MEET THE THERAPISTS

Heather Lynn Boerner, MA, CCC-SLP, TSHH

Heather Lynn Boerner, a pediatric speech-language pathologist with over 14 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.

Sarah Abraham, MS, OTR/L

Sarah Abraham became a registered and licensed Occupational Therapist in August 2015.  She graduated with a Bachelors in Health Science and Masters of Occupational Therapy from the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia. She completed her level II fieldwork at a sensory gym in New York City and at a hand therapy clinic in Miami, Florida. Sarah has been working in pediatrics since she graduated, working at sensory gym and school settings. She is experienced in treating early intervention to school aged children with various diagnoses including Autism Spectrum Disorder, Sensory Processing Disorder, Downs Syndrome, and Developmental Delays.  Sarah uses her creativity to improve fine motor skills, visual perceptual and visual motor skills, sensory integration, social skills, motor planning, and self-care skills.

Jamie Bornstein, MS, OTR/L & Occupational Therapy Manager

Jamie Bornstein is a licensed and registered Occupational Therapist with experience working with children of all ages, practicing in pediatrics since she graduated at a variety of settings including public and private schools, camps, and sensory gyms. Jamie is knowledgeable in treating early intervention to school aged children with various diagnoses including Cerebral Palsy, Autism Spectrum Disorder, seizure conditions, Apraxia, Sensory Processing Disorder, Downs Syndrome, and general developmental delays or learning disabilities. Jamie strives to treat with client centered, occupation based, and holistic interventions designed to improve a child’s fine motor skills, motor planning, visual perceptual and visual motor skills, strength and endurance, sensory integration, social skills, and self-care skills. Jamie graduated with a Bachelor in Health Science and Masters of Occupational Therapy from Quinnipiac University in January 2016.

Gianna Cioffi, Arts Integration Specialist

Gianna Cioffi is a teaching artist who specializes integrating arts into curriculum to create more inclusive learning experiences. She has worked as an actor, choreographer, and director for a variety of theatre companies in New York City. In 2011 Gianna graduated with a dual degree in Theatre and Communication Disorders from SUNY New Paltz. She holds her M.S. ED  in Theatre Education from The City College of New York and is a New York State certified k-12 theatre teacher.

Allison Grinfeld, MS, CCC-SLP, TSSLD

Ally completed her BA at the University of Michigan, and then received an MS in Communicative Sciences and Disorders from New York University.

Ally started her career in Speech Language Pathology working with children, ages 0-16 with mild to severe language disorders. Ally is dedicated to helping her students achieve success by creating and implementing therapy techniques individualized to each child's needs. She has gained experience working with children in both individual and group therapy sessions.

Ally is a caring person who has always felt a need to help others. She is passionate about her career in working with kids to improve their speech and language skills.

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.

Lynne Le, MS OTR/L

Lynne Le is a registered and licensed Occupational Therapist in New York with a background working in pediatrics and orthopaedic rehabilitation.  She graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelors in Health Science and went on to complete her Masters of Occupational Therapy at Adventist University of Health Sciences graduating with high honors. 

She has had fieldwork training and experience working in a variety of settings including: home care, hospitals, outpatient rehabilitation clinics, schools, and sensory gyms.  Her graduate Capstone project focused on the therapeutic benefits of Yoga and Pilates on children with Autism and included a complete program implementation in a K-5 school classroom that helped reduce lethargy and hyperactivity among students. Her diverse background allows her to be a well-rounded therapist in treating clients of all ages and diagnoses for their individual occupational needs.  

Lynne enjoys creating a fun and supportive learning environment that promotes child development and growth. She is dedicated to providing the best client centered treatments that will challenge each child to reach their fullest potential.

Caitlyn McArdle, MS OTR/L

Caitlyn McArdle is a pediatric occupational therapist specializing in working with children from birth through 12 years of age. She has clinical experience working in various therapeutic environments, including: inpatient, outpatient, and schools settings.

Caitlyn believes in an integrated therapy approach that addresses the whole child (sensorimotor, social, emotional and cognitive functioning). Through therapy, Caitlyn strives to improve activities of daily living (ADL’s) such as dressing, playing, attending, learning, socialization and developing. Caitlyn has experience working with children in the following areas:  fine motor skills, visual perceptual and visual motor skills, sensory integration and regulation, motor planning and self-care skills. 

She graduated from the Medical University of South Carolina's Master of Science Program in Occupational Therapy. She is a member of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) and the World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT).  She has a strong interest in providing therapy services around the world and has attended a medical mission trip to Uganda to provide occupational therapy to both children and adults.  

Ashley Mendez , MS OTR/L

Ashley Mendez is a pediatric occupational therapist who graduated with a Masters of Science in Occupational Therapy from Stony Brook University. Ashley focuses on treating students in early intervention through school age children with general developmental delays as well as children with various diagnoses including Autism Spectrum Disorder, Cerebral Palsy, Down’s Syndrome, and Sensory Processing Disorder. Treatment interventions involve improving fine motor, visual perception, and self-care skills. Interventions often include sensory integration techniques to assist the student throughout the learning process. Ashley is able to quickly gain a rapport with the students and staff. She is a self-motivated person and capable of conducting herself in a professional and organized manner. Ashley often guides caregivers with behavioral and skills training to ensure progress and carry over at home and school.

Sweeti Patel

Sweeti Patel is a licensed and registered Physical Therapist in New York with experience of working in pediatric and orthopedic rehabilitation. She graduated with Doctor of Physical Therapy from Touro college, New York in 2015 and Master of Exercise science and Rehabilitation from Brooklyn college, City University Of New York in 2012. She has been working in pediatrics since she is graduated including school settings and sensory gym.  She has experienced in treating children with variety of diagnosis including Autism Spectrum Disorder, Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome and developmental delays. She is efficient in providing therapy to improve gross motor skills such as gait training, running and jumping, motor planning, strength, endurance, balance and coordination. She enjoys incorporating play into her sessions so that children are willing participants in all activities.

Jennifer Shlomo, MS, CCC/SLP

Jennifer Shlomo is a licensed Speech-Language Pathologist. She received her BA degree from SUNY Binghamton, and her MS degree from the University of Rhode Island. She holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech, Language, and Hearing Association (ASHA), and her NYS License in Speech-Language Pathology. 

Jennifer works in private practices providing therapy for clients from ages 2-75, and is a clinical supervisor for graduate students. She has worked with individuals on the Autism Spectrum, and has provided therapeutic support with high-tech and low-tech AAC devices. She is certified in Lee Silverman Voice Therapy (LSVT), and led a multi-disciplinary LSVT therapy group for adults with Parkinson’s disease. She has experience working with pediatric and adult population with language disorders, articulation/phonological disorders, pragmatic disorders, acquired cognitive disorders, voice disorders, fluency disorders, dysphagia, literacy skill development, and auditory processing disorders. 

Jennifer provides individual and group therapy, and includes families and caregivers in creating therapy goals. She enjoys educating clients and their families about the purpose and use of therapeutic strategies and approaches, in an effort to create an inclusive and functional therapy environment.

Paulina Smietanka, MS, CCC/SLP, TSSLD

Paulina Smietanka is a speech and language pathologist. She received her Masters of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Teachers College/Columbia University, and her Bachelor of Arts in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Queens College/City University of New York. Paulina has gained her experiences working in a preschool, elementary school, aphasia group, and acute care hospital. Paulina worked with a diverse population, including but not limited to, receptive and expressive language delays, autism, apraxia of speech, hydrocephalus, cerebral palsy, genetic and chromosomal disorders, aphasia, traumatic brain injuries, articulation impairments, medically-fragile children and multiple-global disabilities. Paulina's interests also include augmentative and alternative communication. Paulina is Level 1 PROMPT trained and is certified in Lee Silverman Voice Therapy (LSVT), and Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluations of Swallowing (FEES). Paulina incorporates interdisciplinary discussion, parental involvement and generalization into her treatment. She has an energetic personality that engages and motivates children to become active participants in therapy. Paulina provides individualized therapy that enables children to maximize their potential through play and age-appropriate tasks.

Paulina  has been with Chatty Child since 2012, originally starting as an intern but has since began her career as a speech-language pathologist. During that time, she shadowed sessions, assisted in group therapy sessions, and acquired administrative skills in regards to NYDOE paperwork and guidelines. Overall, Paulina's acquired skills and passion for the field is evident throughout all her therapeutic sessions.

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).