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

Lauren Stopa

Lauren Stopa

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

Lauren has been a Speech-Language Pathologist for over 5 years. She joined the Ocean Speech team in 2015. She has worked with patients of all ages in varied settings and enjoys working with children who have apraxia, motor speech disorders, oral and written language challenges and auditory processing disorders. Lauren is an Adjunct professor at Stockton University teaching Language Development to undergraduate students and has presented research on bilingual English-Spanish speech and language development at the national ASHA conference. Lauren’s dedication to helping children meet their greatest potential is observed daily. When she’s not here, you can find her baking wonderful desserts and completing home improvement projects.

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. in Communication Disorders, Stockton University

B.A. in Spanish, The College of New Jersey

Level One Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) Trained

Sarah Baart

Sarah Baart

M.S., CCC/SLP, Speech Language Pathologist, Social Media Liaison

Sarah has been a practicing Speech-Language Pathologist for over 10 years.   Sarah joined Ocean Speech in 2015. In addition to seeing patients at Ocean Speech, she is our Social Media Liaison. Sarah has worked in the local school system treating disabled pre-school and multiple-disability elementary aged children. She has extensive experience working with various articulation and language disorders, and dyslexia.  She enjoys utilizing the latest learning tools and technologies to help her patients. Some of her favorites include the Orton-Gillingham method, Lindamood-Bell LiPs program, Picture Exchange Communication System, and the Kaufman Protocol.  She also has experience in Tobii Eye Gaze technology and apps such as GoTalkNow and Proloquo2go. Her favorite part of working at the Center is customizing treatment plans to maximize success for her patients. When she’s not here, you can find her spending time with her husband and three 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

M.S., Speech-Language-Hearing Science, La Salle University

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

Lindamood-Bell LiPs Program™

IMSE Comprehensive Orton-Gillingham Trained

Dawn Taylor

Dawn Taylor

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

Dawn has been a practicing Speech-Language Pathologist for over 20 years in a variety of clinical settings working with both adults and children. Her areas of expertise include evaluating and treating children with delayed speech and language development including a variety of disorders such as apraxia, articulation, language disorders, aphasia, oral-motor, and feeding disorders. She enjoys working with small children and is passionate about making therapy fun for the child so that they enjoy their sessions. Her favorite part of working at Ocean Speech is hearing a child say their first words and the joy of positively impacting a child’s life.

Qualifications:

Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) from ASHA

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

Member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

M.S. in Speech-Language Pathology, West Virginia University

B.S., in Speech-Language Pathology, Stockton University

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 

Caitlin McPherson

Caitlin McPherson

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

Caitlin has been a Speech-Language Pathology for over 3 years working in private practice.  She graduated with her Bachelor’s degree in Communication Disorders and her Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology from Long Island University.  Caitlin joined the Ocean Speech team in 2018. Caitlin has experience working with children and adults in the areas of articulation, language, voice, fluency, feeding/swallowing, apraxia, dysarthria, myofunctional/tongue thrust, cognitive communication disorders, auditory processing, and autism. She is licensed by the State of New Jersey, holds a NJ Department of Education Standard Certificate, and is a certified member of ASHA. She enjoys helping children overcome challenges in communication and loves seeing their smiles brighten up the room when they succeed.  When she’s not here, you can find her at the beach with her family and friends. 

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

B.S. in Communication Disorders, Stockton University

M.S. in Speech Pathology & Audiology, Long Island University

Level One Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) Trained 

Allie Nagel

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

Allie has been a Speech Language Pathologist for over 5 years. Allie joined the Ocean Speech team in 2019. She graduated with her Bachelor’s degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology and her Master’s degree in Communication Disorders from Stockton University. Allie has worked at a public school center treating students on the Autism Spectrum utilizing the most recent evidence based treatment resources and technologies. She is conversant in American Sign Language, holds a sign-mand training certificate, and has a Level One training certification for PECS. Allie has additional experience working with children that have articulation, phonology, specific language, and swallowing disorders. She is licensed by the State of New Jersey, has a Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC), and is an active member of ASHA. Allie is very enthusiastic about working with children and their families to develop communication skills that enable her patients to better access their environments. When she’s not here, you can find her enjoying outdoor activities with her husband and daughter.

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. in Communication Disorders, Stockton University

B.S. in Speech Pathology & Audiology, Stockton University

Level One Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) Trained 

Pam Woolf

Administrative Assistant & Accounts Receivable

Pam has extensive experience business administration experience from managing her own business for over 20 years. She handles our bookkeeping and client invoicing as well as customer service and scheduling. Her favorite part of working here is seeing smiles on our clients faces. Pam joined Ocean Speech in 2017. When she’s not here, you can find her being creative at her nail salon, biking for charity or spending time with family and friends.  

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