Our Team

Therapy Staff

Dr. Bernadette Mullen, CCC-SLPD/SLS

Dr. Bernadette Mullen, CCC-SLPD/SLS

Speech-Language Pathologist, Speech-Language Specialist, Special Education Teacher, Co-Owner And Co-Director Of Speech Start

"I feel privileged to participate in a child’s ability to communicate to the world."

Dr. Bernadette Mullen is a New Jersey licensed Speech-Language Pathologist and Special Education Teacher. Bernadette graduated from Kean University in Union, NJ with masters and doctoral degrees in Speech-Language Pathology. She completed her undergraduate education in both Special Education and Speech-Language Pathology at Montclair State University in Montclair, NJ. Bernadette is highly qualified in her field and she is a nationally certified member of ASHA holding her Certificate of Clinical Competency. She has worked in the field of special education for 40 years. She has owned and operated Speech Start LLC for 22 years. In her practice, she specializes in providing evaluations and therapeutic intervention to children and teens with both speech and language disorders. She has extensive training in the areas of apraxia, language based reading disorders, autism spectrum disorder, behavior management and sensory processing disorders. She has worked on providing quality pragmatic therapy to children with social language disorders for many years. Bernadette is fluent in American Sign Language.

Bernadette’s current professional focus is on social skills training programs. She is presently curriculum director for SiLAS Solutions. This program is being implemented in multiple schools throughout the state for the purpose of improving special learners ability to socialize with their peers. The program includes both a computer program and a social skills curriculum. Bernadette is a Level Two – Prompts for Restructuring Oral Motor Phonetic Targets (PROMPT) trained therapist and utilizes this method when treating children and teens with motor planning deficits. She is currently in pursuit of the Sensory Certification for Speech-Language Pathologists with the hope that this will allow for her to better treat her clients with sensory challenges and to better lead her Speech Start team!

Shaylyn Stilwell, M.S. Ed., CCC-SLP/SLS

Shaylyn Stilwell, M.S. Ed., CCC-SLP/SLS

Speech-Language Pathologist, Speech-Language Specialist, Augmentative Communication Specialist, Co-Owner And Co-Director Of Speech Start

“Helping a child and his or her family through the challenges to reveal their true potential is the best feeling in the world.”

Shaylyn graduated from Monmouth University in West Long Branch, NJ with a Master’s of Science in Education in Speech-Language Pathology. She received her Bachelor’s of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology/Audiology with a minor in Special Education from Loyola University Maryland in Baltimore, MD.

Shaylyn completed external clinical practicum placements in a specialized school as well as in both adult inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation and pediatric outpatient settings. Shaylyn has worked with diverse pediatric populations, with specific experience in the areas of cleft lip and palate, chromosomal abnormalities, and Autism Spectrum Disorders. She also has extensive experience working with the assessment and implementation of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) with pediatric populations. Shaylyn is a Level Four – in Prompts for Restructuring Oral Motor Phonetic Targets (PROMPT) Certified Therapist and utilizes this method when treating children and teens with motor planning deficits. She has extensive experience evaluating and treating children with Childhood Apraxia of Speech. Shaylyn also offers evaluation and treatment for children and teens who require support via augmentative and alternative communication (AAC).

Shaylyn received the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s Award for Continuing Education in 2020 and 2022. Shaylyn joins a select group of individuals who have made a concerted, personal effort to continue professional learning beyond an academic degree. She constantly strives to learn and grow in order to become the best clinician she can be! She hopes to instill this thirst for learning and education on her Speech Start team!

Elizabeth Spina M.A., CCC-SLP/SLS

Elizabeth Spina M.A., CCC-SLP/SLS

Speech-Language Pathologist, Speech-Language Specialist

“I love seeing progress happen; the moment that you watch the child make a connection and they smile.”

Elizabeth Spina, M.A., CCC-SLP is a supervising speech language pathologist at Speech Start, pa. She has a BA in Speech Pathology and Audiology and an MA in Speech Language Pathology.

She assesses and treats children with a variety of speech and language disorders. Her experience lies in the areas of articulation and phonological disorders, receptive and expressive language disorders, semantic pragmatic disorder, autism spectrum disorder, and behavioral feeding in school-aged children. Counseling families and implementing carryover home programs are also an important aspect of the treatment plan for each child. In addition to assessment and treatment, she is also a supervisor to some of the members of the Speech Start staff with whom she meets regularly to collaborate and discuss progress and future treatment goals.

Marissa Nagy, M.S., CCC-SLP

Marissa Nagy, M.S., CCC-SLP

Speech-Language Pathologist

“It’s such a rewarding experience when you see a child make progress; moving forward and having the family say the words thank you.”

Marissa Nagy has her BS in Speech Language Pathology and Audiology from the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey and her MS in Speech Language Pathology from Seton Hall. She implements speech language therapy goals for young children at Speech Start focusing on clients with autism and other special disorders, apraxia and articulation disorders. She holds special training and certification in the Kaufman Speech Praxis Method, DIR, and Options.

Marissa’s background in social play, language skills and developmental/behavioral therapy provide a solid foundation from which she helps clients meet their goals.

Kimberly Tuccillo, M.A., CCC-SLP/SLS

Kimberly Tuccillo, M.A., CCC-SLP/SLS

Speech-Language Pathologist, Speech-Language Specialist

“Differences are like freckles… we all have them.”

Kimberly is a speech and language pathologist with 15 years experience in pediatric therapy. She has worked with a variety of children ranging from three through eighteen. She has experience working with autism spectrum disorders, auditory processing disorders, language processing disorders, myofunctional disorders, oral motor dysfunction, apraxia, behavioral feeding, as well as, general expressive/receptive language and articulation disorders/delays.

Kimberly received her Bachelor’s of Science degree in Speech Language Pathology and Audiology from Ithaca College in Ithaca New York. She then completed her Master’s of Arts degree in Speech Language Pathology from Montclair State University in Montclair, New Jersey. Additionally she has taken graduate course work from various universities to continue her education in areas such as supervision, learning disabilities, social skills, and applied behavior analysis.

Kimberly has been working as a Speech Language Specialist in the public schools for fifteen years, servicing grades preschool through twelfth grade. She currently works in an autistic preschool setting using ABA principles to guide therapy. Additionally she has been providing private therapy for twelve years.

Kimberly is currently a member of the American Speech and Hearing Association and Autism NJ. She is licensed as a Speech Language Specialist and a Speech Language Pathologist. She has participated in a variety of specific trainings including PROMPT, PECS, Kaufman Apraxia Program, Lindamood Phoneme Sequencing Program (LIPS), oral motor trainings, behavioral feeding trainings, ABA, Autism, auditory processing trainings, and general language and speech trainings.

Marissa LeCardi-Quinn, M.S. Ed., CCC-SLP/SLS

Marissa LeCardi-Quinn, M.S. Ed., CCC-SLP/SLS

Speech Language Pathologist, Speech Language Specialist

“My expectations are high for all of my students because I believe everybody deserves the best chance.”

Marissa graduated Monmouth University in West Long Branch, NJ with a Master’s of Science in Education in Speech Language Pathology. Marissa has been working at Speech Start for more than a year, conducting both individual and group therapy sessions. She has experience in a variety of settings including specialized schools, adult acute inpatient rehabilitation, as well as private practice. In her experience, Marissa has worked with a diverse pediatric population with a vast array of communication deficits including: Autism Spectrum Disorder, dysphagia, receptive/expressive language disorders, pragmatic language disorders, as well as articulation and phonological disorders. In addition, Marissa has also conducted pragmatic language groups for children with various diagnoses. Marissa is a Level One – Prompts for Restructuring Oral Motor Phonetic Targets (PROMPT) trained therapist and utilizes this method when treating children and teens with motor planning deficits.

Andrea Herman, M.A., CCC-SLP/SLS

Andrea Herman, M.A., CCC-SLP/SLS

Speech-Language Pathologist/Speech-Language Specialist

"It is so rewarding to work with children to help them achieve their goals and improve their communication skills!”

Andrea graduated from Towson University with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology.  She received her Master’s of Arts degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Kean University in Union, NJ. Andrea is skilled in the areas of articulation, phonological processes, expressive and receptive language, voice, dysphagia, childhood apraxia of speech, autism spectrum disorders, and augmentative and alternative communication. She has worked with children and adults in public school, inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation settings. Furthermore, Andrea has treated clients in both individual and group sessions, creating and facilitating achievement of functional and attainable goals. Andrea also serves as Speech Start’s social skills/group therapy program director.

Andrea is a Level Two – in Prompts for Restructuring Oral Motor Phonetic Targets (PROMPT) trained therapist and utilizes this method when treating children and teens with motor planning deficits.

Alexandria Dominici, M.S. CCC-SLP/SLS

Alexandria Dominici, M.S. CCC-SLP/SLS

Speech-Language Pathologist/Speech-Language Specialist

“To get to know a child and let them know you is what I believe therapy should be about. Helping them to reach their goals is more special and collaborative that way”

Alex received her Master’s of Science degree in Communication Science and Disorders from New York University. Alex has had skilled experience in the areas of Childhood Apraxia of Speech, articulation, phonological processes, expressive and receptive language, voice, autism spectrum disorders, social/pragmatic communication disorders, and augmentative and alternative communication.

Alex is a Level Two – in Prompts for Restructuring Oral Motor Phonetic Targets (PROMPT) trained therapist and utilizes this method when treating children and teens with motor planning deficits. She is currently working toward a certification in sensory processing.

Alex has worked with children and adults in public school and private rehabilitation settings. She has treated clients in both individual and group sessions across the lifespan. It is important to Alex that speech therapy be an engaging and personal experience that emphasizes the FUN in functional. Alex also serves as Speech Start’s social media chair and special events coordinator.

Kerry Flanagan, M.S., CCC-SLP/SLS

Kerry Flanagan, M.S., CCC-SLP/SLS

Speech-Language Pathologist/Speech-Language Specialist

“Sometimes for a child to achieve their goals, they need a little help, a little hope, and someone to believe in them.”

Kerry obtained both her Master’s in Speech-Language Pathology and her Bachelor’s in Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences from Loyola University Maryland in Baltimore, Maryland.

Kerry is passionate about providing speech and language therapy to children. She enjoys incorporating families and caregivers into a child’s treatment plan to ensure success. Kerry has a variety of experience in settings including outpatient, public schools, and private practice. She has provided individual and group speech-language therapy to children at the Baltimore City Public Schools and at the Loyola Clinical Centers. Kerry has experience with treating Childhood Apraxia of Speech, articulation/phonological disorders, expressive and receptive language, and social/pragmatic communication disorders.

Kerry is a Level One – in Prompts for Restructuring Oral Motor Phonetic Targets (PROMPT) trained therapist and utilizes this method when treating individuals with motor planning deficits.

Sharon Moschetta, M.A. CCC-SLP/SLS

Sharon Moschetta, M.A. CCC-SLP/SLS

Speech-Language Pathologist, Speech-Language Specialist

“Tell me & I forget, Teach me & I remember, Involve me & I learn” -Abraham Lincoln

Sharon earned a Master’s Degree at Kean University. She currently works full-time for the Keansburg School District with 20+ years experience. Some of her favorite things include the beach, paddle boarding, weight lifting & spending time with her teenage daughter. She is a fitness & nutrition enthusiast.

She has skilled experience in the areas of articulation, phonological processes, apraxia, fluency, expressive & receptive language, autism spectrum disorders, pragmatic communication and alternative & augmentative communication. She is a team player & collaborates with occupational & physical therapists.

Ms. Sharon believes in building a strong rapport with clients and their families. She demonstrates compassion towards her clients & families, which builds a trusting relationship. Ms. Sharon creates a fun & motivating therapeutic environment & gives tons of praise & encouragement throughout her sessions.

Alyssa Torre, M.A., CCC-SLP/SLS

Alyssa Torre, M.A., CCC-SLP/SLS

Speech-Language Pathologist/Speech-Language Specialist

"My priority is to develop a bond with each of my clients. The most progress occurs when clients love coming to speech!"

Alyssa received her Master’s Degree in Speech Language Pathology from Kean University and her Bachelor’s Degree in Speech-Language Pathology/ Audiology from Towson University.

Alyssa has specialized training in treatment for Childhood Apraxia of Speech and Motor Speech Disorders. Alyssa is trained in Prompts for Restructuring Oral Motor Phonetic Targets (PROMPT) and Dynamic and Temporal and Tactile Cueing (DTTC) both of which are motor-based treatment approaches.

Alyssa has clinical experience with articulation disorders, phonological disorders, receptive and expressive language delays/disorders, social pragmatic communication, cognition, executive functioning, and augmentative and alternative communication (AAC).

Danielle Lippiello, M.S. Ed., CF-SLP/SLS

Danielle Lippiello, M.S. Ed., CF-SLP/SLS

Speech-Language Pathologist

Some of the most wonderful people are the ones who don’t fit into boxes.

Danielle graduated from Monmouth University in West Long Branch, NJ with a Master’s of Science in Education in Speech-Language Pathology. She received her Bachelor’s of Science with a concentration in Communication Disorders from Stockton University in Galloway, NJ.

Danielle completed her clinical practicum placements in a specialized school setting where she served students diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders and multiple disabilities at Center for Lifelong Learning, as well as here at Speech Start LLC where she evaluated and treated pediatric clients across a variety of diagnoses/communication needs. Danielle has skilled clinical experience with Expressive/Receptive Language Disorders, Articulation Disorders, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Childhood Apraxia of Speech, Literacy, Semantic Pragmatic Disorders, and Augmentative and Alternative Communication. Danielle is passionate about helping children make strides with their communication to positively impact their lives as well as their families. She is excited to continue her journey as an SLP here at Speech Start LLC.

Ariana Lukowiak, M.S., CF-SLP/SLS

Ariana Lukowiak, M.S., CF-SLP/SLS

Speech-Language Pathologist

“Any form of communication whether it be verbal, written, sign language, gestures, or through the use of an AAC device is successful communication.”

Ariana graduated from Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona with a Master of Science in Communication Disorders. She also received her Bachelor of Science in Speech and Hearing Science from Arizona State University, where she authored an undergraduate Honors thesis on speech motor learning effects based on generated auditory errors.

Ariana completed her clinical practicum placements in Barrow Cleft and Craniofacial Center in Phoenix where she served clients with feeding difficulties and phonological disorders secondary to velopharyngeal insufficiency, and led an adolescent social skills group of individuals with 22q Deletion Syndrome. She also interned at Banner Children’s Physical Therapy, an outpatient clinic in Mesa, AZ, and Hohokam Elementary School in Scottsdale, AZ, where she served clients with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down Syndrome, and Childhood Apraxia of Speech. In the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Banner Desert Medical Center in Mesa, AZ, Ariana evaluated and treated extremely premature newborns with a variety of feeding difficulties secondary to cleft lip, prematurity, and neonatal abstinence syndrome. Ariana has clinical experience providing speech therapy services in the areas of articulation, phonological processes, receptive and expressive language, social/pragmatic communication, feeding, and augmentative and alternative communication. Ariana is passionate about fostering an encouraging learning environment that makes communication fun and engaging!

Caitlin Smoler, M.S. Ed., CF-SLP/SLS

Caitlin Smoler, M.S. Ed., CF-SLP/SLS

Speech-Language Pathologist

“However it is done, communication is the key to life and I am proud to be a part of that journey for every family I meet”.

Caitlin graduated from Monmouth University in West Long Branch, NJ with a Master’s of Science in Education in Speech-Language Pathology. She also received her Bachelor’s of Science with a concentration in Communication Disorders from Monmouth University.

Caitlin completed her clinical practicum placements in a public-school setting and a private practice setting where she served students with a variety of diagnoses/communication needs in individual and group settings, as well as a rehabilitative setting focused on both developmentally disabled adults and those with traumatic brain injuries. She has clinical experience with autism spectrum disorders, dysphagia, aphasia, pragmatic language disorders, Selective Mutism, multiple disabilities, fluency, expressive/receptive language disorders, articulation disorders, Childhood Apraxia of Speech, augmentative and alternative communication, phonological disorders and voice disorders. She is extremely passionate about impacting the lives of the children she works with as well as their families in a meaningful way. Her goal is to create a fun learning environment that all her clients are excited to come to!

Kara Abbot Mateo, MS, OTR/L

Kara Abbot Mateo, MS, OTR/L

Occupational Therapist Registered / Licensed

I am passionate about giving children the tools they need through play to feel safe, connect deeply, and increase independence with everyday tasks!

Kara Abbot Mateo is a NJ licensed occupational therapist who specializes in pediatric therapy. She received a Master’s of Science in Occupational Therapy degree from the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences and a Bachelor’s of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies degree from Palm Beach Atlantic University. Kara has extensive clinical experience working in inpatient and outpatient hospital settings, outpatient behavioral setting, and home based setting as an Early Intervention Specialist serving clients ranging from 2 months – 18 years of age. She has acquired professional development training in evaluation and treatment of Torticollis & Plagiocephaly, completed 96 hours of Masgutova Neurosensorimotor Reflex Integration (MNRI®) coursework, and is a certified Handwriting Without Tears® Specialist. She serves as Speech Start’s Occupational Therapy program director and developer!

Silvia Fragale

Silvia Fragale

Academic Instructor, Paraprofessional

"The feeling of limitation is one of the most damaging feelings that one can possess, and my goal when I step into a classroom is to do everything I can to make students from all different walks of life feel unlimited."

Silvia Fragale graduated from Fordham University in New York, New York with a degree in English and a minor in Psychology. She has been tutoring children and teens of all ages for years. She has worked in schools, tutoring centers, and has done private tutoring. She teaches reading comprehension, literature, writing, composition, and grammar. She also has experience teaching math. She is well versed on child psychology and development as well as adapting to multiple learning styles. Silvia loves teaching and her goal is to help guide every student to their fullest potential.

Administrative Staff

Laura Fanizzi

Laura Fanizzi

Paraprofessional, Office Manager

“My goal is always what’s best for a child; working with families through challenges to become successful.”

Laura Fanizzi is a Developmental Therapist with Speech Start, p.a. Since 1999. She has been providing behavioral therapy in individual and group settings, creating and implementing individual behavior programs for clients. Her experience with DIR, OPTIONS, and Verbal Behavior are part of a toolbox to assess and provide clients with the appropriate interventions.

Laura has assisted teachers in preschool classroom settings as well as shadowing special needs children in typical environments. Additionally she is a inclusion specialist who provides training for staff on current inclusion practices for teachers and paraprofessionals and in-services to school staff on social skills training. When not wearing these hats, Laura can be found managing the Speech Start offices, overseeing scheduling, scheduling, billing, building maintenance, and mor

Joelle Casale

Joelle Casale

Office Staff

You Are Never Too Old To Learn Something New."

Joelle Casale has been managing doctors offices including local hospitals for over 20 years. She decided to pursue her passion for healthcare, putting herself through medical billing and coding school. In April 2022, she finished school 6 months early, passing her coding exam, and obtaining her Certified Professional Coder degree. Joelle is an empathic individual who has a strong work ethic and loves to see positive changes in children when therapy has been completed! She feels very blessed to be a part of this incredible team!

Michaela Diaz

Michaela Diaz

Group Facilitator, Office Staff

"My hope is to make a positive impact by lending a helping hand in children's journey to obtain the communication skills necessary for their growth and development."

Michaela Diaz is a graduate of Monmouth University with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a minor in Communication and Speech Disorders. In addition to her major’s classes, she has also completed coursework in child development and children’s play. Michaela’s passion has always lied in working with children and helping them learn and grow. She has previously worked as an assistant preschool teacher at a local preschool. Michaela is pursuing a career in Speech-Language Pathology and is excited to continue to learn about this amazing field at Speech Start!

Isabella Troia

Isabella Troia

Group Aide, Office Staff

I fell in love with the thought of breaking the barriers of communication for others. Everyone deserves to feel confident and powerful in their own voice

Isabella Troia graduated from Towson University with a degree of science in speech-language pathology and audiology. She has applied to graduate schools and is anticipating furthering her studies to gain her masters degree. She hopes to gain experience and create connections with those who are truly passionate about changing lives and seeing others overcome their speech struggles. It is a goal of hers to allow her future clients to feel inspired and engaged to become resilient and successful. Isabella is a compassionate, positive person and loves to work with others and be creative. She is excited to be a part of this amazing field and looks forward to experiencing the growth of the patients at Speech Start!

Alexis Hamm

Alexis Hamm

Group Aide, Office Staff

Becoming comfortable with the uncomfortable is the first step towards growth, learning and confidence.

Alexis Hamm is a current undergraduate senior at Monmouth University completing a Bachelor of Science in Health Science with a minor in Communication Science & Disorders. She is currently applying to graduate school for Speech-Language Pathology for the Summer/Fall 2023 entry term. She finds pride in helping others find their voice and overcome challenges in daily life. She enjoys research about pediatric speech & language disorders and has presented at multiple conferences. Alexis is excited for the opportunities a career in Speech-Language Pathology can offer and is eager to learn more about the field as a member of Speech Start!