Meet Our Team

Kids Communicate recognizes that choosing a therapist is of the utmost importance in the development of a child’s speech and language, the foundation of education and social growth. Lauren and her team of talented and creative therapists, use a variety of unique and cutting edge methodologies that combine traditional and progressive therapy techniques. Kids Communicate creates comprehensive and customized treatment programs based on a child’s one-on-one evaluation with Lauren. No two children are the same, and so each program is unique to the needs of a child.

Lauren E. Gurtman,
MA CCC-SLP, 
(COM®), PC

Owner & Founder of
Kids Communicate and Hoboken Myo

Lauren Gurtman is the owner and director of Kids Communicate- a private practice centrally located in Hoboken NJ. She is a Speech and Language Pathologist, Certified Orofacial Myologist (COM®) and Teacher of Students with Speech and Language Disabilities ( TSSLD) with over 23 years of professional experience treating infants through adults.  Lauren completed extensive training through the International Association of Orofacial Myology (IAOM) to become a certified Orofacial Myologist (COM®). Lauren  also trained directly under Sarah Rosenfeld Johnson the creator of TALK TOOLS in Arizona and completed numerous hours of education to earn the distinction of being recognized as a Talk Tools Level 4 Oral-Placement Feeding Specialist.  In addition she is  PROMPT© Certified for over 10 years. Lauren is one of the few therapists in the country to be certified in PROMPT, TalkTools, and Orofacial Myology. She is licensed in New Jersey, New York and Florida.

Lauren has trained with some of the top airway focussed dentists, orofacial myologists and osteopaths to support her patients through progressive  airway orthodontics such as ALF - Advanced Lightwire Functionals, Anterior Growth Guidance Appliances, Bio blok, Vivos and myobrace.   She completed a mini residency focussed on the ALF appliance.  In addition Lauren completed her own airway expansion with an ALF appliance so that she could learn more to help her patients.  Living with the ALF appliance allowed her the rare opportunity to develop a specific myofunctional program of exercises uniquely suited to patients with ALF.

 

Lauren has the distinction of being listed on the Apraxia-Kids SLP directory because of her extensive training and experience with this population of children.  She is skilled in implementing motor speech therapy techniques to support children with Childhood Apraxia of Speech including Dynamic Temporal Tactile Cueing  ( DTTC) and Rapid Syllable Transition (ReST).  

 

Lauren has extensive training and years of experience supporting her patients through Tongue and Lip Tie releases - Tethered Oral Tissues.  She  is recognized as  a Breathe Institute ambassador and Breathe Baby ambassador. All 3 of her children had tongue ties that impacted their early breast feeding relationship fortunately they  had  functional releases with excellent outcomes.  Lauren is proud to say she breastfed her babies  for a combined 7 years!  

Lauren received her Bachelor’s degree at New York University where she was a Dean’s Circle Scholar.  She  graduated Summa Cum Laude and was  admitted into Kappa Delta Pi’s Honor Society. She received a full scholarship and highly coveted graduate assistant position at  Montclair State University where she graduated with high honors.

 

Lauren was the recipient of the Marni H. Reisberg Scholarship award presented by the New Jersey Speech-Language and Hearing Association in recognition of “The pursuit of excellence in academic achievement and practice in the field of medical speech-language pathology”.

Lauren started her career at Beth Israel Medical Center.  She worked closely with Dr. Jane Madell as part of the cochlear implant team.  She left the hospital setting to start her private practice Kids Communicate in her beloved home of  Hoboken, New Jersey. 

 

 Lauren has completed extensive post graduate continuing education training including multiple certification courses.  She is committed to a lifetime of learning in order to provide the absolute highest level of care to her patients.   She is  a 10 time recipient of the ACE award for continuing education from the American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA).

 

Specialized trainings include:

•Childhood Apraxia of Speech- advanced course with Edythe Strand

•Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders

•Tethered Oral Tissues (TOTs) / Tongue and Lip Ties, 

•Handling the ribcage with Rona Alexander

•Lois Laynee Restorative Breathing

 •Buteyko Breathing

•Beckman Oral Motor manual therapy

•Biodynamic Manual Voice therapy

•Myofascial release

•Cranial Sacral Therapy

•Functional NeuromyoFascial Technique for treatment of TMD and Orofacial Pain

 •Airway and facial growth and development

• Sleep and the brain

•Infant feeding 

•Breastfeeding,

•Sequential Oral Sensory ( SOS) feeding therapy

•Can  Eat Feeding therapy

• AEIOU Feeding therapy

•Guided Oral Movements with active Patterning

 •TalkTools Oral Placement Therapy

 •Temporomandibular Joint Disorders

 •Auditory Processing Disorders

 •Phonological Awareness and Reading

 •Sensory Processing Disorders

 •DIR– Floortime with Stanley Greenspan

 •Auditory Verbal Therapy

 •D’Onofrio Institute for Advanced Myofunctional Studies: Mastering Oromyofunctional therapy, •Tummytime Method

 •Cranial Nerve Dysfunction in Infants   

 

Her specialties include treating orofacial myofunctional disorders including tongue and lip ties and  breathing re -education, oral sensory motor feeding disorders, muscle-based speech disorders, voice disorders and challenging articulation cases providing therapy and diagnostic services to infants through adults. 

 

She is a member of:

• ASHA - The American Speech and Hearing Association

•The New Jersey Speech-Language and Hearing Association ( NJSHA)

•International Association of Orofacial Myology( IAOM)

• American Academy of Private Practice in Speech Pathology and Audiology (AAPPSPA)

• International Consortium of Oral Ankylofrenula Professionals (ICAP) 

•The Academy of Applied Myofunctional Science ( AAMS)

•The Pediatric and Adult Airway Network of New York

 

A Hoboken resident for over 20 years, Lauren is the proud mother of three teenagers.  She has personal experience in managing Tethered Oral Tissues and resulting airway issues in all 3 of her children. Using an integrated approach involving airway focussed orthodontistry and orofacial myofunctional therapy she was able to resolve her son’s sleep disordered breathing which was contributing to epileptic seizures. She also has experience with extreme picky eating.  As an infant her neurodiverse son with severe Sensory Processing Disorder  developed  significant  Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease, which created feeding aversions when he was transitioning to solids. This has allowed her to experience the unique role of parent and professional in the management of feeding aversions. She understands first hand the challenges families face having a child with a feeding disorder and how to most successfully turn family meals into fun feeding adventures. 

Dana Hall, MA CCC-SLP

Dana Hall graduated from Penn State with a bachelor’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders and received her master’s degree in Speech Language Pathology from George Washington University. Dana currently works at P.G. Chambers School, serving special needs students from birth-14 years in Northern NJ. Dana has been working for Kids Communicate since March 2010. She recently completed a certification in Assistive Technology. Dana also has a certification in the Lee Silverman Voice Treatment program. She is a member of ASHA, NJ certified, and PROMT and TALK Tools trained. Dana enjoys spending time with her husband and English bulldog Moose in Hoboken. She loves to run marathons (two last year!) and travel (she’s off to Italy this summer).  

Jen Jacobs,MS CCC-SLP

Jen Jacobs has been working for Kids Communicate since March 2009. Jen graduated from Penn State with a bachelor’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders and a master’s degree in Speech Language Pathology. She also specialized in Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC). Jen currently works at P.G. Chambers School, serving special needs students from birth-14 years in Northern NJ. Jen recently completed a certification in Assistive Technology. She is also a member of ASHA, NJ and NY certified, and PROMT and TALK Tool trained. In her free time Jen enjoys spending time with her husband in Hoboken. She also enjoys taking gym classes, traveling, and giving creative gifts.

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Jennifer McMahon, MS CCC-SLP
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Jen graduated from Penn State with a bachelor’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders and a master’s degree in Speech Language Pathology. Jen is certified by the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) and licensed by the state of New Jersey. Jen has worked in the New Jersey Public Schools since 2006, serving children in preschool through fifth grade. She evaluates, develops and implements IEPs for children in the public schools. During individual and group speech and language therapy sessions, she addresses her student’s articulation, oral motor, fluency, voice, receptive and expressive language, and auditory processing deficits. Jen has worked for Kids Communicate since July 2008. Jen is PROMPT trained (Prompts for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets). She also has training in Sara Rosenfield-Johnson’s oral-motor therapy programs and the Kaufman Speech to Language Protocol. In addition, Jen has received training in social and pragmatic disorders from Jed Baker and Mark Lampert. She has attended many workshops and continuing education programs focusing on topics including autism, processing, cluttering, articulation, technology, and language disorders. Jen enjoys attending the Northeast Conference for Speech-Language Pathologists and the New Jersey Speech–Language–Hearing Association Convention to further her education. In her free time Jen enjoys spending time with her husband in Hoboken. She also enjoys traveling, swimming, working out, and visiting with family and friends.

Laura Valerio,MS CCC-SLP

Laura Valerio graduated from Loyola College with a bachelor’s degree and received her Master’s degree in Speech Language Pathology from Seton Hall University.  Laura has worked with children in a variety of settings including schools, hospitals and private practice.  She has extensive experience and training in augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), cortical visual impairment (CVI), Sensory Processing Disorders, pediatric feeding disorders, articulation, receptive and expressive language disorders, and implementation of ABA programs.  She is a member of the American Speech and Hearing Association and is certified in the state of New Jersey.   In her free time, Laura enjoys spending time with friends and family.  She enjoys ZUMBA, traveling, and playing with her many dogs.    

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