speech pathology

Speech Pathology & Audiology

The Stavros Niarchos Center for Speech Pathology and Audiology provides evaluations and therapy services to children with varying acquired, congenital, neurological and developmental disorders. The clinical expertise of the department leads to better outcomes for children with medical-based speech and feeding needs.

Speech and Feeding Therapy

Blythedale is skilled in diagnosing  subtle developmental differences that are often difficult to identify.  We provides services in the areas of language (understanding and expression of thoughts), speech (or clarity), voice, fluency (or stuttering), pragmatic (or social language) and feeding (dysphagia) .

Specialty services are available in the following areas:

  • Assistive Technology which includes identifying and training children in use of a high or low-tech communication device when there is a mismatch between understanding and ability to express thoughts,
  • Feeding therapy, which includes:
    • working with infants as they acquire or improve the ability to coordinate suck, swallow eat and breathing
    • behavioral feeders
    • working  with children who can eat but don't due to sensory or medical complications, such as Gastro Esophageal Reflux and allergies
    • working with children with functional weakness of the muscles in the mouth that influences the ability to drink and eat foods of varying consistencies
  • Traumatic Brain Injury, which includes working with children who have suffered an accident or medical issue (such as a stroke or tumor) has resulting in loss of language

The department provides both individual and group therapy services, depending on what best matches the child's needs at any given time.

We work diligently to include families in the therapy programs to enhance carryover and skill generalization. Blythedale has state-of-the-art evaluation, technology and therapy tools. We also strive for ongoing clinical education so that we can provide cutting-edge, evidence-based intervention programs. 

These interventions support each child’s customized treatment plan to allow each child to realize his or her potential, restore function and move forward.  Empowering families with knowledge and skills through ongoing education also enhances the rehabilitation process.


The Audiology Department in The Stavros Niarchos Center for Speech & Audiology strives to identify hearing loss and manage the hearing impaired inpatient and outpatient pediatric populations at Blythedale Children’s Hospital.

To make a referral for outpatient therapy services, please click here to download our referral form. 

Contact Information:

  • Rita Erlbaum Kotorac, C.C.C.-S.L.P., Director of Speech Pathology and Audiology
  • rerlbaum@blythedale.org
  • (914) 592-7555 x 71621

Speech Pathology & Audiology Staff

Rita Erlbaum Kotorac,C.C.C.-S.L.P., Director of Speech Pathology and Audiology
Rita Erlbaum Kotorac, C.C.C.-S.L.P.
Director of Speech Pathology and Audiology

Blythedale is has a staff of more than 25 highly trained Speech-Language Pathologists. These therapists are passionate about the field and dedicated to the children and families that they serve. They strive to optimize success by developing customized treatment plans which includes collaboration with other team members. The therapists also understand that parental involvement is a key component to a child's success, incorporating parents into the child's programs to optimize skill developmental and carryover to the home.