Sarah Friel, MA, CCC-SLP
Sarah is from the UK and graduated from the Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London, as a licensed speech therapist. She gained a post-professional Masters in Philosophy and Linguistics at Birbeck College, University of London. Her career has focused on academic research and pediatric communication disorders in a wide variety of settings such as schools, hospitals and in-home therapy. Before emigrating to the United States, Sarah was an Assistant Professor of Speech Pathology at the University of Reading, UK, and senior specialist SLP in cleft palate and craniofacial disorders at Guy’s Hospital Medical School, London. Sarah moved to Virginia in 2004 as a doctoral scholar at James Madison University and became a research associate at the University of VA’s Curry School of Education where she conducted research in the Preschool Language and Literacy Lab. Sarah is trained in the Hanen© programs: ‘It Takes Two to Talk,’ ‘Learning Language and Loving It,’ and ‘More than Words.’ She is passionate about working with families in a functional, playful way to improve communication skills at home and at school. She is comfortable working with all pediatric client groups but has particular interest in developmental speech and language disorders, autism, motor speech disorders, cleft and craniofacial disorders and phonological and emergent literacy disorders.
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Nicole Hagler, MS, CCC-SLP
Nicole is a certified Speech-Language Pathologist. She earned her undergraduate degree at The George Washington University and her M.S. in Speech-Language Pathology from the MGH Institute of Health Professions in Boston, MA. Nicole’s clinical experience includes working with children with a range of developmental speech and language disorders, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and augmentative and alternative communication. Nicole has completed specialized graduate training in literacy, and has attended training in Social Thinking®. She is trained in the Hanen© program “It Takes Two to Talk.” Her clinical interests include social-pragmatic development, literacy development, and facilitating family involvement. Nicole is passionate about using play-based therapy to help children improve communication abilities.
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Emily Lesher, MS, CCC-SLP
Emily is one of the Speech and Language Coordinators at OTA the Koomar Center. Originally from New York, Emily is a certified and licensed Speech-Language Pathologist. She received her Master of Science degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Ithaca College. She also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Nazareth College in Rochester, NY. She has experience working with children in school-based, clinic-based, and early intervention settings with a broad range of diagnoses and abilities. She is certified in Story Grammar Marker® and the Hanen© Programs: It Takes Two to Talk and More than Words®. She has clinical training in the Social Thinking® curriculum. Emily creates a positive play-based environment for her clients to learn and establish language that can be used at home and in the community.
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Lauren Mangold, MS, CCC-SLP
Lauren is a licensed and certified Speech-Language Pathologist. She grew up in Boulder, Colorado, and studied at CU Boulder before moving to Boston to earn her Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Northeastern University. Lauren’s commitment to the power and value of child-led, developmentally-based therapies is evident in her clinical training through the Hanen Centre programs (More Than Words, TalkAbility), certification in DIRFloortime, and additional graduate level courses in both social-emotional and social-cognitive development of children. She strives to help every child develop core feelings of control and belonging by always presuming competence and using the guiding principle that playing is learning.
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Kathryn Matthews, MS, CCC-SLP
Katie received both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Boston University in Speech, Hearing, and Language Sciences and Speech-Language Pathology, respectively. Katie has experience in public and private schools, early intervention, and clinic settings, working with children with congenital and acquired brain injuries, Autism Spectrum Disorders, speech and language delays, feeding difficulties, receptive and expressive language disorders, fluency and articulation speech disorders, and social/pragmatic language disorders. She is passionate about using play-based therapy to improve overall language and communication skills in the children she treats.
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Michele Norcross, MS, CCC-SLP
Michele received her bachelors at the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a major in Communicative Disorders and a minor in Women’s studies. She went onto receive her masters at Florida State University. While at FSU, Michele worked on a grant known as ASSET (Autism Spectrum Specialized Education and Training) where she learned how to use technology and visuals to better support children and adolescents on the Autism Spectrum. Since graduate school, Michele has been working in Early Intervention in the Boston metro area. She now holds the Certificate of Early Intervention Specialty (CEIS). Her areas of interest include working with individuals on the Autism Spectrum, emerging speech and language development, social skills/pragmatics and teaching families how to bring the concepts and strategies learned in therapy home.
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Mara Nussbaum, MS, Speech-Language Pathology Clinical Fellow
Mara received her bachelor’s degree from Brandeis University with a double major in Neuroscience and Biology, and went on to receive her master’s degree from Boston University in Speech-Language Pathology. Her clinical experience spans public elementary school, university clinic, and hospital settings. She has experience working with children who have receptive and expressive language, social-pragmatic, fluency, and articulation disorders. Mara is passionate about providing play-based therapy and converting evidence-based practice into treatment plans that lead to sudden “light-bulb” moments for her clients.
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Amy Futernick Sarrantonio, MS, CCC-SLP
Amy is a certified Speech-Language Pathologist (CCC-SLP). She received her Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Emerson College in Boston, MA. She continues her affiliation with Emerson College, serving as an out-placement Clinical Supervisor for Emerson College graduate students since 2005. Amy also holds a Bachelor’s degree from Emory University in Atlanta, GA. She has extensive experience in school-based, clinic-based, and early intervention settings working with children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, childhood apraxia of speech, cerebral palsy, social/pragmatic language disorders, various receptive and expressive language disorders, fluency, and articulation and phonological speech disorders. She has received clinical training in Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS), DIR®/Floortime™, and Social Thinking®. Amy also participated in conducting a pilot study using syntax intervention software (Finn, Futernick, MacEachern, 2005).
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