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Staff

Nicole Gerami

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Nicole Gerami has been treating children since 1993, serving in public and independent schools, clinical settings, and her own private practice. She is also a published author.  Her publications include the Narrative Builder, Tell Me What Happened (e-course) and new in 2016, a book for parents and therapists that is being published by XYVerlag in Switzerland.  Nicole speaks both across the country and internationally on both social skills development and narrative development in children on the autism spectrum.

Nicole is best known for her work with children with autism spectrum disorders, but treats children with a wide range of delays and disorders. Nicole has also created the acclaimed Friendship Groups, which she continues to run today. As well, she is the co-creator of Friendship in Teams (FIT), which was created in 2007 and is the founding member of Nicole Gerami, LLC (formerly Western Reserve Speech & Language Partners).

She is fully licensed by both the Ohio Board of Speech Pathology and Audiology and the Ohio Department of Education, and she is a certified member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).

Bethany Burkhart

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Bethany Burkhart joined Nicole Gerami, LLC in 2015, having previously worked in the public schools (preschool - age 22) for 6 years. Bethany has also completed research on methods for language facilitation with children. She enjoys working with children of all ages and all ability levels. Bethany loves being able to work collaboratively with children and their families, as well as seeing the growth that the children make and the impact that growth has on their lives.

She is fully licensed by both the Ohio Board of Speech Pathology and Audiology and the Ohio Department of Education, and she is a certified member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).

Rita Gregg

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Rita Gregg joined Nicole Gerami, LLC (formerly Western Reserve Speech & Language Partners) in 2007. She has practiced in public schools and hospitals throughout the United States, including Virginia, Arizona, and more. Rita is also currently on staff at a local private school. Her expertise include developmental speech delays, motor-speech disorders, and language delays in young children, but she serves children with a wide variety of speech and language delays and disorders. Rita loves being able to witness the children she helps gain confidence as they become more efficient communicators and better students.

She is fully licensed by both the Ohio Board of Speech Pathology and Audiology and the Ohio Department of Education, and she is a certified member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).

Caroline Gerds

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Caroline Gerds has been working at Nicole Gerami, LLC since 2013. Prior to joining she practiced in the public school setting (Pre-Kindergarten - 8th grade) in both Illinois and Washington. Caroline has experience with treating a variety of speech and language delays and disorders, however her areas of speciality include language and literacy, speech sound disorders and social language. Caroline loves being able to see the children she helps make progress towards their speech goals.

She is fully licensed by both the Ohio Board of Speech Pathology and Audiology and the Ohio Department of Education, and she is a certified member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).

Marilyn Gardner

marilyn-gardnerMarilyn Gardner earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Ohio University and a principal’s certificate from John Carroll University. She has 30 years of experience in public education, successfully providing services and support within a diverse range of service delivery models while serving as a school wide consultant and resource for staff and families. She has had extensive training in several areas related to communication including Telaroo, a group of technologies that are video-based teaching tools, support apps and mobile accessible games for children, families and practitioners, Nonviolent Communication developed by Marshall Rosenberg, and Social Thinking developed by Michelle Garcia Winner.

She is fully licensed by both the Ohio Board of Speech Pathology and Audiology and the Ohio Department of Education, and she is a certified member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).

Celia Lupton

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Celia Lupton Graduated from Case Western Reserve University with her M.A. in 2011, and joined Nicole Gerami, LLC as a full-time speech-language pathologist in 2012. Celia has worked with toddlers in the Early Intervention system of Massachusetts, as well as having completed research on the use of Social Stories Intervention with children with ASD. Celia currently provides treatment to children with a variety of delays and disorders at Nicole Gerami, LLC. She loves being able to play games with the kids as she works with them.

She is fully licensed by both the Ohio Board of Speech Pathology and Audiology and the Ohio Department of Education, and she is a certified member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).

 

Shaina Leb

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Shaina Leb joined Nicole Gerami, LLC in 2015, and being a Beachwood native, recently moved back to Cleveland from Chicago where she worked as a speech-language pathologist at a private pediatric clinic serving children ages 2-16. Shaina’s passion and holistic approach to working with children as a Speech-Language Pathologist helps her in treating a variety of speech and language delays and disorders. She has experience facilitating early language groups for toddlers, focusing on improving social interaction, language, and play skills. Shaina loves it when parents notice the progress that their kids are making and are excited to share different ways their kids have generalized these targeted behaviors outside of the clinic.

She is fully licensed by both the Ohio Board of Speech Pathology and Audiology and the Ohio Department of Education, and she is a certified member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).

Emily Swank

Emily Swank PictureEmily Swank joined Nicole Gerami, LLC in 2018 as a Clinical Fellow. She attended undergraduate school at Kent State University (KSU), majoring in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology. After graduating from KSU, she moved to Cleveland State University to earn her masters in Speech-Language Pathology, in addition to earning “The Outstanding Clinician” award by dean and faculty. She has experience as a group leader during Friendship in Teams (FIT) for ages 3-5 year old’s. Here, she manages behaviors, facilitates play, and engages children in social lessons. Apart from FIT, she has experience as a graduate clinician in the public-school system. During her 16-week externship, she facilitated social skills groups for 10-13-year olds to target skills such as appropriate topics, personal space, and appropriate classroom behavior. Emily has a passion for collaborative therapy with parents, friends, and teacher to best facilitate carry-over skills. Emily holds a Conditional Speech-Language Pathology License, as she works toward completing her clinical fellowship year at Nicole Gerami, LLC.

 

 

Allison Tyson

Allison Tyson PictureAllison Tyson graduated from Case Western Reserve University with her M.A. in May 2018 and began completing her clinical fellowship year at Nicole Gerami, LLC in June 2018. Allison has worked with children with ASD, fluency disorders, and language disorders. She completed her graduate research on the use of Social Story intervention with children with ASD. During her graduate coursework, Allison had externship placements with Nicole Gerami, LLC, participating in FIT Camp and the Mayfield ESY program. She loves helping children communicate more effectively and more easily! Allison holds a Conditional Speech-Language Pathology License, as she works toward completing her clinical fellowship year at Nicole Gerami, LLC.

 

 

 

Michelle McNeill

Michell McNeil PictureMichelle McNeill graduated with her Master’s degree from Cleveland State University in 2017, after which she completed her Clinical Fellowship in Speech-Language Pathology at Nicole Gerami LLC. Michelle has had an active role in both Nicole Gerami’s Friendship Groups as well as Friendship in Teams (FIT) since 2015. In addition to social language, Michelle has experience treating children with various speech and language difficulties. Michelle is motivated to provide engaging, evidence-based therapy to children of all ages.

She is fully licensed by both the Ohio Board of Speech Pathology and Audiology and the Ohio Department of Education. She is also a certified member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). 

 

 

Helen Carter

Helen Carter PictureHelen Carter is a long-time resident of Shaker Heights whose children attended the same elementary school that she did. Helen has worked with Nicole Gerami and the FIT Program since 2010. She worked for over a decade as a librarian in public, academic, and fine arts libraries, but realized she wanted the opportunity to work more directly with children. Helen received her master’s degree in speech-language pathology from the University of Akron in 2013. She provides speech and language therapy services in public school, private practice, and home-based settings for a variety of speech and language delays and disorders. She loves to watch her students learn to use their own “voice” to communicate and develop relationships with peers and adults in a variety of authentic settings.

She is fully licensed by both the Ohio Board of Speech Pathology and Audiology and the Ohio Department of Education, and she is a certified member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).