Street front of 141 West 72nd Street, home to the ChatterboxNYC clinic.

By Claudie Benjamin

Located at 141 West 72nd Street, ChatterboxNYC was founded by Tricia Brown, Jackie Dolson-Shewchuk and Julie Silberman in 2008.  Since then, they have grown into a vibrant clinic with six speech language pathologists who offer a specialized therapeutic approach to help children speak and communicate effectively.  Sarah Berman is the practice manager who keeps the wheels turning.

Sarah explains that she is the initial point of contact for anxious families who are seeking to support their children who have difficulty communicating and socially engaging.  Sarah became involved with ChatterboxNYC through a series of chance encounters.  After leaving her job as an Investigator for the Federal Public Defender of Washington, DC, Sarah moved to New York to earn a Master of Science degree in Urban Policy Analysis & Management from The New School. Her background includes extensive experience across public, private, non-profit, and governmental sectors.

Eight years ago, she met one of the founding partners at ChatterboxNYC through a mutual friend.  At that point, ChatterboxNYC was going through a growth spurt and needed support with both remodeling the clinic and general practice management.  Sarah was tasked with managing the remodel project and, in doing so, exhibited a keen skill for sorting out problems and finding solutions.  She has been an integral part of the team ever since and now oversees all non-clinical aspects of the business.

What makes ChatterboxNYC unique from other speech and language clinics is their commitment to working with families, schools, and other professionals.  They consistently mentor student clinicians and host study groups to further the profession of speech language pathology.  The ChatterboxNYC motto is, “every word is precious” and this is exemplified by the breadth of testimonials on their website.  One is particularly striking.  A then-12-year-old former client, Leo, wrote a testimonial about his experience overcoming apraxia of speech.  In his testimonial, he described the profound social impact his inability to speak caused and how even his own father could not understand him.  Once he was able to articulately express himself, Leo graduated from therapy only to come back and volunteer weekly his time as a peer model with younger kids.  This was in addition to attending Bronx Science, one of NYC’s specialized high schools known for its immense workload.  With encouragement from the ChatterboxNYC team, Leo used this testimonial as a basis for his college essay, which landed him at Columbia University where he is completing a dual degree program with Tel Aviv University.

ChatterboxNYC’s team of highly trained therapists is committed to working with every client using an array of evidenced based techniques, including the PROMPT method.  PROMPT is an acronym for Prompts for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets. The technique aids motor control and the development of proper muscular movements by providing kinesthetic input.  PROMPT may be used (with varying intensity and focus) with all speech production disorders from approximately 6-months of age onward.  PROMPT therapy is appropriate for a wide range of clients with communication disorders. Clients of ChatterboxNYC may most commonly have motor speech disorders, articulation problems, or they are non-verbal children. The PROMPT training is extensive and many families seek out a ChatterboxNYC clinician because of their dedication and expertise in motor speech development.

Asked how families find ChatterboxNYC, Sarah said most of the current clients were referred by a friend, teacher, pediatrician, or developmental specialist. Some find their website ( through online research.  Sarah said ChatterboxNYC has received many new referrals during the pandemic through a cooperative endeavor with specialized music teacher, Rachel Griffin, who created a YouTube channel called “Songs for Littles” which promotes language development in young children.

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