TalkTools Training

Therapist Bio

Merkel-Walsh, Robyn






Robyn is a Licensed Speech Pathologist and Board Certified Orofacial Myologist® with nearly three decades of experience in the state of NJ. She is employed full time by the Ridgefield Board of Education and is the owner of Diamond Myo and Mouths In Motion Mentoring Services. She is a lecturer and author for TalkTools® and an ambassador and guest faulty of The Breathe Institute. She has been elected NJ Kids Top Doctors in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2018 and 2023.

Robyn received both her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Montclair State University, where she was later invited to be an adjunct/clinical supervisor. She also taught classes at Bergen Community College and is a former clinical site coordinator for Seton Hall University. She is the Board Chair of the Oral Motor Institute, and on the board of The International Consortium of oral Ankylofrenula Professionals (ICAP). She is the proud recipient of four ASHA ACE Award and the Ridgefield Woman of the Year 2019 in Business. Currently she is a student in the Lamar University’s Vocology Program where she is studying to treat and train professional singers and voice users.


Robyn specializes in Oral-Placement, TOTs, feeding and Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders in children and adults. She is Beckman and PROMPT trained. Her private practice focuses on Oral-Placement (OPT), oral motor, orofacial myofunctional (OMT), muscle and motor-based disorders in children, and she has expanded her practice to teens and adults. She conducts evaluations and Program Plans for children across the tristate area and is licensed to service patients in both NJ and NY states. Her current interest is treating professional voice users who present with tongue-tie and voice disorders. She mentors therapists who are trained in feeding, oral motor and orofacial myology and assists with the TalkTools® Levels program.

Publications and Lectures:

Robyn is a well-respected subject matter expert. Her publications include SMILE (Systematic Intervention for Lingual Elevation), Art Talk, Handy Handouts, OPT-S Kit, and she co-authored Sensory Stix, A Sensory Motor Approach to Feeding, Functional Assessment and Remediation of Tethered Oral Tissues and OPT Goals for Speech Clarity. She has also written multiple articles for the TalkTools® website, the ASHA Leader and Advance Magazine for Speech Pathologists. She was published for five consecutive years at the Annual Convention of the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association. Robyn has also been published in the journals of Clinical Pediatrics. Journal of the American Laser Study Club and International Journal of Orofacial Myology and Myofunctional Therapy.

Robyn is a lecturer for professional enhancement courses as part of TalkTools® Speakers Bureau. She teaches OPT, TOTs, Tongue Thrust and Autism classes that have been offered for ASHA CEs and has been invited to speak on diversified topics by the New Milford Board of Education, The Apraxia Network, AAPPSPA, the International Association of Orofacial Myology, Gold Learning, The American Academy of Physiological Medicine & Dentistry, The American Laser Study Club and the MOSAIC Foundation. She is also on the faculty and is an ambassador of The Breathe Institute (TBI).

Volunteer Work:

Robyn is actively involved in parental support groups for TOTs, OPT, Childhood Apraxia of Speech and Autism, and monitors an interactive Oral Placement Discussion Board on Facebook. Robyn was a chief clinician in a research project for the Moebius Foundation and was a clinical site supervisor for Malloy College. She is a member of ASHA, AAPPSPA, NJEA, IAOM, OMI, ICAP and The Bergen County Apraxia Association. She served a term on the NJSHA Board of Directors and as the private practice co-chair. She was Associate Editor of the IJOM in 2020 and serves as the volunteer CE Coordinator for Marshalla Speech and Language.
Books by Robyn

  1. Functional Assessment and Remediation of TOTs (Tethered Oral Tissues)
    co-written with Lori Overland, MS, CCC-SLP, C/NDT, CLC
  2. A Sensory-Motor Approach to Feeding
    co-written with Lori Overland, MS, CCC-SLP, C/NDT, CLC

Programs developed by Robyn:


Peer Reviewed Journals by Robyn:

  1. Functional Improvements of Speech, Feeding, and Sleep After Lingual Frenectomy Tongue-Tie Release: A Prospective Cohort Study
  2. Orofacial myofunctional therapy with children ages 0-4 and individuals with special needs
  3. Review of A Trip to The Land of Funny Animals: Oral Motor and Myofunctional Exercises for Toddlers by Hilit Brown
  4. Muscle tension dysphonia in singers and professional speakers with ankyloglossia: Impact of treatment with lingual frenuloplasty and orofacial myofunctional therapy
  5. The buccal frenum: Trends in diagnosis and indications for treatment of buccal-ties among 466 healthcare professionals

Articles by Robyn:

  1. Functional Assessment of Feeding Challenges in Children with Ankyloglossia
  2. Social Media: It’s Different for Professionals
  3. A Further Dialogue on Oral Placement Therapy (OPT)
  4. Diet-Shaping for Self-Limited Diets in Children With a Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder
  5. A Modern Look at Van Riper’s Phonetic Placement Approach
  6. Using Tactile Techniques to Improve Speech Clarity in Children with Childhood Apraxia of Speech
  7. Connections Between Tongue Placement and Dental Alignment
  8. Oral-Motor Issues
  9. The Similarities and Differences of Oral-Motor Therapy and PROMPT
  10. Speech Therapy and Occupational Therapy: What’s the Connection? Oral-Motor, Sensory, and Feeding Skills
  11. Oral Placement Therapy (OPT) vs. Non-Speech Oral Motor Exercises (NSOME): Understanding the Debate
  12. A Case for Oral Placement Therapy
  13. What Evidence-Based, Oral Sensory-Motor Treatments are Effective for Speech Disorders?
  14. Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders in Individuals with a Diagnosis of Down Syndrome
  15. AAPPSPA Position Statement – Oral-motor Therapy
  16. Autism Spectrum Disorders: Clinical Parameters of Oral Placement Therapy (OPT)