Our Therapists

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Harla Rudolph, MS, CCC-SLP

Owner and Founder, 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

Denise Puma, MS, CCC-SLP

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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.  

Michelle Cieslak, MS, CCC-SLP

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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. 

Valerie Romano, MS, CCC-SLP

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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. 

Lauren Alessi, M.S., CCC-SLP

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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.  

Deborah Bonomo, M.S., CCC-SLP

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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.

Tracey Vegvari, MS, CCC-SLP

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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. 

Jennifer Lawson, MA. CCC-SLP

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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.

Kim Portello, MA, CCC-SLP

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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.  

Jaclyn Razzagone, M.A., CCC-SLP

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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.  

Dori Saler, M.S., CCC-SLP

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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). 

Elizabeth Salner M.A. CCC-SLP

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Elizabeth Salner is a New Jersey state licensed and ASHA certified speech-language pathologist. Elizabeth received her undergraduate degree in Elementary Education from Montclair State University in 2012. 

She then received her graduate degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Kean University in 2016. Elizabeth has experiences working in public schools and specialized schools for students with disabilities treating children with a range of deficits including expressive and receptive language disorders, articulation and phonological disorders, and fluency disorders. Additionally, Elizabeth has experience working with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder using the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). Elizabeth views therapy as a team approach between herself and families to encourage carry-over of skills to a variety of settings.

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. 

Meryl Fineberg, MA, CCC-SLP

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Meryl is a New Jersey State licensed and ASHA certified Speech-Language Pathologist. Meryl graduated Magna Cum Laude from Rutgers University with a BA in Communication and Psychology and from Temple University with a MA in Speech, Language and Hearing Science. Meryl has experience working with clients from infancy to adulthood, in a variety of settings including schools, pediatric subacute/long-term care, acute care, subacute inpatient rehab, and skill nursing. She has experience treating clients with a variety of language disorders, articulation/phonological disorders, and oral motor/feeding impairments.

Danielle Da Cunha, MS, CCC-SLP

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Danielle is a certified speech-language pathologist through the state of new Jersey. Danielle graduated from Stockton University with her BS in communication disorders and recently from Seton Hall University with her MS in Speech-Language Pathology. She has experience working with the pediatric population in both public school and private practice settings. She has also worked with adult and geriatric patients in a medically based setting including outpatient and inpatient therapy. Danielle has treated a variety of individuals ranging in age and communication impairment’s including those with speech and language delays, cognitive difficulties, voice, fluency, and swallowing issues. She has extensive experience working with children and young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder who implement a variety of alternative augmentative communication (AAC) devices. Danielle encourages clients and families to formulate a holistic perspective, as it is important to treat an individual as a team and with a variety of factors in mind.

Heather Rettberg, MS, CCC-SLP

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Heather Rettberg, M.S. CCC-SLP is a New Jersey State licensed and ASHA certified Speech-Language Pathologist. Heather graduated summa cum laude from West Chester University where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology, and from New York Medical College with a Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology. Heather has six years’ experience working with children and adults in a variety of 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, disfluencies, oral motor deficits, auditory processing, behavior modification and receptive and expressive language disorders. Heather specializes in the treatment of disfluency, articulation and apraxia of speech and is PROMPT trained. Heather emphasizes the importance of generalization of skills, and encourages families to incorporate targeted therapy skills into their child’s everyday activities. 

Katy Korintus, MA, CCC-SLP

Katy Korintus is a New Jersey State licensed and American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA) certified Speech-Language Pathologist. Katy graduated from Kean University where she earned her B.A. in Communication Sciences and Disorders. She then graduated from South Carolina State University where she received her M.A. in Speech Language Pathology. She has experience working in a variety of settings including skilled nursing facility, private practice and public schools.  She has treated children with a wide range of communication difficulties including articulation/phonological disorders, dysfluencies, auditory processing, and receptive and expressive language disorders. She has experience working with toddlers, preschoolers, school-aged children, in addition to the adult population.

Jessica Birch, MA, BCBA

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Jessica is originally from Marietta, Georgia where she graduated from Georgia State University with a Bachelors in Early Childhood Education. After working at a summer camp specially designed for families and their children with autism, Jessica decided to go for her masters in the field of special education. She attended Teachers College, Columbia University and attained a Masters of Arts in Intellectual Disabilities and Autism with a dual teaching certification. Upon graduating, Jessica worked closely with other behavior therapists, Speech and Language Pathologists, as well as Occupational Therapists at The McCarton Center in Manhattan. From there, Jessica headed back to the classroom and taught 5th and 6th grade during her time at The Children's Academy. Wanting to take what she had learned to a new level, Jessica began working as a Head Teacher at the NYC Autism Charter School where she supervised instructors within her classroom to plan and develop programming for young adults with autism. During this time, she also received her certificate as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). Jessica has recently moved to New Jersey and works closely with families in their homes and schools to help develop self-help, social, community, and living skills with children ages 2.5 years up to 21+ years. 

Our Therapy Partners

Karalyn Herban, OTR/L

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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

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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