Our Therapists

Harla Rudolph, MS, CCC-SLP

Owner, The Speech Tree

Harla Rudolph is a New York and New Jersey State Licensed  and ASHA Certified  Speech Language Pathologist, with over 20 years of experience working with  children and their families. She  graduated from Binghamton University with a BS in Linguistics in 1994 and from Hunter College with a MA in Speech Pathology in 1997. 


Harla  specializes in dealing with the unique needs of  infants, toddlers, pre-schoolers and school-aged children with oral  motor, feeding, sensory,   and speech and language disorders.  She has provided pediatric therapy  services within in a wide variety of  settings; including hospitals, specialized  school settings, medical  clinics, and with the NYS and NJ Early Intervention home  based  Programs.  Prior to going  into private practice, Harla served as the Clinical Director for RCDS/The MENTOR Network, an Early Intervention  program based in New York.  

 
Harla has  advanced training in oral motor and feeding  interventions and specializes in working with the communication development of infants and toddlers. She is PROMPT trained and utilizes the tools and techniques following the work of Sara Rosenfeld-Johnson  and Lori Overland.  Harla has been  invited to lecture on the following  topics: 


  • October2007 — "Feeding, Swallowing, and Sensory Issues in Early Childhood", Queens, NY. Co-presenter, Lindsey Biel, MA, OTR/L and author of "Raising a Sensory Smart Child" 
  • April 2008 — "Autistic Spectrum Disorders: Challenging Behaviors, Feeding, & Sensory Issues in Early Childhood", Manhattan, NY.   Co-presenter, Dr. Braden Josephson, Ph.Dl, BCBA 
  • May 2008 — "Feeding and Swallowing in Early Childhood", Middletown, NY 
  • April 2009 and February 2010 — "The Picky Eater", The Shield Institute, Bronx, NY. 
  • November 2010- Parent Workshop: "Speech and Language Development- What Parents Should Know", The Tutoring Club, Marlboro, NJ
  • February 2013- Lecture  Series:  "Autism Spectrum Disorders: Challenging Behaviors,  Feeding & Sensory Issues", The Friendship Circle, Marlboro, NJ
  • April 2013- Staff Development and Training: "Feeding and Swallowing in  Early Childhood", Old Bridge Township Public Schools, Old Bridge, NJ
  • February 2009-2018 — "Play and Language", The Shield Institute, Queens, NY 

Harla was also featured on a CBS News segment entitled  "Children's Speech Disorders" to discuss the importance of early identification of language disorders and delays. 

Our Therapists

Michelle Cieslak, MS, CCC-SLP

Michelle is a New Jersey State licensed and ASHA certified Speech-Language Pathologist, with over 13 years experience.  Michelle graduated from Iona College where she received her BA in Speech/Language  Pathology and Audiology and from NOVA Southeastern University with a MS  in Speech-Language Pathology.  She has experience working in a variety  of pediatric and geriatric settings including home-based early  intervention, public schools, and assisted living facilities. She has  treated children with a wide range of communication difficulties  including articulation/phonological disorders, dysfluencies, oral motor  deficits, auditory processing and receptive and expressive language  disorders.  Michelle has extensive training in the area of Autism  Spectrum Disorders and follows the principals of Applied Behavior  Analysis (ABA).  She is also PROMPT trained. 

Denise Puma, MS, CCC-SLP

Denise is a New Jersey State licensed and ASHA certified Speech-Language  Pathologist. Denise graduated from Hofstra University with a BA in  Speech-Language Pathology and also with a MS in Special Education from  Hofstra University. She received her MA in Speech-Language Pathology  from New York University. She has worked as a Speech-Language  Pathologist in a public school setting and New Jersey Early Intervention  Home Based Programs providing therapy for children from toddlers to  school aged. Denise also worked in a hospital setting providing speech  and language therapy to adult patients with aphasia and swallowing  disorders. Denise is also fluent in Spanish and holds bilingual  extension certification.  

Tracey Vegvari, MS, CCC-SLP

Tracey graduated from Muhlenberg College where she received a Bachelor  of Arts degree.  She then received and a Masters of Arts degree in  Speech-Language Pathology from West Chester University.  She has over  eight years experience working both in the clinic and public school  setting.  Tracey has treated a variety of individuals ranging in age and  communication impairment including developmental delays impacting  speech production and language, Apraxia, Autistic Spectrum Disorders,  stuttering, and cognitive impairments relating to Traumatic Brain  Injuries and stroke. She has extensive experience working with patients  with Central Auditory Processing Disorders and has a particular interest  helping adolescents with Asperger Syndrome develop functional social  skills to lead independent, productive lives. 

Valerie Romano, MS, CCC-SLP

Valerie Romano, M.A. CCC-SLP is a New Jersey State licensed and ASHA certified Speech-LanguagePathologist. Valerie graduated magna cum laude  from Loyola University Maryland where she received her B.A in  Speech-Language Pathology, and from Kean University with a M.A in  Speech-Language Pathology. She has experience working with children  ranging from toddlers to school-aged. Valerie additionally has  experience working as a Speech-Language Pathologist in a public school  setting, in addition to experience in outpatient pediatric therapy and  specialized schools for autism. Therapy addresses receptive and  expressive language delays, articulation and phonological disorders,  fluency disorders, and auditory comprehension delays. Valerie emphasizes  the importance of generalization of skills, and encourages families to  incorporate targeted therapy skills into their child’s everyday  activities. 

Matthew Shaw, M.A. CCC-SLP

Matthew  Shaw, M.A. CCC-SLP is a New Jersey State licensed, ASHA certified, and PROMPT  trained Speech-Language Pathologist.   Matt graduated from Kean University, where he received both his B.A  and M.A. in Speech-Language Pathology.  He has experience working in the public   school setting, conducting both individual and group therapy sessions  focusing  on various goals such as language expansion, fluency  strategies, pragmatic  language, and articulation skills. In addition,  Matt also has experience in a private school setting, working with   multiply-disabled children and adults, where improvement with Augmentative and  Alternative Communication (AAC), and learning and  applying proper  swallowing/feeding techniques are frequently  practiced.  Regardless of  current age, ability, or goals, Matt  encourages independence for all of his  clients. 

Ilysa Rifkin, M.A., CCC-SLP

Ilysa Rifkin is a New Jersey State licensed and American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA) certified Speech-Language Pathologist. Ilysa graduated from Towson University where she received her B.S. in Speech Language Pathology and Audiology. She then attended Montclair State University where she received her M.A. in Speech Language Pathology. She has experience working with toddlers, preschoolers, school-aged children, in addition to the adult population. Ilysa has treated a wide range of speech disorders and receptive/expressive language disorders through her experiences in public schools, early intervention, and rehabilitation centers.     

Tricia L. Zeitlin M.A., CCC-SLP

Tricia is a New Jersey State licensed, New York State licensed and ASHA certified Speech-Language Pathologist, with over 28 years of experience.  Tricia graduated from SUNY New Paltz where she received her BA in Speech/Language Pathology and Audiology and from Kean University with a MA in Speech-Language Pathology.  She has experience working in a variety of various settings including home-based early intervention, private practice and public schools.  She has treated children with a wide range of communication difficulties including articulation/phonological disorders, dysfluencies, oral motor deficits, auditory processing, behavior modification and receptive and expressive language disorders.  Tricia has extensive training in the area of Autism Spectrum Disorders and follows the principals of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). She encourages families to become involved in their child’s therapy so that they can generalize new skills into their everyday lives. 

Jaclyn Razzagone, M.A., CCC-SLP

Jaclyn is a New Jersey State licensed and ASHA certified Speech Language Pathologist. Jaclyn graduated from Stockton University where she received a B.S. in Speech Language Pathology & Audiology. She then graduated from Kean University where she received an M.A. in Speech-Language and Communication Disorders. Jaclyn has experience working with children from infancy through 21 years of age with a wide range of language disorders, articulation disorders and oral motor and feeding deficits. She has provided skilled treatment in a pediatric outpatient hospital setting as well as in home early intervention.  

Lauren Alessi, M.S., CCC-SLP

Lauren is a New Jersey State licensed and ASHA certified Speech-Language Pathologist. Lauren graduated from the Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders and with a Master’s Degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Seton Hall University. She has experience working in a variety of settings that include public and specialized schools, and outpatient and inpatient rehabs, treating both pediatric and geriatric clients. Lauren is trained in Laurie Overland’s Sensorimotor Approach to Feeding and specializes in oral motor and feeding therapy. Lauren also specializes in Augmentative and Alternative Communication for children with Autism Spectrum disorder, Cerebral Palsy, and related multiple disabilities. She has extensive experience treating articulation, language, and fluency disorders. Lauren stresses the importance of increasing children’s independence in a variety of settings as well as family involvement.  

Dori Saler, M.S., CCC-SLP

Dori Saler is a New Jersey State licensed and ASHA certified Speech-Language Pathologist, with over 7 years of experience. Dori graduated from Northeastern University where she earned her B.S. and M.S. She has experience working in a variety of settings including acute care, skilled nursing, and private practice.  Dori specializes in dysphagia and feeding with infants, toddlers, preschoolers, school-aged children, as well as a variety of adult and geriatric patients.   Additional areas of interest include aphasia, ALS and Neuromuscular Disorders, and Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC). 

Deborah Bonomo, M.S., CCC-SLP

 

Deborah is a New Jersey State  licensed and ASHA certified Speech-Language Pathologist.  Deborah  graduated from New Jersey City University where she received a B.S. in  Biology. She then graduated from William Paterson  University where she received an M.S. in Communication Disorders.  In  addition, Deborah had a post master's certificate in Autism Studies from  the University of Massachusetts.  Deborah has experience working with  infants, toddlers, school-age children, and  adults.  She has worked in a variety of settings including public  schools, private practice, skilled nursing facilities, and home based  early intervention.  Deborah has extensive training in Autism Spectrum  Disorders and Feeding Disorders.  Deborah welcomes  families and caregivers to participate in therapy sessions, as this  aides in generalization of skills.

Kim Portello, MA, CCC-SLP

Kim is a New Jersey State licensed and ASHA certified Speech-Language Pathologist. She graduated Montaclair State College where she earned he B.A. in Communication Sciences and Disorders. She continued at Montclair State University for graduate school were she received an M.A. in Speech Language Pathology. Kim has worked  in a variety of settings including Acute Care Hospitals, Early  Intervention, public schools, skilled nursing facilities and private  practice. She has experience working infants, toddlers, school aged children and adults. Kim is a graduate of the Marlboro Public School system and currently lives in Freehold with her husband and two sons.  

Kristin Iturbides, MS, CCC-SLP

Kristin  is a New Jersey State licensed and ASHA certified Speech-Language  Pathologist, with over 11 years of experience.  Kristin graduated from  Iona College where she received her BS in Speech-Language Pathology and  Audiology and from Northeastern University with a MS in Speech-Language  Pathology.  She has experience working in a variety of pediatric, adult  and geriatric settings including hospitals, home-based early  intervention, public schools, and long term care facilities. She has  evaluated and treated children and adults with a wide range of  communication difficulties  including articulation/phonological  disorders, dysfluency, oral motor deficits, auditory processing,  receptive and expressive language  disorders, aphasia and cognitive  impairments status post stroke and traumatic brain injury.  Kristin has  extensive training in the area of voice and voice disorders. She also  has an expertise in the area of Augmentative and Alternative  Communication (AAC).  

Jennifer Lawson, MA. CCC-SLP

  

Jennifer is a New Jersey State Licensed and ASHA Certified Speech Language Pathologist, with over 15 years of experience working with children and their families.  She graduated from the University of Kansas with a BS in Speech, Language and Hearing in 2000, and from Kean University with a MA in Speech-Language Pathology in 2002. 

Jennifer specializes in the evaluation and treatment of infants, toddlers, preschoolers and school-aged children with oral motor, articulation, phonological, fluency, auditory processing, expressive language, receptive language and social language disorders.  She has provided pediatric therapy services within a wide variety of settings including public schools, private clinics, hospitals, and the New Jersey Early Intervention home based program. Jennifer also has experience as the clinical supervisor of graduate students from local universities, as well as speech-language pathology assistants while working out of state.

Karalyn Herban, OTR/L

Morganville and Monroe Offices


Karalyn is a pediatric occupational therapist licensed in the state of New Jersey. She has 17  years experience providing treatment to children from ages birth to 21 in multiple settings including schools, home based, early intervention,  as well as outpatient clinics. She graduated with a degree in  occupational therapy from Boston University in 2001.

Karalyn has treated children with developmental delays and various disabilities/ conditions including Autism spectrum disorder, Cerebral Palsy, Rett Syndrome,  Epidermolysis Bullosa, Down syndrome, Hemiplegia, Sensory Processing  disorders, motor planning difficulties and visual processing difficulties. 

She has extensive  training in sensory integration, sensory motor, visual processing and  graphomotor skills. Karalyn uses Handwriting Without Tears®  interventions as a multi sensory approach to improve handwriting skills  for children of various ages.  She also uses brain gym exercises to  enhance a child's visual, auditory, and kinesthetic skills for easier  and more optimal learning.

Karalyn firmly believes  there is no one single approach that works with all children.  She utilizes a variety of treatment approaches founded on best practices  and evidence-based research that is “just right” for your child.  Karalyn uses child-centered and play-based therapy as it should  be- helping kids just be kids!

SHARYN J. RUDOFSKY, OTR/L

Princeton Office

 

Sharyn has been a practicing board certified pediatric occupational  therapist for 16 years. Sharyn received her degree in occupational  therapy from New York University. She is licensed to practice in New  Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York. Sharyn is certified in Sensory  Integration. Sharyn is a certified occupational therapy  fieldwork educator who mentors interns and OT fieldwork students. Sharyn is the co-founder, of “The Write Time”, a multi-sensory  workshop addressing developmental milestones necessary for successful  handwriting, which has been presented statewide and nationally. She  continues to present well-received seminars and workshops on sensory  processing disorder to professionals and parents throughout New Jersey.  She performs comprehensive evaluations for educational attorneys and  advocates, and acts as an expert witness in court cases involving  mandated service

Nashwa Emara, M.S., CCC-SLP, BCBA

Nashwa  Emara is a Speech Language Pathologist and a Board Certified Behavior  Analyst (BCBA). She has a Master’s Degree in communication disorders  from William Patterson University of NJ. She completed her BCBA  coursework at Rutgers University. Nashwa has been working with children  on the autism spectrum for more than seven years. She began her career  in the ABA field at Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, a  private school specializing in ABA. Nashwa has worked in public and  private school settings, private practice and in the Early Intervention  System doing both speech therapy and ABA therapy. She also has extensive  experience with home-based services as a therapist and a supervisor.  Nashwa is owner of We Care Autism Services, LLC