Our Team

Dr. Michele DeSimone, CCC-SLP

Clinical Director and Speech Language Pathologist

Our Director of Clinical Services and Founder of The Sensory Studio, Dr. Michele DeSimone CCC-SLP, built the practice based on clinical foundations of teamwork with professional collaboration and mentorship in mind.  Michele holds a Doctoral Degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Kean University. She obtained a Master’s Degree from New York University in Communication Sciences & Disorders as well as a Bachelor’s Degree in Speech-Language Pathology & Audiology. Michele holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence from The American Speech Language Hearing Association and is an active member of The Special Interest Groups in Speech-Language Pathology for Language Learning & Education, Neurogenic Communication Disorders, Craniofacial & Velopharyngeal Disorders, Issues in Higher Education, Administration & Supervision, Swallowing Disorders, School-Based Issues, and Global Issues in Communication Sciences & Related Disorders.  Dr. DeSimone is licensed from the New York State Office for the Professions and holds a Teacher of Speech and Language Disabilities certificate from The New York State Education Department, as well as a Speech-Language Pathology Certificate from The New York State Department of Health. Michele has extensive training in the treatment of pediatric motor speech disorders (including PROMPT and Kaufman Protocol Training), Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Peer Socialization Skills, and Early Childhood Language Development.

Mrs. DeSimone is licensed from the New York State Office for the Professions and holds a Teacher of Speech and Language Disabilities Certificate from The New York State Education Department, as well as a Speech Language Pathology Certificate from The New York State Department of Health. Michele has extensive training in the treatment of pediatric motor speech disorders (including PROMPT and Kaufman Protocol Training), Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Peer Socialization Skills and Early Childhood Language Development.

Michele is very happily married and resides in Staten Island with her husband, five-year-old son and Boston Terrier, Rocco. She enjoys traveling for work and pleasure, practicing yoga, and cooking for her family.

Jaimie Delfino, CF-SLP

Speech-Language Pathologist
Practice Manager

Jaimie received her Bachelor of Arts degree from St. John’s University in Speech Language Pathology/Audiology. She then attended St. John’s University in Queens where she received her Master of Arts degree in Communicative Sciences and Disorders. During her graduate studies, Jaimie experienced working with both children and adults in a variety of settings including a District 31 public school, a skilled-nursing facility, and inpatient and outpatient settings within Northwell Health Medical Center. She also volunteered for Loving Spoonfuls ensuring the safety of elderly adults during feeding. Additionally, Jaimie has participated in research on patients with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) at the graduate level. From these experiences, Jaimie has developed her clinical skills working with both children and adults with expressive and receptive language impairments, fluency disorders, articulation, phonological disorders, developmental delays, Apraxia, and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

 

Jaimie recently transitioned into an additional role at The Sensory Studio completing her clinical fellowship in Speech-Language Pathology. She is eager and motivated to continue advancing her clinical skills within this field. In her free time, Jaimie enjoys spending time with her family and going on spontaneous adventures.

Christine Fowler, CCC-SLP

Speech Language Pathologist

Christine is from Staten Island, New York. In 2014, she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Speech Language Pathology with a minor in Occupational Science from Ithaca College. Christine then received her Master’s Degree in Speech Language Pathology from Brooklyn College, one of the most competitive programs in the United States. Her graduate school clinical experiences included pediatric populations in early childhood and preschool settings, as well as adults in an outpatient hospital setting.

 

Since graduating from Brooklyn College, Christine has been working for The Sensory Studio. She has been servicing early childhood, preschool, and school-age children in both school and outpatient settings. Christine has experience working with children with receptive and expressive language impairments, articulation and phonology disorders, language learning disabilities, developmental delays, fluency disorders, voice disorders, and autism. She is trained in PROMPT therapy, which she incorporates into her assessment and treatment. Christine also organizes and leads Peer Socialization Groups at The Sensory Studio. She is passionate about providing child-centered intervention that includes play-based activities in naturalistic settings to increase engagement and generalization of skills.

Christine is licensed by the board of New York State, has her Teacher of Students with Speech and Language Disabilities initial certification, and currently holds a Certificate in Clinical Competence from the Speech-Language-Hearing Association. When she’s not in the office, Christine enjoys traveling, reading, taking her dog to the park, and practicing yoga.

Samantha Cisternino, CCC-SLP

Speech Language Pathologist

Samantha received her Bachelor’s Degree from Kean University in Speech Language Pathology. She then attended Brooklyn College where she completed an Advanced Certificate in Autism Spectrum Disorders. Samantha graduated with a Master’s Degree in Speech Language Pathology from Long Island University- Brooklyn, with her Teacher of Students with Speech and Language Disabilities initial certification. She is trained in PROMPT therapy, which she incorporates into her assessment and treatment. Samantha has enjoyed working with children of all abilities and is excited to continue to do so in the future.

 

Outside of the office, Samantha enjoys reading, outdoor activities, DIY projects, knitting, traveling, and spending time with her family and friends. She currently lives in Staten Island with her husband, Vincent, and dog, Bonnie.

Dominique Perk, CCC-SLP

Speech Language Pathologist

Dominique received her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Speech Language Pathology through a five-year program at Marywood University in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Her graduate school clinical experiences include pediatric and adult rehabilitation, Aphasia, Cognition and Pragmatic Therapy groups, a public-elementary-middle school and High school in Scranton, PA, and Acute Care at Staten Island University Hospital.

 

After graduating, Dominique gained experience working as a speech therapist servicing school-aged children in school based and private clinic settings. She has experience working with children with receptive/expressive language impairments, articulation/phonology disorders, apraxia, developmental delays, cerebral palsy, autism, and Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Devices.

Dominique values building a strong rapport with her clients and their family members. She also makes her sessions individualized, creative, and fun in order to enhance the therapeutic experience.

During her free time, Dominique enjoys traveling, listening to music, and spending time with friends and family.

Nicole Ezzo, CCC-SLP

Speech Language Pathologist

Nicole is from Staten Island, New York. She received her Bachelor’s Degree at Wagner College in Staten Island where she dual majored in Special/General Childhood Education and Psychology. Nicole then received a Master’s Degree in Speech Language Pathology from Seton Hall University in South Orange, New Jersey. Her graduate school clinical experiences included Pediatric and Adult Rehabilitation Center, an inpatient/outpatient rehabilitation center at JFK Medical Center, and a public elementary-middle school in Guttenberg, New Jersey.

 

After graduating from Seton Hall University, Nicole worked as a home care early intervention provider servicing children from ages 0-3, and as a speech therapist servicing both pre-school and school-age children in a school-based setting. She has experience working with children with expressive/receptive language impairments, articulation/phonology disorders, learning disabilities, apraxia, developmental delays, and autism. Nicole is especially passionate about following a family-centered approach to therapy to increase generalization of skills and improving quality of life and communication outside of the therapy room.

Nicole is licensed by the board of New York State, has her Teacher of Students with Speech and Language Disabilities certification, and currently holds a Certificate in Clinical Competence from the American Speech Language Hearing Association. Aside from being a Speech Language Pathologist, Nicole has a background in studying music, where she enjoys singing live at restaurants across Staten Island. She is also an avid reader and CrossFitter who enjoys outdoor activities and spending her free time with friends and family. Nicole currently lives in Staten Island where she is planning a wedding with her fiancé, Vincent. She is looking forward to working with you and your family to support growth in your child’s communication!

Maria Kotsonis, CCC-SLP

Speech Language Pathologist

Maria graduated from St. John’s University with her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Speech Language Pathology. She has her New York State licensure in Speech Language Pathology and earned her Professional Certificate as a Teacher of Students with Speech and Language Disabilities (TSSLD). Maria also holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) from the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA).

 

Maria has experience working with pediatrics and adults in a variety of settings. She has experience working in a preschool, an elementary school, home-based, and a private practice. Maria is trained in PROMPT therapy and uses this approach extensively during her diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment of clients. She has experience working with clients with autism, language disorders, fluency, sensory-processing disorder, articulation disorders and voice disorders.

Lauren Belenski, CCC-SLP

Speech Language Pathologist

Lauren received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Loyola University Maryland in Speech-Language Pathology/Audiology with a minor in Italian Studies. She then attended New York University where she received her Master of Science degree in Communicative Sciences and Disorders, including her Teacher of Students with Speech and Language Disabilities Initial Certification.

 

During graduate school, Lauren had the opportunity to work with both children and adults in a variety of settings throughout New York and New Jersey, including a pediatric and adult rehabilitation center, a pre-school, an early care & education center, a skilled-nursing facility, the NYU clinic, and the inpatient unit at Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation. She also volunteered as a graduate intern at the American Institute for Stuttering where she collaborated with other speech-language pathologists in guiding group therapy for teenagers who stutter. Additionally, Lauren has participated in research at both the undergraduate and graduate level related to Public Health as well as self-acceptance in individuals who stutter. From these experiences, Lauren has developed her clinical skills working with children with expressive and receptive language impairments, articulation and phonology disorders, developmental delays, fluency disorders, and apraxia.

She recently joined The Sensory Studio in January and is completing her clinical fellowship in Speech-Language Pathology as a new member of the team. Lauren is so excited to continue developing her clinical skills and expanding her knowledge while working in collaboration with other therapists at The Sensory Studio. Outside of the office, Lauren enjoys cooking, playing piano, going on runs, and spending time with family and friends.

Kristen Raskin, CCC-SLP

Speech Language Pathologist

Kristen is from Staten Island, New York. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology from St. John’s University (Staten Island) in 2015 and her Master’s Degree in Speech-Language Pathology from St. John’s University (Queens) in 2017. Kristen is dual licensed in New York State and New Jersey, has her Teacher of Students with Speech and Language Disabilities certification and currently holds a Certificate in Clinical Competence from the American Speech Language Hearing Association.

Kristen’s graduate school clinical experience included pediatric and adult rehabilitation working in a variety of settings including: Acute Care, Skilled Nursing, Inpatient Rehabilitation at JFK Medical Center, Outpatient Pediatric, and Elementary and Middle school experience.

 

Kristen has gained experience working with children with receptive/ expressive language impairments, articulation/ phonology disorders, developmental delays, autism, and Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) devices.

Kristen spent time in Antigua, Guatemala working hands on with infants, children and young adults diagnosed with swallowing disorders in a hospital/ orphanage located in Guatemala. Outside the office, Kristen enjoys traveling, listening to country music, spending time with family and friends and exercising.

Emily Camacho, CF-SLP

Speech-Language Pathologist

Emily received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology from St. John’s University Staten Island Campus in 2017. She continued her education at St. John’s University and received her Master of Arts degree in Speech Language Pathology in May of 2019. Emily holds a Teacher of Speech and Language Disabilities Certificate from The New York State Department of Education.

Her graduate experience included both Pediatric and Adult populations within various settings such as a private clinic, medical center, nursing home and District 75 public school.
Emily is beginning at The Sensory Studio, completing her clinical fellowship in Speech-Language Pathology. She is eager to continue developing her clinical skills and work closely with patients and families.
Outside of the office, Emily enjoys spending time with her friends and family, mastering new recipes and traveling as much as possible.

Gabrielle Pucciarelli, OTR/L

Occupational Therapist

Gabrielle is a certified Occupational Therapist, born and raised in Staten Island. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from St. John’s University and later went on to obtain her Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy from New York University. Gabrielle has always had a passion for working with children in many different settings. She has experience working with children with a variety of diagnoses including, but not limited to: ASD, ADHD, sensory processing delays, emotional and behavioral challenges, and learning difficulties.

Gabrielle finds the importance in taking a strength-based approach when treating clients, by focusing on what the individual enjoys and does well, rather than looking at their deficits. She is excited to be a member of The Sensory Studio, where she believes she can grow in her own profession while helping children to grow and function successfully in a variety of age-appropriate roles. In her spare time, Gabrielle enjoys cooking, spending time with family and friends, and traveling to new places.

Allison Smith, OTR/L

Occupational Therapist

Allison is an Occupational Therapist at The Sensory Studio. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in the field of Occupational Therapy from Sacred Heart University. Allison’s occupational therapy career includes experiences with inpatient rehabilitation, the educational system, and early intervention.

Providing occupational therapy services within various settings has allowed Allison to deliver services to clients of all ages and needs. She specializes in working with both the pediatric and adult populations with areas of concern ranging from physical, cognitive, and emotional delays. Allison keeps up to date with new developments within the field of occupational therapy. In her free time, Allison enjoys reading, traveling to new places (near and far!), being outdoors, and staying as active as possible!

Olivia Tierno, OTR/L

Occupational Therapist

Olivia graduated from Touro College with a Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy in 2017 with the highest academic achievement award and a DOE OT Scholarship Program recipient. She is a member of the American Occupational Therapy Association and Pi Theta Epsilon Occupational Therapy National Honor Society. Olivia has recently begun working with middle school aged children within the Department of Education with focus on ADL/life skills training, community integration activities, sensory regulation strategies, and visual motor and perceptual training. She strives to help children reach their full potential within an enjoyable, creative environment by collaborating with families.

Olivia is a co-author on a published paper titled SPOTS: A Model for the Creation of Sustainable, Population-Based, Occupational Therapy Fieldwork Sites, that was accepted into the World Federation of Occupational Therapists Congress 2018. Olivia continues to play in competitive basketball leagues, loves to travel when she can, and spend time with her family.