Rachel Cortese, MS Ed, MS CCC-SLP, BCBA
Licensed Speech Language Pathologist and Board Certified Behavior Analyst

Rachel Cortese, MS Ed, MS CCC-SLP, BCBA, is a speech language pathologist and Board Certified Behavior Analyst in Manhattan, East Hampton, NY and Summit, NJ. Rachel’s holistic methodology is a unique combination of research-based  interventions, positive psychology practices and a deep consideration of environmental variables. Through a distinctive framework based on the scientific study of optimal human functioning, Rachel effectively designs her evaluation and intervention sessions to enable children to flourish and thrive.

In her 15 years of experience, she has worked with hundreds of children and parents from all walks of life across a variety of educational and clinical settings. This has provided Rachel with a deep insight and practical view of the impact that speech, language or behavior challenges can have on a child and their families. Rachel’s expertise is in the evaluation and treatment of toddlers with delayed language development, children with stuttering disorders and speech sound disorders, and communication impairments associated with autism. She also has extensive clinical experience with behavioral difficulties and school aged children with language-based learning and reading disorders.

Furthermore, Rachel has advanced trainings in applied behavior analysis (ABA), and PROMPT, a specialized technique used to facilitate oral motor skills and to remediate speech production disorders. She is certified to lead It Takes Two to Talk-The Hanen Program® for parents of children ages five and under with language delays and More Than Words- The Hanen Program® for parents of children with Autism. She has additional training in The Lidcombe program, an early intervention behavior based treatment program designed for preschool children who stutter, and the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS-2), a standardized observation designed to assess behaviors related to autism spectrum disorders.

Rachel creates a therapeutic program to help clients communicate effectively and discover new coping strategies when they experience frustration and communication breakdowns. Using an approach firmly grounded in the principles of positive psychology, a combination of individualized, research-based interventions, and parent trainings Rachel effectively facilitates speech, language and behavior changes in a positive, naturalistic and well coordinated manner.

Before private practice Rachel was the founding Speech Language Pathologist at the Child Mind Institute in Manhattan, and worked in both private and public schools throughout New York City.  During her graduate studies she was selected to participate in The Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) fellowship program, an interdisciplinary fellowship training program dedicated to improving the systems of care for children with neurodevelopmental disabilities and chronic health conditions.

Prior to her work as a Speech Language Pathologist, she taught Middle School Mathematics for two years in Philadelphia as a Teach for America corps member. She taught adaptive skiing to people with disabilities at The Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center in Colorado, and worked as a field guide at wilderness therapy programs helping teenagers who struggled with a variety of behavioral and emotional issues.

Rachel maintains certification in Speech-Language Pathology from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and is licensed to practice in New York State and New Jersey. She maintains certification as a behavior analyst through the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB).  She is a member of the Association of Professional Behavior Analysts.

Mica Sylvester, MS 
Speech Language Pathologist, Clinical Fellow

Mica received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from American University and her Master’s degree in Speech Language Pathology from Brooklyn College.  She is currently pursuing her clinical fellowship.

Mica has worked with pre-school and school-aged children, as well as adults, in a variety of settings including private practice, schools and outpatient facilities. She has experience with the assessment and treatment of a variety of disorders including children with articulation and phonological disorders, fluency disorders, apraxia of speech, speech and language delays and learning disabilities.

Mica is also a mother of two girls, and brings the unique experience of parenting a special needs child. As a mother, she has first-hand experience with the speech and language assessment and treatment process, Child Study Team and IEP evaluations/meetings, psychological, neurodevelopmental, academic, occupational evaluations and therapy.

Mica is passionate about helping children improve their communication skills, as well as making a positive difference in their lives and the lives of their families.

Steven Kurtz, PhD, ABPP
Consulting Behavioral Psychologist Founder and President, Kurtz Psychology

Steven Kurtz, PhD, ABPP is an internationally recognized and leading clinician in the treatment of children’s behavioral problems and disorders. He is a renowned mentor and teacher of innovative and empirically-supported treatments for children with disruptive disorders such as Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Oppositional Defiant Disorder and has been a cutting-edge pioneer in the development and dissemination of evidence-based treatments for internalizing disorders including the social anxiety disorder Selective Mutism (SM). He is a widely respected clinical researcher and child psychologist, one of only 21 Certified Master Trainers in Parent-Child Interaction Therapy endorsed by PCIT International. Dr. Kurtz is a  tireless advocate for children with special needs.

As an assistant professor in the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the NYU School of Medicine, Dr. Kurtz founded and served for 10 years as the clinical director of the NYU Child Study Center’s Institute for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity and Behavior Disorders. He was also the founding co-director of the NYU Child Study Center’s Selective Mutism Program.

Dr. Kurtz was pivotal in the development of the Child Mind Institute where he served from 2010-2014 as the inaugural Senior Director of the ADHD Center and Director of the Selective Mutism Program. During his tenure at NYU and CMI, he created the Brave Buddies Program, a weeklong intensive day treatment program for children with SM. The Brave Buddies model pairs counselors with children, one-on-one, in a simulated, analog school classroom where brave talking is shaped, nurtured, and reinforced while social anxieties are lessened. Our model for treating SM happens twice each year at KPCPC and has been adopted at the NYU Child Study Center, the Child Mind Institute, Boston University, Florida International University, and at Adventure Camp in the Chicago area.

As a PCIT Master Trainer, Dr. Kurtz actively trains clinicians worldwide in Parent-Child Interaction Therapy ~ a gold standard treatment for young children with disruptive behaviors. PCIT is an amazingly innovative and effective treatment model where parents are coached live, via bug-in-ear technology, by the therapist standing behind a one-way mirror while the parent and child practice playing and calm, effective discipline strategies. Dr. Kurtz has also pioneered and published on PCIT adapted for young children with anxiety disorders, including SM, separation anxiety, generalized anxiety and other conditions. Dr. Kurtz also has specialization in the assessment and treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

Learn more about Dr. Kurtz here.