CHILD ACHIEVEMENT CENTER TEAM


Director: Shari Gross, MA CCC-SLP

Shari A. Gross, M.A., CCC-SLP, speech-language pathologist and Certified Elementary Educator, entered private speech pathology practice in 1998, and is a member of the American Speech-Language Hearing Association, New Jersey Speech-Language Hearing Association, and American Academy of Private Practice of Speech-Language Pathology. She served as both a speech-language specialist and elementary educator in both public and special education schools. She served as a clinical supervisor and adjunct professor for the Kean University Communication Disorders Department. Shari Gross served as the speech-language pathologist for the selective mutism group. She has published nationally on selective mutism and has provided continuing professional education on both selective mutism and auditory processing disorders throughout New Jersey. She has presented at conferences of the American Speech-Language Hearing Association, The New Jersey Speech-Language Hearing Association, and the Central Jersey Speech and Hearing Association, as well as numerous public school districts. Shari currently serves as a member of the Manalapan-Englishtown Regional Schools Special Education Parent Advisory Group, and as a Girl Scout Leader. Shari is a proud alumnus of Brandeis University (B.A. 1988) and Kean University (M.A. 1995)


Assistant Director: Rachel M. Shapiro, M.S., CCC-SLP

Rachel M. Shapiro, M.S. CCC-SLP, speech language pathologist, graduated from Columbia University, Teacher’s College in 2002 with her Master of Science Degree in Speech-Language Pathology. She received a Bachelor of Science in Communicative Disorders and Sciences at State University of New York at Buffalo. She is PROMPT trained, and has worked in New York City Public Schools, Spring Lake, New Jersey public schools, and in the private school setting providing therapy for children with Autism. She conducts highly effective selective mutism therapy in group and individual settings. Rachel has also served as a speech-language pathologist with the early intervention system. She currently runs individual therapy sessions and social skills groups within the private practice setting. Additional areas of interest include auditory/language processing, feeding therapy, apraxia, oral motor based therapy, and cleft palate.


Senior Therapist: Melissa Gold, MS CCC-SLP

Melissa Gold, MS, CCC-SLP, graduated from Emerson College with her Master of Science Degree in Communication Disorders. Melissa's strongest areas of interest are early childhood speech and language disorders, preschoolers with autism spectrum disorders, and feeding disorders. Melissa has acquired Level 2 prompt training, which she utilizes throughout the therapy process for all children with articulation errors and apraxia of speech.


Darlene Sawyer, M.Ed

Darlene Sawyer, M.Ed., served for thirty years as a special educator and resource room teacher in the Howell Township Public Schools. She is highly skilled at providing effective reading therapy for children with all levels of impairments, including more severely challenged children. When she is not providing specialized reading therapy, she provides early intervention services, travel agency services, and proud grandma services.


Office Manager: Cindy Del Pizzo

Office Manager Cindy Del Pizzo can answer all of your insurance and payment questions. She enables our practice to operate successfully, and has extensive experience in human resources.


Mascot: Chica, our "therapy dog"

Chica is our 7 pound, hypo-allergenic, non-shedding, Maltipoo. She was adopted from the Small Dog Rescue in Princeton, in March, 2009. Chica is very gentle and rarely barks. She enjoys greeting everyone with a wagging tail. Several parents feel she enabled an enthusiastic transition to the therapy setting for their children. Chica is also good at resting quietly in a room by herself, often, and always upon request. She is occasionally found at Child Achievement Center on weekdays until 3:00 p.m.


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