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Our Mission

Little Birds Pediatric Therapy was founded to address the developmental needs of children in our surrounding areas. Speech therapy addresses all areas of communication, allowing children to develop relationships and improve skills that support all aspects of literacy. Occupational therapy addresses a wide range of skills that support a child's ability to play, write, and improve independence in activities of daily living. Through play and evidence-based therapeutic techniques, we can help your child grow to reach his or her full potential.

We believe all children, regardless of their level of ability, should be given the opportunity to grow and develop with the support of knowledgable, caring adults. Our treating therapists are highly qualified to address all areas of developmental disorders and do so in a fun, low pressure environment. We are committed to our own professional growth and attend trainings and courses that allow us to offer the best speech-language and occupational therapy possible. We look forward to working with you and your child to improve your child's quality of life by supporting developemental skills that will allow him/her to "take flight"! Call us today to set up an evaluation! 

MEET OUR TEAM

ASHLEY COLLINS, M.A., CCC-SLP

Ashley is the owner and lead speech-language pathologist at Little Birds Speech Therapy. Ashley graduated from Providence College with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and minor concentration in Fine Arts in 2007. In 2012, she graduated  Magna Cum Laude with a Master of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology from Kean University. Ashley found her passion in speech, as it married her interests in the health sciences with verbal and written communication. Ashley has worked in public schools and private practice settings. She has clinical experience in providing speech-language therapy to children with various communication needs, including those associated with: language/learning disorders, articulation/phonological disorders, Autism Spectrum Disorder, pragmatic language disorder, stuttering, ADHD, Verbal Apraxia, Downs Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, traumatic brain injury, and more. 

Ashley is fully certified by the American Speech-Language Hearing Association, the NJ State Board of Consumer Affairs, and the NJ Department of Education. She is a PROMPT Level 2 trained therapist. With her energetic and holistic approach to therapy, she is sure to make a positive difference in your child's life. ​

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Alicia O’Toole M.S., OTR/L 

Alicia graduated from The University Scranton in 2020 with a Bachelors of Science. In 2021 she graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Masters of Science in Occupational Therapy from the University of Scranton, where she was also awarded The Graduate Student of the Year. Alicia found her love for helping others at a young age and admired the impact OT had on her brothers growing up. Alicia has many years of experience with working with children with diverse abilities and needs. She is a strong believer in working together as a team (client, family, and health provider) to help every person reach their highest potential. 

 

Alicia is a registered generalized Occupational Therapist and currently holds a license in the state of New Jersey. She prides herself in creating therapeutic environments for her clients that make them feel comfortable, have fun, while providing functional and engaging opportunities. 

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Paula Thomson, M.S. Ed, CFY-SLP

Paula graduated Summa Cum Laude from Seton Hall University with a Bachelor of Education degree in Early Childhood Education and Special Education in 2020. She pursued her Master of Science degree in Speech-Language Pathology, graduating in 2022, earning the Academic Excellence award in her cohort. Paula feels it is crucial to view three aspects of every human, their wellness, creativity, and strengths. Paula has experience with ADHD, apraxia, ASD, developmental delays, feeding, language disorders, learning disorders, and more. Her treatment approach merges sensory strategies, current evidence-based practices, and careful intake of case history. 

 

Paula is a certified clinical fellow by the NJ State Board of Consumer Affairs and the NJ Department of Education. She partakes in ongoing research with various teams in the areas of ASD, mobile applications for speech therapy, and fluency disorders. She is always eager to create a learning environment for both her patients and caregivers to learn and grow together. 

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Mary Margaret Kurta, M.A., CCC-SLP

Mary-Margaret graduated from Douglass College, Rutgers University with a Bachelor of Arts in Speech Correction in 1985. In 2011, she graduated from Kean University with a Master of Arts in Speech Language Pathology. She has worked in public schools, specialized schools and has provided in-home services. Mary-Margaret has clinical experience in providing speech language therapy to children with a variety of communication needs including those associated with nonverbal communication, feeding,  hearing impairments, cochlear implants, stuttering, language/learning disorders, articulation and phonological disorders, Autism Spectrum Disorders, pragmatic language disorder, Down Syndrome and Verbal Apraxia.

Mary-Margaret is fully certified by the American Speech and Hearing Association and the NJ State Board of Consumer Affairs.

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Jaime Lavallo, M.S., CCC-SLP

Jaime graduated from Stockton University with a Bachelor of Science in Speech Pathology and Audiology in 2013. In 2016, she graduated with a Master of Science in Communication Disorders from William Paterson University. Jaime has worked in early intervention, outpatient, and public school settings. She has clinical experience providing speech/language therapy to children and adults with various communication needs, including those associated with: Autism Spectrum Disorder, traumatic brain injury, articulation/phonological disorders, fluency, language disorders, Downs Syndrome, auditory processing disorders, Verbal Apraxia, and more.

Jaime is fully certified by the American Speech and Hearing Association and the NJ State Board of Consumer Affairs. She is a member of the New Jersey Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Jaime loves to work with children by engaging them in fun therapeutic activities that support progress toward goal achievement. She also recognizes the importance of working with the families to help the children be successful in all environments.

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Natalie Soto, M.A., CCC-SLP

Natalie graduated from Indiana University with a Bachelor of Arts in Russian and Japanese Language and Literature. In 2001, she graduated from Montclair State University with a Master of Arts in Speech Language Pathology. She has worked in public schools, specialized private schools and at a children’s hospital.  Natalie has clinical experience in providing speech language therapy to children with diverse communication needs.  She is skilled in treating children who present with language disorders, articulation and phonological disorders, Autism Spectrum Disorders, pragmatic language disorder, Down Syndrome and other global developmental delays. Natalie is also proficient in training and implementation of augmentative and alternative communication devices. 

Natalie is fully certified by the American Speech and Hearing Association and the NJ State Board of Consumer Affairs.

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Luisa Rinaudo, M.A., CCC-SLP

Luisa graduated from Seton Hall University with her Bachelors in Early Childhood Education and Special Education in 2019. In 2021, she continued her schooling at Seton Hall and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Master’s in Science in Speech Language Pathology. Luisa has found a passion in helping others communicate to their fullest through her many years of involvement in the special needs community. She has clinical experience in providing speech-language therapy to children and adults with varying communication needs which include language/learning disorders/differences, ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down syndrome, fluency, articulation/phonological disorders, pragmatic language disorders, and traumatic brain injuries.

Luisa is a certified clinical fellow by the NJ State Board of Consumer Affairs and the NJ Department of Education. Luisa’s goal is to provide functional therapy in a comforting environment in order to ensure growth and progress with her clients. She is most excited to create fun filled therapeutic sessions that cater to the children on her caseload as well as support their families throughout the process.

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Brenda Puskas, M.A., CCC-SLP
Brenda graduated from Rutgers College with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and minor concentration in Sociology in 1995. In 1999, she graduated with a Master of Arts in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Montclair State University. Brenda’s personal life experiences drove her passion into this amazing field. She is convinced she has the best job in the world! Brenda has worked in private and
public schools, private practices, and inpatient and outpatient hospital settings. She has clinical experience in providing speech-language therapy to children with various communication needs, including those associated with: language/learning disorders, articulation/phonological disorders, Autism Spectrum Disorder, pragmatic language disorder, stuttering, ADHD, Verbal Apraxia, Voice Disorder and more. 


Brenda is fully certified by the American Speech-Language Hearing Association,
the NJ State Board of Consumer Affairs, and the NJ Department of Education.
Brenda develops individualized therapy programs that include home programs and
caregiver education to help each of her clients reach their overall communication
potential. She works hard to establish a strong connection with each and every
client.

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Nicole Droppa, M.S., CCC-SLP

Nikki graduated from Stockton University with her Bachelors in Health Sciences with a concentration in Pre-Communication Disorders in 2019. Nikki continued her studies at Monmouth University where she graduated in 2021 with her Master's of Science in Education in Speech-Language Pathology. Nikki works full-time in the public school setting, providing therapy to students ages 11-21. For the past 5 years, Nikki has also been an assistant facilitator for social groups for school-aged students, where they meet weekly and participate in community-based activities. She has experience working with children, adolescents, and young adults with varying needs, relating to areas and disorders such as receptive and expressive language, articulation/phonology, pragmatic language, fluency, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down syndrome, Rett syndrome, and ADHD. Nikki has developed a passion for working with the pediatric and adolescent/young adult populations. She prides herself on creating a fun and inviting therapeutic environment, where she provides functional and engaging activities for her clients.

 

Nikki is a certified clinical fellow by the New Jersey State Board of Consumer Affairs, and a certified Speech-Language Specialist by the New Jersey Department of Education. 

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Kaitlyn Terlecky, M.S., CCC-SLP

Kaitlyn graduated from SUNY New Paltz with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Disorders in 2009. In 2011, she graduated from Seton Hall University with a Master of Science in Speech Language Pathology. She has over ten years of experience, working with children and adolescents with complex communication needs including but not limited to language disorders, articulation and phonological disorders, Autism Spectrum Disorders, pragmatic language disorder, fluency, Down Syndrome, Verbal Apraxia and other global developmental delays. Kaitlyn is skilled at implementing various evidence-based treatment approaches, some including the picture exchange communication system, American Sign Language, sensory strategies, communication devices/boards and visual/tactile sound cues. She is passionate about making a difference in the lives of her clients and is committed to providing therapy in a positive, fun and engaging environment.  

 

Kaitlyn is fully certified by the American Speech and Hearing Association and the NJ State Board of Consumer Affairs. 

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Kayla Madoff, , M.S. Ed, CFY-SLP

Kayla graduated from Sacred Heart University with her Bachelor’s in Psychology with a concentration in Health Sciences in 2018. In 2022, she graduated from Monmouth University with her Master of Science degree in Speech-Language Pathology. Kayla works full time in a specialized school, providing services to students ages 5-21 with multiple disabilities. Kayla believes in providing therapy in a holistic approach, provide support to the whole person, not
just their speech deficits. Kayla also believes in implementing sensory strategies and current evidence-based practice as her therapy approaches. She has experience working with children, adolescents, and adults with varying needs, relating to areas of disorders such as receptive and expressive language, articulation/phonology, pragmatic language, feeding and swallowing
disorders, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down Syndrome, AHDH, verbal apraxia, and traumatic brain injuries. Kayla is also proficient in training and implementation of augmentative and alternative communication devices.

 

Kayla is a certified clinical fellow by the NJ State Board of Consumer Affairs and the NJ Department of Education. Kayla develops individualized therapy programs including home programs to provide caregivers to help each of her patients reach their overall potential of functional communication skills.

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Jamie Caruso, M.S., CCC-SLP

Jamie graduated from Iona College with her Bachelors in Speech-Language Pathology & Audiology in 2007.  In 2009, she  received her Master of Science degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Hunter College.   Jamie has worked in Early Intervention providing in-home services, a specialized preschool program, and currently works full time in the public school system providing therapy for children ages 5-11.  Jamie has clinical experience providing speech/language therapy to children with various communication needs, including those associated with: Autism Spectrum Disorder, pragmatic language disorder, ADHD, articulation/phonological disorders, language disorders, Downs Syndrome, auditory processing disorders, AAC, Verbal Apraxia, and more.  

 

 

Jamie is fully certified by the American Speech-Language Hearing Association, the NJ State Board of Consumer Affairs, and the NJ Department of Education.   She truly enjoys working with children and planning creative and engaging activities to target their individualized goals and needs.  Jamie values the importance of a whole team approach to allow for generalization of skills targeted during therapy sessions.  She believes in consistent communication and collaboration with the clients’ families and therapy teams as appropriate.

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