Social City
Social Skills for Children Ages 2-16

Meet The Team

Caring. Dedicated. Empathetic.

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Tara Ferrara, M.S., CCC-SLP,  Co-Founder & Co-Director

Tara received her Bachelor of Arts, with a major in speech and hearing sciences, and a minor in psychology from Indiana University in 2008. Additionally, she received her Master of Science in speech-language pathology from Adelphi University in 2010.

Tara began her career at the Reece School in New York City, where she worked as a speech and language pathologist for 4 years.  At Reece, she gained a great deal of experience working with children who have varying levels of learning differences, such as speech and language delays, sensory and auditory processing disorders, and social-emotional behavior challenges.  Working at a special education school and providing private speech and language therapy, Tara realized that many children were in need of additional social skills support.

Tara’s knowledge, experience and deep compassion led her to join a partnership and create Social City.

 
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Alexandra Spira, M.A., CCC-SLP, Co-Founder & Co-Director

Aly holds a Bachelor of Science in speech-language pathology from New York University, and a Master of Arts in speech-language pathology from the City University of New York at Queens College.  Aly began her career at the Reece School, a special education elementary school in Manhattan where she interacted one-on-one with children with a wide variety of language, learning, emotional and developmental disabilities. 

As a founding partner of Social City, Aly works closely with parents and professionals to target areas of need and develop specific skills for each child. She specializes in helping students internalize strategies that allow them to pursue their individual goals and ambitions.

Aly has dedicated her career to helping children build confidence and achieve success.  Aly’s passion and excitement for working with children, and her creative and innovative teaching style, enable her to connect with her students and maximize their potential to succeed both in and out of the classroom. 

 
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JACLYN ALBALAH, M.S., CF-SLP, GROUP LEADER

Jaclyn earned her Bachelor of Arts in hearing and speech science from The University of Maryland, and her Master of Science in speech language pathology from Hunter College. As an elementary school based speech-language pathologist, Jaclyn brings a wide knowledge base and clinical expertise in treatment of various speech and language disorders. Jaclyn creates individualized lesson plans in order to enhance her students’ receptive/expressive language, articulation, and social pragmatic skills. 

Jaclyn combines her clinical knowledge, enthusiasm, and creativity to design new activities and strategies in order for her students to achieve their individual goals. Jaclyn believes there is great value in collaborating with parents and teachers in order to help students generalize their skills across a variety of settings.

 
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BRIDGID BOLAND, M.A., M.S., GROUP LEADER

Bridgid earned her Bachelor of Arts in elementary/special education from Providence College in 2010 and Master of Arts in severe/multiple disabilities from Teachers College, Columbia University. She earned her second master’s degree in speech-language pathology from Adelphi University. Bridgid also has her initial Teacher of Students with Speech and Language Disabilities (TSSLD) certificate. She also holds two professional teaching licenses in both general and special education.

Bridgid has over ten years of experience both assessing and treating children (ages 5-21) with autism, emotional disabilities, intellectual disabilities, speech and language impairments, and other learning disabilities. Bridgid is passionate about working with children, and through knowledge gained from a decade of experience, she has learned how to successfully help students maximize their strengths to achieve their goals. She aims to collaborate with families, teachers, and therapists to ensure skills are reinforced across settings.

 
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ERICA BRONSTEIN, M.S., CCC-SLP

Erica received a Bachelor of Science in communication sciences and disorders with a minor in special education at Pennsylvania State University. She earned a Master of Science in speech-language pathology from Towson University. Additionally, Erica has earned an initial Teacher of Students with Speech and Language Disabilities certificate. 

Erica started her career as a school based speech-language pathologist working with students ages 3-16. She has experience assessing and treating clients in outpatient clinics, public schools and special education schools. She has had experience working with a variety of pediatric populations. 

Erica is a passionate and caring individual, dedicated to helping her clients reach their full potential.

 
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AMBER COPE, M.A. PSYCHOLOGY, SUPPORT STAFF

Amber Cope received her Bachelor of Science at Towson University in Maryland as well as her Master of Arts in psychology at Long Island University Brooklyn. She is currently working towards earning a Ph.D. at LIU Brooklyn in clinical psychology.

Amber comes to us with experience working with children 4-15 years old. She has worked in special needs treatment programs in Manhattan as well as special needs schools and psychiatric hospitals in Indonesia. Amber loves working with children of all ages and believes social skills training builds self-confidence and aids achievement throughout childhood and later on in life. 

 
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SARAH DHARSI, M.A., CCC-SLP, GROUP LEADER

Sarah completed both her Bachelor of Arts in communication sciences and disorders and Master of Arts in speech-language pathology from St. John’s University. Sarah holds a Teacher of Students with Speech and Language Disabilities certificate and is also PROMPT (Prompts for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets) trained.

Sarah has provided individual therapy for children in Early Intervention Programs as well as pre-school and school-aged children. Sarah joins us from a private practice setting where she treated children with disabilities such as developmental delays, receptive and expressive language delays, articulation, oral motor and motor planning difficulties.

In addition to her work in New York, Sarah volunteered in East Africa at the World Federation Autistic Day Care Centre in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, where she helped children with activities of daily living and behavioral skills. Sarah is aware that each child is unique and intervention must be individualized to fit his or her needs.

 
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ALLY GRINFIELD, M.S., CCC-SLP, GROUP LEADER

Ally completed her Bachelor of Arts at the University of Michigan, and then received a Master of Science in communicative sciences and disorders from New York University.

Ally started her career in speech-language pathology working with kids ages 0-16 with mild to severe language disorders. Ally is dedicated to helping her students achieve success by creating and implementing therapy techniques individualized to each child's needs. She has gained experience working with children in both individual and group therapy sessions.

Ally is a caring person who has always felt a need to help others. She is passionate about her career in working with kids to improve their pragmatic skills and increase social interactions with their peers.

 
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TARA GRUNFELD, M.S., CCC-SLP, GROUP LEADER

Tara received her Bachelor of Arts at George Washington University and then received her Master of Science in speech-language pathology from Teachers College, Columbia University. She also earned an initial certificate as a Teacher of Students with Speech and Language Disabilities. 

Tara is a practicing speech-language pathologist who works in a special education preschool. Her caseload consists of children with a range of communicative abilities, using strategies such as Sign Language or Picture Exchange Communication Systems. Tara aims to strengthen her students’ play skills, receptive and expressive language skills, pragmatics, and articulation. She believes in a whole team approach, working with caregivers, teachers, and other therapists to facilitate the best treatment for the child and generalization of skills. 

Tara also has experience working with children from 3-18 years of age in school settings and through a rehabilitation center. She prides herself on creating exciting, engaging, and motivating therapy sessions that are unique to each child.

 
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CAITLIN HINES, M.A., CF-SLP, Group Leader

Caitlin completed her Bachelor of Arts in speech-language pathology from Loyola University Maryland. She continued on to receive her Master of Arts in speech-language pathology from CUNY Queens College. 

Caitlin completed her clinical practicum at a school in NYC for children with language-based learning difficulties. She currently provides individual and group therapy to elementary and middle school students who have a range of speech and language related challenges. She believes in an individualized and collaborative approach to therapy. Caitlin recognizes the importance of social skills in everyday life and is passionate about teaching these skills in a fun and functional way.

 
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SARA HOCHRAD, M.S., CCC-SLP, Group Leader

Sara Hochrad, M.S., CCC-SLP is a New York State licensed and certified Speech-Language Pathologist. Sara received a Bachelor of Arts in speech and hearing science and psychology at The University at Buffalo, and a Master of Science in communication sciences and disorders at Hunter College. Additionally, she holds a Teacher of Students with Speech and Language Disabilities (TSSLD) certification and maintains her professional certification from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). Sara works full-time for the New York City Department of Education as an elementary school based speech-language pathologist and is excited to join the Social City Team.

Sara has vast experience working with speech and language disabilities in the pediatric population. She has provided diagnostic and therapeutic intervention for children and adolescents with articulation and phonological disorders, learning disabilities, pragmatic language disorders, receptive and expressive language disorders, and children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Childhood Apraxia of Speech, (Central) Auditory Processing Disorder, and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Furthermore, Sara has been trained in PROMPT therapy (Level 1 and 2).

Sara believes a team approach, which includes teachers, therapists, and family members as part of the therapy process, is imperative in order to facilitate success and carryover at home, school and with friends. Creating a supportive and fun environment for learning is an important part of the therapy process as well. Sara understands the importance of treating the “whole” child as part of the intervention process.

 
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Michelle Marron, M.S.

Michelle received her Bachelor of Arts degree, with a double major in linguistics and psychology, and a minor in Spanish, from Rutgers University in 2013. She continued her education at New York University and received her Master of Science degree in speech, language, and hearing Sciences from New York University in 2016.

Her experiences include a variety of pediatric settings, ranging from Early Intervention to Middle School, where she has provided services at home and at school. She has experience working with children who have a diagnosis of autism, Bell's palsy, and Down syndrome, as well as children who are medically fragile or have a history of neoplastic disease. Overall, Michelle is a warm, fun-loving therapist who enjoys play-based sessions. She enjoys nurturing each child’s unique sense of identity and creativity.

Michelle currently works at a special education preschool with children who present with deficits in a variety of domains, including articulation & phonological disorders, receptive & expressive language delays, and social-pragmatic language delays. She provides treatment to students in a one-on-one setting and in small groups. Michelle is dedicated to collaborating with parents, caregivers, educators, and other related service providers in order to provide individualized treatment and ensure carryover across all communicative contexts.

 

ASHLEY ROSHANZAMIR, M.S., CF-SLP, GROUP LEADER

Ashley Roshanzamir, received her Bachelor of Arts in speech and communication disorders from the City University of New York at Queens College. Ashley went on to receive her Master of Science in speech and hearing sciences from Adelphi University. Ashley completed her externships working as a speech-language pathologist at both pre-schools and elementary schools. There, she worked with children in small groups and individual sessions. She has experience assessing and treating clients with a variety of language, learning, social-pragmatic and developmental disabilities. She also ran a social skills support group for children in need of additional support. 

Ashley enjoys working with children of all ages and strives to create a fun and positive learning environment for her students. She incorporates functional skills in therapy in order to promote carryover of speech therapy skills, and is a strong believer in collaborating with parents, teachers and other therapists in order to reinforce skills learned in the therapeutic setting.

 
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REBECA RUBIN, M.S., CF-SLP, Group leader

Rebeca holds a Bachelor of Business Administration, Marketing and Communications from Emory University and a Master of Science in speech-Language pathology from the City University of New York at Hunter College.  She completed her clinical practicums in a variety of school settings, where she provided support with receptive and expressive language, articulation, phonological processing, executive function, and social-pragmatic disorders in both individual and group settings.

Rebeca believes in providing each student with individualized therapy by planning functional and meaningful activities that encourage carryover.  In addition, she always strives to create a supportive and fun environment for her students.  Rebeca aims to promote success and confidence by reinforcing strengths and building upon areas where her students need improvement in order for them to flourish in school, at home, and with friends.

 
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JESSICA SCHWARTZ, M.S., CCC-SLP, GROUP LEADER

Jessica received her Bachelor of Arts in anthropology from Franklin & Marshall College and later received her Master of Science in speech-language pathology from Mercy College.  Jessica is a NYS licensed and ASHA accredited speech-language pathologist, and also holds an initial certificate as a Teacher of Students with Speech and Language Disabilities (TSSLD).

Jessica began her career as a speech and language pathologist at a private practice working with children and adults of all ages with a variety of speech and language difficulties, including deficits in speech, language, voice, and cognitive/linguistic skills. Jessica is currently working in a private upper elementary/middle school where she works with students with learning disabilities, specifically dyslexia, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD), and students with high-functioning autism. She is passionate about creating new and exciting lessons to support and improve the executive functioning skills, pragmatic skills, comprehension, word retrieval skills, and organization of her students. 

Jessica strives to make all sessions both motivating and challenging for her students. She feels that the most important part of therapy is for students to gain confidence and improve their self- esteem. Jessica also has experience collaborating with caregivers and teachers, as well as other school professionals to support language intervention in all contexts and allow for generalization of skills.  

 
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JESSICA SILFEN, M.S., CCC-SLP

Jessica completed her undergraduate coursework at the University of Michigan, where she graduated with distinction as a double major in Linguistics and Biopsychology, Cognition, & Neuroscience (BCN). She went on to receive her master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Boston University.

Through Jessica’s academic and clinical training, she has gained extensive background knowledge and clinical experience with both pediatric and adolescent populations. She currently works in a special education middle and high school with students who have language-based learning disorders and challenges with cognitive, academic, and social development.  

Jessica believes in an individualized and collaborative approach to therapy so that the skills developed in her sessions generalize to the home and school environments. With her enthusiasm, creativity, professionalism and passion for speech-language intervention, she is skilled at helping children progress towards their goals while still having fun! 

 
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LAUREN SHOENFELD, M.S., CCC-SLP

Lauren holds a Bachelor of Science in communicative sciences and disorders from New York University and an Masters of Science in speech-language pathology from Hunter College. She has experience working with children in a variety of settings, including preschool, private school, and public school. As a school-based speech-language pathologist, Lauren provides individual and group therapy to children with a variety of speech and language disorders, such as language-based learning disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, and articulation impairments. Lauren strives to make therapy both fun and functional, so that the skills developed in her sessions are generalized to home and school environments.

 
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TAYLOR SOAVE, M.S., CF-SLP, GROUP LEADER

Taylor received her Bachelor of Science in cognitive science from the University of Delaware, and completed her Master of Science in speech-language pathology at the City University of New York at Hunter College. She is eligible for an initial Teacher of Students with Speech and Language Disabilities certificate.

Taylor completed clinical practicums in both private and public schools, in which she supported students with a variety of speech/language, learning, social-pragmatic, and emotional disabilities. After volunteering with Social City for one year, Taylor recognized the importance and effectiveness of providing instruction in a fun, motivating, and positive environment to strengthen student’s social and emotional competencies. She aims to work with children and their families to provide a supportive environment and promote generalization of learned skills.

 
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JENNIFER SPARANO, M.S. CCC-SLP, group leader

Jenn received her Bachelor of Arts in psychology and Bachelor of Science in cognitive science at the University of Delaware. She continued on to receive her Masters of Science in speech-language pathology at New York Medical College. Jenn has her initial Teacher of Students with Speech and Language Disabilities (TSSLD) certificate.

Throughout graduate school, she completed clinical practica in Early Intervention and in a school setting. She has provided individual and group therapy to children and adolescents ages 2-21 with various speech-language needs. Jenn currently works as a therapist in a school for children with disabilities. She plans her lessons to incorporate student interests in order to provide them with exciting and engaging opportunities to learn.

 
 
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JAMIE TORCICOLLO, M.S., CF-SLP, GROUP LEADER

Jamie received her Bachelor of Science in cognitive science with a concentration in speech therapy from the University of Delaware in 2015. Shortly after, she received her Master of Science in speech-language pathology from Hunter College in 2017.  Jamie has her initial Teacher of Students with Speech and Language Disabilities (TSSLD) certificate. 

Jamie competed three clinical rotations during her graduate school career, two of which involved working at schools with students in grades K-8. Jamie currently is working full time at an elementary school in Chelsea. She works with children with various diagnoses, incorporating the school's educational curriculum and teaching various life, social and emotional skills. Jamie believes in creating and executing an individual plan based on each child’s individual needs. She is fully dedicated to providing a fun, caring, educational and supportive environment for each child.

 
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MELISSA YORK, M.S., CCC-SLP, GROUP LEADER

Melissa received her Bachelor of Science in child development from the University of Wisconsin and then received her Master of Science in speech-language pathology from the City University of New York at Hunter College.

Melissa has a great deal of experience in special education, and has had success working with students ages 4-21 with varying needs, including emotional, social-pragmatic, learning disabilities, and speech/language disabilities. Melissa currently works in an elementary school where she teaches students with autism. Her therapy targets functional communication to promote independence and enrich the lives of her clients. She works closely with parents, teachers, and other therapists to promote the generalization of communication skills across a variety of settings.

Melissa is devoted to her students and strives to make all sessions engaging, fun, and functional. She is passionate about every individual she works with and customizes her lessons to meet every child's personal needs and goals.