Our Staff

Our therapists are licensed, certified and trained to address a variety of speech and language disorders and difficulties. With over 20 years combined experience, we’re capable of addressing all of your concerns. Through required continuing education, our staff stays up-to-date on the latest therapeutic techniques and current research on a number of diagnoses, disorders, and challenges your child may encounter.

Dawn Di Stefano

Dawn Di Stefano

M.S., CCC/SLP - Executive Director of Clinical Services & Owner of Ocean Speech and Learning Centers

Dawn Di Stefano has been a practicing Speech-Language Pathologist for over 20 years. She’s worked collaboratively with doctors, physical therapists, occupational therapists, audiologists, classroom teachers, and developmental teachers in a variety of hospitals, outpatient clinics, schools, and the early intervention system. She founded Ocean Speech and Learning Center in 2008 out of her love for working with patients in a private setting and set out to provide the best care in the area. As the Executive Director of Clinical Services, she ensures all therapists provide each patient individualized attention and supervises treatment to maximize their success. She personally conducts comprehensive patient evaluations to ensure the correct diagnosis and development of a treatment plan to the high standards of her practice. Dawn also manages parent counseling along with community consultant training and outreach. She frequently attends advanced training conferences on the latest research, new methods in diagnosing patients, and innovative ways to help all children achieve their highest potential. When Dawn is not at Ocean Speech you can find her experimenting in the kitchen or enjoying the beach with her family and friends.

Qualifications:

M.S., Speech-Language Pathology, Seton Hall University

B.S., Speech-language Pathology and Audiology, Stockton University

Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) from ASHA

Licensed by the State of NJ as a Speech-Language Pathologist

Certified by the NJ Educational Association as a Speech-Language Specialist

Member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Member of the New Jersey Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Member of the International Dyslexia Association

Dyslexia Consultant

Level One Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) Trained

Level Two Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) Trained

Hanen It Takes Two to Talk ® Certified

Kaufman Speech To Language Protocol (K-SLP) trained

Beckman Oral Motor Method Trained

TalkTools Oral Placement Method Trained

Nicole Tharp

Nicole Tharp

M.A., CCC/SLP, Speech-Language Pathologist- Director of Clinical Services

Nicole has been a Speech-Language Pathologist for over 15 years. She joined the Ocean Speech team in 2011. In addition to seeing patients at Ocean Speech, she is our Director of Clinical Services in charge of training and development of our staff, along with conducting patient evaluations. Nicole has worked in a variety of settings including local schools, private practice, and outpatient/hospitals. She is an expert in the areas of childhood development, apraxia, motor speech disorders, language disorders, auditory processing challenges, aural rehabilitation, oral motor challenges, autism spectrum disorder, and implementing the PECS protocol for communication training. Nicole continuously expands her education by attending several speech and language training conferences each year. She is passionate about helping her patients consistently reach treatment milestones and loves to see them become effective communicators and achieve academic success. When she’s not here, you can find her enjoying life with her husband and two children.

Qualifications:

Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) from ASHA

Licensed by the State of NJ as a Speech-Language Pathologist

Certified by the NJ Educational Association as a Speech-Language Specialist

Member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

MA, Speech Pathology, The College of New Jersey

BS, Speech Pathology and Audiology, Stockton University

Kaufman Speech To Language Protocol (K-SLP) trained

Beckman Oral Motor Method Trained

TalkTools Oral Placement Method Trained

Level One Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) Trained

Level Two Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) Trained

PLAY Project™ Trained     

Justine Malloy

Justine Malloy

Justine Malloy, M.A., CCC/SLP Speech-Language Pathologist, Clinical Supervisor

Justine has been a Speech-Language Pathologist for over 10 years and has extensive experience treating patients of all ages. She joined the Ocean Speech team in 2013. In addition to seeing patients at Ocean Speech, she is our Clinical Supervisor in charge of off-site treatment and evaluations at area preschools. Her expertise includes childhood development, apraxia, motor speech disorders, oral and written language disorders, and implementing the PECS protocol for communication training. Justine is passionate about helping children overcome communication challenges and enjoys collaborating with patients and caregivers to achieve treatment goals. When she’s not here, you can find her enjoying outdoor activities with her husband and two sons.

Qualifications:

Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) from ASHA

Licensed by the State of NJ as a Speech-Language Pathologist

Certified by the NJ Educational Association as a Speech-Language Specialist

Member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

M.A. Communicative Disorders, West Chester University of Pennsylvania

B.S. Speech Pathology and Audiology, Stockton University

Level One Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) Trained

Level Two Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) Trained

Kaufman Speech To Language Protocol (K-SLP) trained

Beckman Oral Motor Method Trained

TalkTools Oral Placement Method Trained 

Ashley Smida

Ashley Smida

M.S., CCC/SLP, Speech-Language Pathologist

Ashley has been practicing speech-language pathology for over 4 years. After earning her Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology from LaSalle University, she’s enjoyed helping patients in a variety of settings. Currently she treats our wonderful patients at Ocean Speech and also in the Lacey Township School District. Ashley especially enjoys working with pediatric patients but has significant experience working with a variety of age groups and various developmental disabilities.

Qualifications:

Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) from ASHA

Licensed by the State of NJ as a Speech-Language Pathologist

Certified by the NJ Educational Association as a Speech-Language Specialist

Member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

M.S., Speech Pathology, LaSalle University

B.S., Speech Pathology and Audiology, Stockton University

Kaufman Speech To Language Protocol (K-SLP) trained

Level One Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) Trained

Kim Pearson-Pesciotta

Kim Pearson-Pesciotta

OTR/L

Kim has been a practicing Occupational Therapist for over 28 years and we’re excited to have her on the Ocean Speech Team. She’s worked with children and adults throughout her career including school-based programs and as the Educational Coordinator in an adult neuro-rehabilitation hospital facility. Kim has extensive continuing education in the areas of neurodevelopmental treatment techniques, visual motor/visual perceptual training, and certification as a Handwriting Without Tears™ Level 1 Specialist. Kim strives to give her patients a well-rounded approach through a variety of therapeutic techniques such as behavior modification using programs like 1,2,3 Magic™ and the Zones of Regulation™, executive functioning skills with children and adolescents, and the See It Right™ program that offers strategies for visual motor and perceptual skills. Most recently she completed training on an integrated approach for dyslexia, dyscalculia and dysgraphia. In addition to active practice, Kim has been a speaker at national conferences and an adjunct professor at Union County College.

Qualifications:

National Board Certification, Occupational Therapy

Registered Occupational Therapist, State of New Jersey

Handwriting Without Tears™ Level 1 Specialist

Member, American Occupational Therapy Association

Featured Presenter, National Stroke Conference

B.S, Occupational Therapy, Medical College of Virginia 

Pin It on Pinterest