MEET THE THERAPISTS

Heather Lynn Boerner, MA, CCC-SLP, TSHH

Heather Lynn Boerner, a pediatric speech-language pathologist with over ten years’ experience in the field is founder and creator of Chatty Child™. Heather  treats children who have a wide variety of needs, and has gained experience in many therapeutic settings including: hospitals, schools, sensory gyms, and homecare settings.

Specialties include: apraxia of speech and PROMPT services (a technique used to improve the movement and coordination of oral structures for speech); oral motor and feeding therapy; augmentative and alternative communication (AAC); autism; medically-complex populations; articulation; auditory processing; and, speech and language delays.

Chatty Child creates a personalized care program for each client that takes into account the child’s interests, strengths, current level of functioning, and future goals. We strive to empower the child, the whole family, and the caregivers to become positive vehicles of change within the child’s life. We strive to provide personalized, creative, and effective care to maximize each child’s communication abilities.

Heather Lynn Boerner graduated with high honors, New York University with Masters of Arts in Speech Language Pathology and Minor in Education. Heather is a licensed Speech Language Pathologist and Teacher of Speech and Hearing Disabled Students, State of New York.

Anne R. Karpel-Freilich, MA, CCC-SLP, TSHH

Anne R. Karpel-Freilich comes to us with more than 30 years clinical experience with children from birth through adolescence.  In addition to her many years of private practice she has served at two major universities in the New York Metropolitan area as clinic director, building the student clinics and working to create their practicum programs.  Throughout her years of practice she has served as a consultant to hospitals, home care agencies and the Department of Education of the City of New York.

Anne has developed expertise in the areas of neonatal and toddler feeding skill development, phonological and language acquisition with children presenting on the autistic spectrum, as well as normally developing school age children exhibiting a myriad of speech and language delays.  Her expertise extends to all areas of speech and language development as well as social skills development.  Her techniques of therapy and relationship development with clients have proven successful for hundreds of children throughout her years of practice.

Anne graduated with high honors from Teachers College at Columbia University  with a Masters of Science in Speech Language Pathology.  She is licensed by the State of New York and holds permanent certification as a Teacher of the Speech and Hearing Handicapped.

Natalie Kimmelman Maroni, MA, CCC-SLP

Natalie Kimmelman Maroni received her M.A. in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology from New York University and her B.A. from Columbia University. She holds her Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCCs) from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), her New York State Speech-Language Pathology license, and her certificate as a Teacher of Speech and Language Disabilities (TSLD).

During her years at the Rebecca School, as well as in private practice, Natalie has worked with young children and adolescents with mild to severe Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD-NOS), Developmental Apraxia of Speech (DAS/CAS), Fragile X Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Prader-Willi Syndrome, Angelman Syndrome, and other global developmental delays.

Through her work at a pediatric private practice and sensory gym, Natalie continues to specialize in addressing language and articulation delays, phonological disorders, social/pragmatic deficits, auditory processing disorders, apraxia, and oral-motor difficulties.

Natalie is trained in PROMPT (Prompts for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets) technique, DIR-Floortime, and oral-motor therapy techniques. She also has experience treating pediatric feeding disorders using a language- and sensory-based approach. 

On a personal note, Natalie grew up with a wonderful younger brother with autism. Thus, she is very aware of the unique challenges and rewards of having a family member with special needs, and is well-versed in much of the current news and research in the field. Natalie is passionate about combining evidence-based practice, creative play, and engaging activities to foster growth, and about working with children and families together to achieve speech and language goals.

Colleen Rogan, MA, CCC-SLP, TSSLD

Colleen Rogan is a licensed Speech-Language Pathologist in both New York and New Jersey. She holds the American-Speech-Language-Hearing Association Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC-SLP) and is a certified Teacher of Students with Speech and Language Disabilities (TSSLD). Colleen graduated with high honors from the State University of New York at Geneseo with a Bachelor of Sciences degree in Communicative Disorders and Sciences, and then continued on to earn a Master of Arts degree in Speech-Language Pathology.

Colleen’s experience includes evaluating and treating the adult and pediatric population with varying diagnoses. Colleen has gained skills in many therapeutic settings including early intervention homecare, acute rehabilitation centers, sensory gyms, private practices and schools. Her special interests include early language development, developmental apraxia of speech, expressive and receptive language, articulation, sensory feeding and pragmatic language skills. Regardless of a child’s needs, Colleen uses a holistic and child-centered approach to build a dynamic therapeutic relationship. She strives to maintain a positive and effective treatment plan for each child.

Colleen is PROMPT Level 1 certified and has distinct training in DIR/Floortime approach, sign language, and sensory integration disorder.

Jennifer Willard, OTR/L, CIMI

Jennifer Willard is an Occupational Therapist and a Certified Infant Massage Instructor with over 10 years experience working with infants, toddlers and school-age children throughout New York City. Her diverse background includes working in hospitals, private homes and within the NYC public school system where she still works full time.  Jennifer has experience working with children with a variety of neuromotor and sensory based disabilities with resulting functional delays in the following areas:  fine motor skills, visual perceptual and visual motor skills, sensory integration and regulation, motor planning and self-care skills.  Her training in multiple techniques allows her a well-rounded approach to addressing these areas. As part of her holistic treatment protocols, Jennifer is diligent in educating families on ways they can best support their children in the home (and school environment when applicable) for maximum ability and functional independence. This may include using remediation activities, as well as compensatory strategies.

Jennifer also teaches Infant Massage as an adjunct service to families for children with disabilities. She has a particular interest in teaching the parents of children with Down syndrome and parents who have adopted children -- two populations for whom infant massage has particular therapeutic value. Benefits include supporting bonding, attachment and trust, decreasing colic, relieving gas and constipation, supporting improved sleep patterns, improving appetite, improving the ability to self-calm and integrate sensory information and to support more functional muscle tone and motor development.

Jennifer is now providing comprehensive services at Chatty Child Speech Therapy, including evaluation, treatment and consultation through her own private practice, First Connections Count.  She also accepts children with RSA’s from the DOE (outside of District 2) and children mandated for center-based occupational therapy through the NYS early intervention program.

Jennifer graduated with awards from Columbia University’s Master of Science Program in Occupational Therapy.  She is a member of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), the International Association of Infant Massage (IAIM) and Infant Massage USA (IMUSA).

Sonya Kashlan, MS, OTR/L

Sonya Kashlan draws on both her comprehensive professional experience and her firsthand knowledge as the mother of three young children in evaluating clients and tailoring therapeutic programs designed to meet each child’s specific needs.

Sonya has worked in various therapeutic environments, including: hospitals, schools, sensory gyms, and homecare settings. Her approach is built upon a holistic therapy model that addresses neurological and physiological behaviors, communication, and sensory, motor and cognitive abilities. Through her work, Sonya strives to improve activities of daily living (ADL’s) such as eating, sleeping, playing, dressing, toileting, attending, learning, relating, and developing. But she is equally attentive to enrichment through mastering the more complex activities required for long-term academic success and community involvement. Sonya’s specialties include: Sensory Processing Disorders (Sensory Over-Responsivity, Sensory Under-Responsivity, Sensory Craving, Postural Disorders, Dyspraxia and Sensory Discrimination Disorders), Autism spectrum, Apraxia, Ataxia, Visual-Perceptual disorders, fine motor delays and Handwriting assessment/ remediation, and Pre-School readiness.

Sonya is a Level 1 Certified Handwriting Without Tears specialist. She is NDT (Neurological Developmental Technique) trained and trained in Vestubular Activation using an Astronaut Board. She is a professional member of: AOTA, NYSOTA, and NBCOT.

**Sonya Kashlan Occupational Therapist (OT) is now accepting RSA DOE work through her company Connected Kids which is housed at the Chatty Child Center! 

Janine Raniolo, MA, CCC-SLP, TSLD

Janine Raniolo is a Speech Language Pathologist who joined the Chatty Child Team in April 2012.  After graduating from St. John’s University, she gained experience in the field working with children and adults in a variety of settings, including hospitals, schools, home based settings, nursing homes and private practice.  She has a strong interest in traumatic brain injuries and continues to work in an acute rehabilitation setting with pediatric and adults with acquired brain injuries.

In addition she works in long term care and subacute facilities with tracheostomy and ventilator dependent adults.  Her other areas of specialty include feeding and swallowing therapy, augmentative alternative communication (AAC), Receptive and Expressive language disorders, Apraxia, Phonological and Articulation Disorders, Dysarthria and speaking valve placement and assessment.  She is also Vital Stim certified and PROMPT, Level 1 certified. 

She is a professional member of ASHA, NYSSHLA and the Dysphagia Research Society.

Ann E. Helmer, MA, CCC-SLP, TSHH

Ann E. Helmer shares her 20 years of clinical experience with the clients and therapists of Chatty Child. Ann is an engaging and dynamic therapist who combines her clinical knowledge with research in best practices to design individualized programs to manage clients with speech, language, literacy and feeding needs ranging from the toddler months of age through the adolescent years.

Ann enjoys working with children of all ages. She has conducted numerous evaluations and successful treatment programs with children experiencing difficulties with: apraxia of speech, phonological disorders, expressive and receptive language development, executive functions, articulation, cleft palate, ADHD, feeding, sensory integration disorders, autism spectrum, non-verbal learning disorder, selective mutism, learning disabilities, gifted-learning disabled, auditory processing, voice, and social skills development. Regardless of your child’s goals, Ann works to obtain engagement and trust with her clients as the first steps to promoting a reliable and respectful therapeutic relationship. Use of play, laughter, and development of humor and positive self esteem are central to keeping motivation and interest level high throughout supported learning experiences.

She obtained experience working in the public school system for 4 years as both a classroom teacher and a classroom based interventionist. She is familiar with grade level expectations from pre-school through the junior high level. Ann enjoys the challenge of finding materials that reflect a student’s classroom curriculum and interests to provide the most integrated basis for teaching language comprehension and expression.

Ann E. Helmer graduated with honors, University of Kansas Medical Center with a Masters of Arts in Speech Language Pathology and a Minor in Education.  Ann is a licensed Speech Language Pathologist and Teacher of Speech and Hearing Disabled Students, State of New York.  She is also a former clinical supervisor and adjunct professor for Long Island University graduate program.  Ann has intermediate level spanish skills and is a certified Level 1 Hatha Yoga Teacher.  She is also Level 1 PROMPT trained and Lindamood Phoneme Sequencing Program for Reading, Spelling and Speech (LiPS) certified.

Maya Benattar, MA, MT-BC, LCAT

Maya Benattar, MA, MT-BC, LCAT is a nationally board-certified music therapist and NYS licensed creative arts therapist. She received her M.A. in Music Therapy from New York University and her B.S. in Music Therapy from SUNY New Paltz. Maya has worked with children with a wide variety of special needs in community, educational and private practice settings in the New York City area. Her holistic, child-centered approach utilizes individualized music-based interventions to address social, emotional, and developmental needs.

Maya is a professional member of the American Music Therapy Association, and a contributing blogger for the Child Development Club, an international online resource for parents, educators, and therapists. 

More about Maya and her services on her Web site: www.mayabenattar.com

Some useful links about Music Therapy: