Located in Northern New Jersey, Montclair Speech Therapy is a family friendly practice that provides services for infants, children, adults and seniors. We stay current in our evolving industry and use treatment approaches that support evidence-based practices, ensuring patients achieve function, strength and independence.
Founded by licensed SLP Lori Caplan‐Colon, is to provide inclusive, research-based therapies that serves the unique needs of individuals across the lifespan. We offer creativity, support, applied learning and skill, camaraderie and compassion as we meet our clients at the start of the therapeutic process. Through custom care plans, we meet each patient’s needs uniquely, supporting and enhancing the lives of parents, children and adults facing overwhelming challenges. Together, we help them reach their goals and celebrate all successes along the way.
About Lori Caplan-Colon, M.S. CCC-SLP
Lori Caplan-Colon is a NJ state licensed, ASHA certified Speech-language pathologist with over 18 years of clinical experience. She obtained her BS in Speech Pathology/Audiology from Ithaca College, NY. She earned her Master’s in Speech-Language Pathology at the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professionals.
Lori Caplan-Colon traveled throughout New Jersey attending to her clients’ and their family’s needs at the onset of her practice. She began a private, home practice as her family grew. Having outgrown her home, the first professional office space opened in a historic bank, Vault 491, in down town Montclair, 2015. A second, fully staffed Caldwell office followed three years later. Clients include individuals of all ages and ability levels.
Lori Caplan-Colon is committed to ongoing development and proficiency in the skills of both her staff as well as herself. She has extensive background in areas of oral motor and feeding dysfunction. She is trained to use PROMPT (Prompts for restructuring oral/muscular Phonetic Targets.) She is trained through Level 3 in Talk Tools and is proficient in SOS; The Sequential Oral Sensory Feeding Approach. Lori Caplan-Colon enjoys success working in the area of tethered oral tissues and in working with picky eaters. She is a two-time ACE (Award for Continuting Education) Award recipient. Her educational journey begins anew this fall with a yearlong program at New York Medical College; advancing her skills with an advanced degree in Pediatric Dysphagia.
Montclair Speech Therapy employs a wide variety of research-based techniques. These are tailored to meet the needs of each client and their family. This multi-dimensional, patient-centered approach includes play therapy, facilitative language environments and family centered training. Treatment goals focus on improving both the client’s skills and abilities, as well as heir confidence. We aim to make everyday interactions and experiences stress-free and pleasurable.
Lori Caplan-Colon’s Memberships & Awards
Beckman Oral Motor Trained 2018
Talk Tools Level 3 2018
ACE Award – 3 Time Award Winner
The award for continuing education (ACE) is a formal recognition of professionals who have demonstrated their commitment to lifelong learning by earning over 70 contact hours in a 36 month period.
2015 Autism Speaks Fundraiser
Autism Speaks Silver Supporter at New York City Walk.
Meet Our Team of Speech Language Pathologists
About Alexandra Kint, M.S. CCC-SLP
Ali is a licensed Speech-Language Pathology Clinical Fellow in the state of New Jersey. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts in both English and Comparative Humanities at Bucknell University in 2012 and a Master of Science in Communicative Sciences and Disorders from New York University in 2018.
Over the course of her clinical experiences, Ali developed a passion for medical speech-language pathology and for working with clients across the lifespan. She has evaluated and treated clients in the school, skilled nursing facility, and rehabilitation hospital settings. She has worked closely with clients with speech and language delays, aphasia, cognitive-communication disorders, dysphagia, dysarthria, and voice disorders.
Ali is an English-French bilingual speaker and has conversational skills in Spanish. She has treated monolingual and bilingual clients. She believes in the importance of establishing rapport with her clients and emphasizes a client-centered, collaborative approach to maximize best possible outcomes.
About Desiree D’Agostino, M.S.Ed. CCC-SLP
Desiree is a Speech Language Pathologist licensed in the state of New Jersey. She is a certified member of the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA). She obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology at The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey (2011) and completed her Masters of Science in Education in Communication Sciences and Disorders at The College of Saint Rose (2015).
During her graduate studies, she was exposed to many types of therapies and age groups including transgender (male to female), adult communication groups, Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) in an adult day-hab facility, Stuttering therapy, and more. She has worked for 5 years in a school setting working with children ranging from pre-school through high school aged, most diagnosed with Autism. Desiree has been a part of child study teams for many years and has ample experience collaborating with the multidisciplinary team, such as occupational therapists, physical therapists, behaviorists, psychologists, learning consultants, and teachers.
Desiree is known to implement fun, multi-sensory therapeutic play-based interventions, while utilizing technology in order to facilitate meaningful and memorable sessions to help promote speech and language in a variety of ways.
About Francesca Ilardi, M. S. CCC-SLP
Francesca is a Speech Language Pathologist licensed in the state of New Jersey and a certified member of the American Speech Language Hearing Association. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Linguistics from Rutgers University in 2015 and earned her Master of Arts degree in Speech-Language Pathology at Montclair State University in 2018.
Throughout her undergraduate and graduate studies, Francesca has evaluated and treated a variety of speech and language disorders across the lifespan. Her clinical experiences include providing early intervention services within an inclusive daycare, as well as instructing reading and writing enrichment workshops to school-aged children. She has also extended her services to children with expressive and receptive language deficits/delays, speech sound disorders, ADHD, and autism. While working in a specialized high school for young adults with developmental disabilities, Francesca facilitated the use of low and high tech AAC devices for nonverbal students with cerebral palsy, autism, developmental delays, and chromosomal anomalies. She also has experience with therapeutic feeding and using adaptive eating and drinking equipment.
Francesca has always exhibited a strong desire to work within the medical field. As a clinician in a skilled nursing facility, acute care hospital, and outpatient rehabilitation center, she acquired the clinical tools to serve adult/geriatric clients with communication deficits secondary to stroke, brain injury, dementia, respiratory problems, and head and neck cancer. Her experience assessing and treating aphasia, dysarthria, dysphagia, and voice disorders has led Francesca to develop an interest in these areas of the field. Her graduate thesis focused on word-retrieval treatments for adults with aphasia who sustained cerebrovascular insults.
Francesca is an English-Italian bilingual speaker and has treated both monolingual and bilingual individuals. Her ability to easily establish rapport, coupled by her passion to help others, is evident through her interactions with others. She values the importance of patient-centered care and providing clients and their families with education, counseling, and strategies to maximize treatment outcomes.
About Jackie Berman, Occupational Therapist
Jackie is a New Jersey licensed Occupational Therapist with over 7 years of experience working with individuals across a lifespan. Jackie has had clinical affiliations working with children across a variety of settings, including schools, special programs for young adults with brain injury, and inpatient children’s hospitals. Jackie has worked with adults in various settings, including sub-acute and inpatient rehabilitation, and is specialized in treating people who have suffered neurological or neurodegenerative impairments. She is skilled at the evaluation and assessment of visual/perceptual, cognitive, and motor impairments and developing comprehensive treatment plans to maximize an individual’s level of function.
About Joanne Cazeau, M.S. CCC-SLP
Joanne Cazeau is a licensed speech-language pathologist in the state of New Jersey and a certified member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). Joanne attended Howard University, where she earned a Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Speech and Hearing Sciences at the George Washington University.
During her graduate studies, Joanne worked with pediatric and adult populations in educational, outpatient clinic, and acute care settings. In her post-graduate clinical experience, Joanne discovered her passion for working with children with complex needs while servicing elementary and middle school-aged students with moderate to severe developmental disorders as part of a multidisciplinary team in educational programs in Maryland.
Joanne’s clinical interests include early speech and language development, developmental language delays and disorders, pediatric and adults with complex communication needs, alternative augmentative communication (AAC), Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and related disorders and family-centered practice. Her personal interests include plant care and interior decorating.
Joanne is a native speaker of French and Haitian Creole and enjoys working with multilingual populations. Joanne prides herself on delivering client-centered care that considers cultural diversity, learning style, diagnostic complexity and multisensory needs.
About Leigh Brown, M.S. CCC-SLP
Leigh is a practicing Speech-Language Pathologist in the sate of New Jersey and a certified member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). She obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Economics at the College of William and Mary in 2001 and her Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology at the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions in 2014.
As a graduate student clinician, Leigh worked with adults in the acute care hospital setting where she honed her diagnostic skills with respect to dysphagia as well as language and cognitive impairments. She began her career treating speech and language disorders in public middle schools in Oakland, California. She has evaluated and treated children with a variety of diagnoses including Autism spectrum disorder, Down syndrome and Cerebral palsy.
Leigh has experience developing a range of speech-language skills including articulation, receptive-expressive and social-pragmatic language skills. She embraces a collaborative, interdisciplinary, client-centered approach to treatment. Leigh has a passion for incorporating creative, multi-sensory and multi-media tools in therapeutic intervention.
About Monica R. Christian, M. S. CCC-SLP
Monica R. Christian, M. S., CCC-SLP, graduated summa cum laude from Syracuse University with her Bachelors’ of Science degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders and with her Masters’ of Science degree in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Arizona. Undergraduate and graduate research interests and theses projects included assessment of motor speech production with chronic trach/vent patients, voice hygiene, swallowing following radiation treatment in head and neck cancer patients, changes in cognition in Parkinson patients following deep brain stimulation, and neurological correlates for spontaneous language production using positron emission tomography (PET).
Monica is New Jersey licensed and certified Speech Language Pathologist, with over 10 years of experience in evaluation and treatment of children and adults presenting with speech, language, and cognitive disorders due to neurological, developmental, and acquired diagnoses in a variety of different settings including outpatient rehabilitation facilities, home care, early intervention, hospitals, skilled nursing/subacute facilities, and in private practice. Monica has administrative and supervisory experience, working collaboratively with other licensed professionals and physicians to provide comprehensive care for patients and their families. She has also provided clinical support and supervision to clinical fellows and graduate students within community based treatment centers and in on campus clinical settings. Monica is a member of the American Speech, Language, and Hearing Association with participation in special interest division, Neurogenic Communication Disorders. She is PROMPT, LSVT trained and Hanen certified.
About Nicole Makowski, M.S. CCC-SLP
Nicole is a licensed Speech-Language Pathologist in the state of New Jersey. She graduated cum laude from Towson University with her Bachelors’ of Science degree in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology. Nicole completed her Master’s Degree in Communication Disorders at Stockton University in 2016. She is a certified member of the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA).
Throughout her undergraduate and graduate studies, Nicole has clinician experience working with both the pediatric and geriatric populations in the medical setting. Post graduate work, Nicole gained extensive experience working with the medically fragile pediatric population with a variety of speech, language, genetic, and swallowing disorders. She has worked in both the private practice and children’s hospital outpatient/inpatient settings. She has ample experience collaborating with the multidisciplinary team, such as occupational therapists, physical therapists, behaviorists, pediatricians, psychologists, and teachers.
Nicole is knowledgeable with a variety of AAC communication methods, including infant sign language, picture exchange systems, communication boards, and electronic voice output devices. She has attended continuing education courses to refine her knowledge regarding the Kaufman Method for children with apraxia, play based early intervention, fluency of speech, social skills curriculum, and behavioral/sensory feeding approaches. Nicole is devoted to implement fun, multi-sensory therapeutic play-based intervention into each and every session to make a positive impact on her clients everyday lives.
About Nikki Perez, Lead OT, MOTR/L
Nikki Perez is a Licensed and Registered Occupational Therapist in the state of New Jersey. She attended Quinnipiac University in Connecticut where she received her Bachelors of Science degree in 2007 and went on to achieve her Masters of Occupational Therapy. She completed her clinical Fieldwork in Florida and California in 2009 prior to returning to her home state of New Jersey.
Since then, Nikki has worked in pediatrics for 9 years, employed primarily in an outpatient hospital where she has collaborated with disciplines such as speech language pathologists, physical therapists, physiatrists, psychologists and behaviorists. She also has experience working in early intervention, a private practice servicing children both at home and in a clinic, and in a school setting specifically designed for children with disabilities. She has been trained in the Alert Program and certified in The Listening Program as well as a Fieldwork Educator. Nikki has attended continuing education courses to further her knowledge in relation to sensory based modalities, kinesotaping, Torticollis, physical agent modalities, and feeding difficulties. Nikki has experience with a variety of diagnoses and conditions including, but not limited to Autism, Traumatic Brain Injury, Down Syndrome, Developmental Coordination Disorder, Sensory Processing Disorder, Cerebral Palsy, prematurity, visual impairments, neurological impairments, mental health disorders, feeding difficulties and learning disabilities. She has supervisory experience collaborating with universities as a Fieldwork Educator. Nikki’s fun, compassionate and loving approach with children earned her the recognition of New Jersey’s Favorite Kids’ Doc in 2017.
About Rebecca Lotwich, M.A. CCC SLP- CFY
Rebecca is a Speech-Language Pathologist Clinical Fellow licensed in the state of New Jersey. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics with a double minor in Speech-Language Pathology/Audiology and Cognitive Science at Montclair State University in 2017 and earned her Master of Arts degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Kean University in 2020.
Throughout her graduate studies, Rebecca has developed a strong passion for working with clients of all ages with communication disorders. Her clinical experiences include evaluating and treating clients in the clinic, school, and rehabilitation hospital settings. She has worked closely with clients with autism spectrum disorder, speech and language delays, aphasia, dysarthria, apraxia, and cognitive-communication disorders.
During her time in the school setting, she gained experience treating preschool children with autism spectrum disorder and receptive/expressive language delays. As a clinician in an outpatient rehabilitation center, she acquired the clinical skills to evaluate and treat adult and geriatric clients with communication deficits secondary to acquired brain injuries and developmental disorders. Within both settings, Rebecca was part of a multidisciplinary team and gained experience working collaboratively with teachers, occupational therapists, and physical therapists.
Rebecca values the importance of implementing fun, engaging, and motivating treatment sessions that are tailored to her client’s needs. Her clinical expertise is rooted in evidence-based practice and patient-centered treatment services to ensure the highest quality care for every client she serves.
About Reema Trivedi, OT
Reema is a licensed Occupational Therapist in the state of New York and New Jersey. She is a certified member of the American Occupational Therapy Association. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology at SUNY Oneonta in 2014 and completed her graduate studies in Occupational Therapy at Clarkson University in 2017. During her graduate studies, Reema designed a capstone project that focused on using multi-sensory strategies with special needs children to improve their attention and self-regulation skills. Reema is a multilingual speaker who has pediatric experience in both clinic and school-based settings. Reema is passionate about her work and is focused on providing the best quality of care. She loves that she can PLAY at work! During her free time, she enjoys traveling, hiking, meditating, yoga, reading, and cooking.
About Shannon Spencer, M.S. CCC-SLP
Shannon is a licensed Speech-Language Pathology Clinical Fellow in the state of New Jersey. She obtained a Bachelor of Sciences in Communication Sciences and Disorders at Marywood University in 2018 and a Master of Sciences for Speech Language Disorders in 2020 at Marywood University.
During her clinical experiences, Shannon worked with clients across the lifespan. She has evaluated and treated clients in the school, skilled nursing facility, and clinical (private practice) settings. She has worked closely with clients with speech and language delays, aphasia, AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication Devices), cognitive-communication disorders, dysphagia, dysarthria, and voice disorders.
Shannon has worked with many clients with common and uncommon diagnoses including but not limited to; Autism, Down’s Syndrome, CVI (Cortical visual impairment), Cerebral Palsy, Lissencephaly (smooth brain syndrome), Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s Disease, Traumatic Brain Injury, and Aphasia.
Shannon has learned to adapt therapeutic activities and goals based on clients abilities and diagnoses. She believes evidenced-based practice is essential to providing the most effective therapy to clients. Shannon believes it is important to have good rapport with clients and is devoted to implementing fun and engaging therapeutic intervention.
About Talin Simonian, M.A. CCC-SLP
Talin is a certified member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and a licensed Speech Language Pathologist in the state of New Jersey. She graduated from Rutgers University with a double major in Psychology and English. Having had a strong interest in language, she attended Kean University, where she received her graduate degree, earning a Masters of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology. While at Kean University, she completed her thesis, concentrating on the influence of music therapy in individuals with communication deficits.
Talin has experience working in both a clinical and school-based setting. While earning her graduate degree, she worked at Kean University’s clinic as one of the first two clinicians to be selected for the Intensive Communication for Aphasia Program (ICAP), treating individuals diagnosed with aphasia. She administered a series of test protocols and learned to evaluate results. She has clinical knowledge in designing treatment plans and providing counseling. In addition, Talin has gained further experience with aphasia, as she has previously assisted in treating adults at the Adler Aphasia Center in West Orange, New Jersey. Within the school setting, she has over a year’s experience and has served preschool, elementary, and middle school-aged children in public schools. Talin has worked with children with a wide range of diagnoses, ranging from Autism Spectrum Disorder to articulation delay. She has experience with children, who are nonverbal and Deaf, utilizing individualized Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) programs for each child.
Talin is an English-Armenian bilingual speaker. She has treated both monolingual and bilingual individuals ranging from children to adults. She believes in a comprehensive and patient-centered approach when working with her clients. The level of care that she exhibits allows her to establish rapport and build a trusting foundation with those whom she works with. Talin hopes to broaden her clinical experience as a speech-language pathologist by treating voice disorders for individuals within the Transgender community.
About Tanvi Amin, Chief SLP, M.S. CCC-SLP
Tanvi is a Speech Language Pathologist licensed in the state of New Jersey. She is a certified member of the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA). She obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech Language Hearing Sciences at Kean University in 2011 and completed her graduate studies in Speech Language Pathology at East Tennessee State University (ETSU) in 2016. During her graduate studies, she volunteered her time to ETSU’s National Student Speech-Language-Hearing Association chapter as Secretary and is the recipient of the 2016 Outstanding SLP Student Clinician Award and 2016 Alpha Eta Award. Throughout her undergraduate and graduate studies, her clinical experiences in rehabilitation hospitals, a Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center, various schools, and skilled nursing facilities have provided her with the core clinical skills needed to advance as a clinician and accept new challenges. Tanvi is bilingual (English/Gujarati) and has worked with monolingual and bilingual students with a variety of communication disorders.
Tanvi has developed a passion for medical speech language pathology and has provided assessment and treatment services for a variety of speech, language, cognitive, voice, and/or swallowing disorders for adults who have neurologic degenerative diseases, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, head injuries, and/or respiratory problems. In addition, Tanvi has the clinical foundation to work with a variety of children with receptive and expressive language disorders as well as articulation and phonological impairments secondary to a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder, Down syndrome, ADHD, and/or other related disorders. Tanvi exhibits an ability to quickly establish a comfortable rapport with patients from a variety of backgrounds and finds creative ways to help them achieve success.