience, she discovered the effects of nurturing touch and its benefits to both the child and parents. Consequently, Lisa went on to become certified as a pediatric massage therapist.
In her free time, Lisa spends time cooking and creating new dishes for her family and friends. She enjoys researching and learning about Florida’s reptiles and spiders of all kinds. Lisa’s other interests include travel, swimming, reading, yoga and watching football.
Kim Acosta, MS, OTR/L,
Pediatric Occupational Therapist
Kim joined the Play for Real team in April 2018 as a recent graduate of Florida International University, where she completed her master’s degree in occupational therapy. Kim attended the University of Central Florida for her undergraduate degree, where she first discovered her love for the central Florida area. Ever since her first job teaching swimming lessons, Kim knew she wanted to work with kids. She learned about occupational therapy after searching for a hands-on profession where she could help children of all abilities do amazing things. After further research, Kim knew that was the profession she was meant to be in.
As a Spanish speaker, Kim was able to complete some of her fieldwork abroad in Costa Rica. There she learned the value of helping people even with very limited resources, something she had not been exposed to prior in her education. This learning experience later matured to an interest in working with a local under-served population – youth in the juvenile justice system. As a graduate student, Kim went on to lead a research project exploring the role of occupational therapy in the juvenile justice system. She hopes to expand that research further during her career.
You may notice that Kim likes to be in motion; she doesn’t like to sit still for very long. She enjoys taking her dog on walking trails, going to the gym, and attempting yoga. When it’s time to refuel, she loves trying new places to eat and indulging in a dessert or two! She also loves to read, so if you can recommend a good book, don’t hesitate to tell her about it.
Jenn Bannon, COTA/L
Pediatric Occupational Therapy Assistant
Jennifer is delighted to be joining the team at Play for Real Therapy Services! She was born and raised in Rhode Island and relocated to Florida in June 2016. Jennifer ultimately credits her parents for her occupational therapy career choice. Her mother is a speech pathologist who has 25 years of history in working with children with disabilities and her father is a firefighter who has a history of working at special needs programs and schools. Jennifer was raised in an environment that encouraged individuals of all abilities to be the best they can be.
In 2014, she decided to follow her dreams and enroll in the OTA program at New England Institute of Technology. She excelled in this program, graduating with honors in 2016. It was during her time at New England Tech that she was able to explore various populations and clinical settings throughout her fieldwork experiences, which assured her that a career in occupational therapy was meant for her. Jennifer particularly enjoyed her time working with children and decided that she wanted to pursue her career in pediatrics.
In her free time, Jennifer enjoys spending time exploring the outdoors with her dog, Parker. Jennifer’s other interests include exercise, travel, the beach, paddleboarding, and snorkeling.