KaraLynne DelToro has been part of Children’s Speech and Language Services for more than 15 years. She began her PROMPT© training in 1999 and became a PROMPT© Certified Instructor in 2005. In addition to teaching PROMPT© courses nationally and utilizing PROMPT© in her clinical practice, she is committed to mentoring clinicians who are new to the PROMPT© experience. Additionally, KaraLynne is part of the feeding team at our Springfield office. She is an active certified member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and a Virginia licensed speech- language pathologist.
KaraLynne’s clinical interests in recent years have focused on youngsters and adolescents with motor speech disorders, expressive and receptive language delays and social pragmatic difficulties. Her expertise includes training parents in early language acquisition and stimulation techniques. Other training includes Social Thinking© and completion of a 30-hour comprehensive course in the IMSE Orton-Gillingham approach.Past experience includes working with children and adults in hospital and rehabilitation facilities, home health, and the public schools.
Danielle has over 25 years of experience working in the field of Speech Language Pathology. 10 of those years have been working at Children’s Speech and Language Services, Inc. Danielle became a PROMPT© Certified Instructor in 2012. In addition to teaching PROMPT© courses worldwide, she provides mentoring to clinicians on staff as well as therapists that wish to continue their PROMPT© journey. She’s worked within a variety of settings and had the opportunity to own and operate her own practice.
Danielle received her Master’s degree from University of Tennessee – Knoxville and Bachelors from James Madison University. Her clinical interest has been focused on children, adolescents and adults who have diagnosis in motor speech disorders, receptive-expressive language disorders, childhood apraxia of speech, developmental delay, sensory integration delays, oral-motor feeding disorders and a variety of genetic disorders.
She has trained with Sandra Holtzman in Orofacial Myology, Autumn Henning’s Tethered Oral Tissues (TOTs), and Kay Toomey’s SOS (Sequential Oral Sensory) approach to feeding. Danielle is part of the feeding team at our Falls Church office. In addition to the recent trainings, she’s taken courses in frenectomies and beyond: a modern approach to lasers, oral placement therapy, language acquisition through motor planning (LAMP), and autism: de-escalating meltdowns and diffusing explosive behaviors.
Danielle is a licensed a speech language pathologist in the state of Virginia and an active certified member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)
Deena received her Masters degree in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of the District of Columbia. She became PROMPT Certified in 2013 and earned her LAMP (Language Acquisition through Motor Planning) Certification in 2018. Prior to becoming a speech-language pathologist, she taught in a private school for children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and spent a year as a behavior therapist in a public elementary school in the Boston area.
She specializes in Augmentative Alternative Communication (AAC) and motor speech disorders. Deena has extensive experience working with the early intervention population, as well as elementary-aged children. She is driven to give every child a mode of communication and is thrilled and inspired each time she can witness one of her children communicating with his/her parents for the first time.
Deena enjoys running, traveling, spending time with family, and watching all New England sports. She lives in Falls Church with her husband and two young sons.
Melissa Friedberg has been with Children’s Speech and Language Services since 2010. Melissa received her PROMPT© Certification in 2013. She is an active certified member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and a Virginia licensed speech-language pathologist.
She earned her Masters degree in Speech Language Pathology from Emerson College in Boston. Prior to joining our staff, Melissa worked in the Connecticut public schools as a speech-language pathologist with preschoolers and school-aged children. Melissa has been trained in the use of Orton-Gillingham: IMSE, PECs (Picture Exchange Communication System), Story Grammar Marker, SCERTS (Social Communication Emotional Regulation Transactional Support), DIR/Floortime and Social Stories. She has worked closely with board certified behavior analysts, and attended ABA (Applied Behavioral Analysis) training.
Melissa enjoys working with a wide variety of children, including those with autism spectrum disorders, motor speech disorders, Down syndrome, expressive-receptive language delays/disorders, social language deficits, and auditory processing disorders. Melissa runs the Social Skills Groups at our clinic.
Melissa enjoys family time with her husband and children. She loves to run and read in her free time.
Kathleen Thorp is licensed as a speech-language pathologist in Virginia. She received her PROMPT© Certification in 2017. She is an active certified member of the American Speech-Language- Hearing Association and is licensed to practice speech-language pathology in Virginia and Washington, DC.
Kathleen received her B.S. in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Pennsylvania State University, and her M.S. in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of the District of Columbia. Prior to joining Children’s Speech and Language Services, Kathleen worked in public charter and public schools with children preschool-8th grade with a variety of learning needs, as well as providing early intervention services for the birth-3 population.
Kathleen has experience working with children with a variety of communication disorders, including: expressive and receptive language disorders, autism spectrum disorder, articulation and motor speech disorders, dysfluency, social-cognitive disorders, and developmental delays. Her continuing education includes: Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) and Hanen: It Takes Two to Talk, a program focusing on training parents in language acquisition and growth.
Kathleen loves spending her free time with her husband, two children, and their dog. She enjoys hiking, cooking, and watching movies.
Alona C. Ayer-Ziegler is originally from Greenwich, Connecticut. In 2012, she joined Children’s Speech and Language Services and completed the second level of PROMPT©training, Bridging PROMPT©: Technique to Intervention. She is an active, certified member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and a Virginia-licensed speech-language pathologist.
Alona received her M.S. in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of New Mexico in 2009. While pursuing her graduate degree in Albuquerque, she gained experience in a variety of settings, including: homes, nonprofit clinics, a public middle school, and a private practice that specialized in alternative and augmentative communication (AAC). Prior to joining Children’s Speech and Language Services, she worked in Washington, D.C at a public charter elementary school and a private school for children grades K-12 with multiple disabilities.
Alona has experience working with children with a wide variety of communication disorders, including: articulation and motor speech, auditory processing, dysfluency/stuttering, executive function, phonology, receptive and expressive language, and social pragmatics. She has also worked with children with: ADHD, autism spectrum disorder, developmental delays, Down syndrome, emotional disturbance, fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, and traumatic brain injury. She has a special interest in treating tongue thrust (a.k.a. reverse swallow or immature swallow).
Alona enjoys learning about her clients’ interests and incorporating those interests into therapy activities. She has attended continuing education seminars on auditory processing and executive function disorders.
Alona enjoys: photography, sailing, track days, traveling, and spending time with friends and family. She is also a color consultant and certified home stager.
Christie received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology-Linguistics from Emory University and her master’s degree in Speech Language Pathology from University of Maryland. She has completed her second level of PROMPT© training: Bridging PROMPT© Technique to Intervention. Christie is an active member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and a licensed speech language pathologist in Virginia.
Christie has received training in Orton-Gillingham: IMSE. In June 2018, she received her certification in PEERS® School-Based program. This is one of the few evidenced based program social skills programs developed to teach conversation and friendship skills to adolescents. In addition, Christie is trained to administer the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, Second Edition (ADOS-2). Christie is also a certified 200-hour Registered Yoga Teacher through the National Yoga Alliance and she completed the YoKid Basic Teacher Training Certificate to teach yoga classes for children.
Prior to working at Children’s Speech and Language Services, Inc. Christie worked at a nonprofit school in Maryland for children with learning disabilities, speech and language impairments, intellectual disabilities and autism spectrum disorders. While there, Christie received training in Social Thinking, Relationship Development Intervention, ABA principles, Unstuck and On Target and executive functioning. She led structured play and conversation groups. She also had the opportunity to collaborate with other professionals to develop and create published conversation and social skills curriculums. Christie’s clinical experiences include working with children who present with expressive and receptive language deficits and delays, autism spectrum disorder, language/literacy delays, articulation and motor speech disorders, disfluency, social cognitive deficits, hearing loss and executive functioning deficits.
In her free time, Christie enjoys cooking, yoga, travel and spending time with her friends and family.
Anne received a Master’s of Education with an emphasis in Human Development and Psychology from Harvard Graduate School of Education before moving to Los Angeles to provide Pivotal Response Treatment to children with autism. During this time, she supervised clinicians and conducted training programs for parents and educators.
After several years, she returned to the East Coast and earned a Master’s of Science in Speech Language Pathology from Boston University. She is a certified member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and a Virginia licensed speech pathologist. Anne has completed her second level of PROMPT© Training: Bridging PROMPT© Technique to Intervention. She also received training in Richard Solomon’s PLAY Project, Scott Yaruss’s fluency interventional approaches, Kay Toomey’s SOS (Sequential Oral Sensory) approach to feeding, Orton-Gillingham- Intermediate Level, Language Acquisition through Motor Planning (LAMP) and the Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills (PEERS). Anne’s clinical experiences include working with children who present with expressive and receptive language deficits, sensory processing disorders, articulation and motor speech disorders, attention deficit disorder, fluency disorders, literacy delays and autism spectrum disorder. Additionally, she teaches several social skills groups at the clinic.
Anne loves spending her free time traveling with her husband. She also enjoys playing tennis, cooking and reading.
Kristen has over 12 years of experience working with children and adults. She is an active certified member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and a Virginia licensed speech pathologist. Kristen has completed her first level of PROMPT© training: Introduction to PROMPT© Technique.
Kristen has extensive experience in the area of feeding and swallowing disorders. She is trained in Kay Toomey’s SOS (Sequential Oral Sensory) approach to feeding and has experience with both individual and group treatment for medical and sensory based feeding disorders. Kristen also has Vital Stim and DPNS (Deep Pharyngeal Neuromuscular Stimulation) certifications.
Kristen received her Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Earlier in her career, she practiced speech therapy in the hospital setting with a focus on stroke and traumatic brain injury rehabilitation in adults and children at the acute care, inpatient rehabilitation and outpatient settings. She has worked at the Chambersburg Hospital in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, The National Rehabilitation Hospital in Washington, D.C. and INOVA Alexandria Hospital in Alexandria, Virginia. Kristen has participated on interdisciplinary teams and collaborated with other medical professionals. She also worked previously in the pediatric private practice setting with medically fragile clients and has treated children ages birth to 18, with a wide variety of feeding, swallowing, and speech and language disorders.
Amanda earned her Masters degree in Speech Language Pathology from the University of the District of Columbia and her Bachelor’s degree in Linguistics from the University of Texas. She is an active certified member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and a Virginia licensed speech-language pathologist. Amanda has completed her second level of PROMPT© Training: Bridging PROMPT©: Technique to Intervention and is part of our feeding team at the Falls Church office, having been trained in Kay Toomey’s SOS (Sequential Oral Sensory) approach to feeding. She is also certified to provide Hanen’s It Takes Two to Talk Parent Training Program for parents and caregivers of children with delayed language acquisition.
Amanda joined Children’s Speech & Language Services, Inc. in 2012, working as our Fast ForWord Coordinator and assisting in a support role for our social skills groups before becoming a speech-language pathologist. Amanda has 6 years of experience providing speech and language therapy services to school-aged children at private clinics, as well as schools in Fairfax County and the DC Public School system. She has five years of teaching experience working with elementary and middle school students in both general education and special education classrooms. Amanda completed post baccalaureate course work in child development and has eight years of experience tutoring children of various skill levels in all academic subjects, with emphasis on reading and language skills.
Amanda enjoys spending her free time with her husband and daughter, as well as reading and being outside.
Sandra began working part-time at Children’s Speech and Language Services in 2019. She is licensed to practice speech language pathology in Virginia, Maryland, and The District of Columiba. She has completed her second level of PROMPT© training: PROMPT© Bridging: Technique to Intervention. She is an active certified member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).
Sandra received her Masters degree from Southern Connecticut State University in Communication Disorders. She also holds a certification in educational leadership.
She has practiced speech therapy in rehabilitation centers with adults and children from ages birth to 18 in public schools and early intervention in the District of Columbia and Maryland. Sandra has worked extensively with children and families to provide home based intervention. She has experience with pragmatic language disorders, sensory processing disorders, developmental delays, expressive and receptive delays, articulation, oral motor, and fluency disorders.
Sandra enjoys participating in community service activities. She loves music, exercising, and spending time with her husband, children, friends, and dog, Duke Ellington.
Becky began working part-time at Children’s Speech and Language Services in 2019. She received her B.S. in Communication Disorders from The Pennsylvania State University and M.S. in Speech-Language Pathology from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Becky is a certified member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and a Virginia licensed speech-language pathologist. Becky has completed her first level of PROMPT© training: PROMPT© Technique.
Becky has previous work experience in pediatric private practice in Florida serving clients birth through 21 years of age. She feels strongly that family partnership is an essential part of therapy and increased success for her clients. She has experience working with articulation, autism spectrum disorder, receptive and expressive language disorders, and motor speech disorders.
She also has experience across the lifespan working in a rehabilitation and nursing center assisting adults and senior adults recovering from illness, injury or disease. She has experience working with adult dysphagia, cognitive and executive disorders, and expressive and receptive language disorders.
She has also held a directorship position with a multi-site non-denominational church helping to create and integrate children with disabilities in order to provide positive, successful programming. She worked collaboratively with volunteer therapists and special educators to develop this program. Becky trained and regularly oversaw 60+ volunteers. The program provided a needed place for families with children with disabilities in the community to attend church.
Becky is married and has three daughters. In time off of work she enjoys spending time with her family, attending kids sporting events and activities. She also likes to exercise, read and spend time outdoors.
Sophia Guarracino has over 10 years of mostly pediatric-based therapy services, ranging from children, ages 1-21. She is an active certified member of the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA), and is licensed to practice speech-language pathology in Virginia, Maryland, and New Jersey. She holds a SLP teaching Certificate for New Jersey.
Sophia received her Master’s degree from Bowling Green State University in 2008. She has worked extensively in both the regular and special education settings as a school-based SLP and in the private therapy setting, and has done Early Intervention in homes and daycares.
With the school-age population, Sophia has a wide range of experience working with children with articulation, phonological processes, oral motor difficulties, autism, learning disabilities, Down syndrome, stuttering, ADD/ADHD, and those in need of Augmentative or Alternative communication (AAC). In addition, she has run social skills groups. As a Student Intervention Team member, she has evaluated students and written and implemented Individual Education Plans (IEPs).
Sophia has completed her first level of PROMPT© training: Introduction to PROMPT© Technique. She is also trained in Movement Opportunities Via Education/Experiences, (MOVE) which assists children who are wheelchair bound participate in social routines, collaboration and push-in services in the schools, and Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS).
When working in the Early Intervention setting, Sophia has experience working closely with parents and caregivers. She completed trainings in Hanen’s, It Takes Two to Talk, Family and Child Outcomes Surveys for the EI population, the Routines-Based Interviews evaluation process, and has completed both basic trainings on the Autism Diagnostic Observation Scale (ADOS), and the Griffiths Developmental Mental Scales, Chinese (GDMS-C).
Along with clinical experience, Sophia has managerial, collaborative, and research experience. Some research and presentation topics include: “The Role of Speech-Language Pathology among the Birth-3 Population and Cleft Lip and Palate Repair and Outcomes; Speech-Pathology: Red Flags and the Referral Process; Autism; AAC use for Children who are Blind; Social Language Development” and “Intervention for Pre-School Children.” Her graduate research specialized in Autism and Reading, Organization, and Writing Intervention among Adolescents/College-age students with learning disabilities and ADD.
She enjoys traveling, learning about different languages and cultures, cooking, baking, swimming, and spending time with family and friends.
Amy Hsu is originally from Los Angeles, California. She earned her M.S. in Speech Language Pathology and Audiology at the University of Hawaii, Manoa in 2008. She is a certified member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and is licensed to practice speech therapy in the state of Virginia and California.
Amy’s clinical experience includes working with children with receptive and expressive language deficits and delays, speech sound disorders, apraxia, autism spectrum disorders, and social cognitive deficits. Amy has experience in early intervention, public schools, pediatric outpatient, and private clinic settings. She also worked as a high school English teacher in California before becoming a speech language pathologist. Her continuing education includes: Introduction to PROMPT, PROMPT Bridging, PROMPT Technique Refresher, Movement and Mindfulness by Move with Me, Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) Level 2, and The Kaufman Speech to Language Protocol.
In her free time, Amy enjoys spending time with her husband and two sons. Her hobbies include sewing, running and yoga.