Licensed Speech Pathologist NJL#41S00305300 | Oral-Motor/Feeding/PROMPT | Myofunctional Therapy
Talk Tools® Instructor | Member of ASHA, NJSHA, AAPPSPA | SLS School Certified
Recipient of NJ Kid's Top Docs 2012, 2013 and 2014
Robyn Merkel-Walsh, M.A., CCC-SLP is a Licensed Speech Pathologist with over two decades of experience in the state of NJ. In addition to owning her own practice, she works full time for the Ridgefield Board of Education where she is housed in the Magnet School Program for children on the Autism Spectrum.
Her publications include: SMILE (Systematic Intervention for Lingual Elevation), Art Talk, Handy Handouts, and she co-authored Sensory Stix, A Sensory Motor Approach to Feeding, Oral Placement TO Speech (OPTS) and OPT Goals for Speech Clarity. She has also written several articles for the TalkTools® website, The ASHA Leader, and Advance Magazine for Speech Pathologists.
Robyn is a lecturer for professional enhancement courses as part of TalkTools® . She has presented Tongue Thrust and Autism courses that have been offered for ASHA CEUs. She has been invited to speak on Oral Placement disorders by the New Milford Board of Education, The Apraxia Network, AAPPSPA and the MOSAIC Foundation. She is actively involved in parental support groups for apraxia and autism, and monitors an interactive Oral Placement Discussion Board on Facebook. Robyn was a chief clinician in a research project for the Moebius Foundation, and trains Level 3 and 4 Talk Tools candidates. She is actively involved in gathering Evidenced Based Practice to support Oral Placement Therapy through her work on the Board of Directors for the Oral Motor Institute. She sits on this board amongst great clinicians in the field including: Sara Rosenfeld -Johnson, Pam Marshalla, Lori Overland and Diane Bahr.
Robyn received both her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Montclair State University, where she was later invited to be an adjunct/clinical supervisor. She also taught classes at Bergen Community College, and is a former clinical site coordinator for Seton Hall University. She is a member of ASHA, NJSHA, the NJEA, and The Bergen County Apraxia Association.
Robyn has specialized training in Oral-Placement Disorders, feeding, Apraxia, Applied Behavioral Analysis, autism, cranio-facial anomalies, Beckman Techniques and PROMPT. Robyn also has a specialized interest in integrative medicine and holistic healing.
About the Office
Robyn is trained in all aspects of speech and language disorders, but specializes in Oral-Placement, Feeding and Myofunctional Disorders (tongue thrust) in children. She conducts evaluations and Program Plans for children across the tri-state area. Robyn believes that a multi-sensory , multi -faceted approach to treatment is the most effective. She combines the principles of Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) , Verbal Behavior and Floortime/DIR, to engage her clients in sessions, and facilitates progress as quickly as possible by focusing on the child's individual learning style. There is no "one size fits all" approach to treatment in Robyn's office.
Evaluation and treatment are available for but not limited to: Autism, Dysarthria (low tone), Moebius Syndrome, Down Sydrome, failure to thrive, self limited diets, mastication deficits and TMJ, Myofunctional Disorders (tongue thrust), speech clarity deficits, swallowing disorders, Apraxia, ankyloglossia (tongue tie), and facial palsy. The assumption that a non -verbal child does not have the cognitive skills for speech is often a false one. Robyn takes careful consideration of the structure, function and neurological systems in relation to improving expressive language skills. Robyn also believes that the training of parents and caregivers is critical, and parents are always welcome to observe therapy sessions, and become an active participant in the therapy process. Collaboration of occupational, physical and behavioral therapies are also considered to be very important, as well as the collaboration with all professionals involved in a child's medical and/or educational plan.
A Sensory Motor Approach To Feeding