Center for Autism
The Autism Medical Center
Comprehensive diagnostic, therapeutic and case management services are offered at the Autism Medical Center. Therapists at BrainBodyBehavior specialize in treating children with ASD and are trained in the most current interventions. All therapy programs are customized to meet the highly individualized needs of each child.
Therapy and Integrative Medicine:
Speech/Occupational /Physical Therapy-Evaluations and Treatment
Child and Family Psychotherapy
Social Skills Groups
Parent and Sibling Support Groups
ABA Programs (in home and on site)
Therapeutic Touch Massage
For more information email;
Amit Gaglani, Business Director
MEET OUR TEAM
Rena Contessa, MA, CCC-SLP
Rena Contessa, M.A., CCC-SLP is a New Jersey State licensed, ASHA certified speech-language pathologist. She obtained a dual Bachelor’s degree in Communications and Psychology from Rutgers College and a Master’s Degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Kean University. Rena has worked for over 10 years as a speech language pathologist specializing in children with autism spectrum disorder. She received extensive training in ABA during her time at the Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center at Rutgers University, where she provided direct therapeutic services, conducted evaluations, mentored fellow speech therapists, and presented to both families and professionals on topics such as "Functional Communication Training in the Home" and "Verbal Behavior in the Home and School Settings". Rena has also worked as a private practitioner, providing speech and language services in a home based environment. Rena utilizes a multitude of therapeutic techniques in an effort to meet each child's individual needs and learning styles. She has long term experience with auditory processing disorders, articulation disorders, language delays, apraxia, cognitive dysfunction, and social skills training, She also has training in PROMPT and oral motor therapy. In her spare time, Rena enjoys spending time with her friends, family, and seven furry rescue cats. A nature lover, she spends her mornings listening to music and running in the park.
Michelle Cook, MS, OT
Michelle is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis with a master’s degree in occupational therapy. She has over 14 years of experience working in a variety of innovative medical and outpatient settings in New York including NYU Medical Center and The McCarton Center for Developmental Disabilities working with both children and adults with traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy, sensory integration dysfunction, learning disabilities and autism. She has been an adjunct associate lecturer for occupational therapy and health science students at Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, NY. She currently provides occupational therapy services full-time to students at the Morris-Union Jointure Commission Developmental Learning Center in Warren. She has learned over the years to take an eclectic, caring approach to treatment by incorporating her specialized training in Floor Time, sensory integration therapy, therapeutic listening, Neurodevelopmental Treatment (NDT), and Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) when working with clients. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her husband and two girls, trips to the beach, cooking and riding bikes.
Danielle T. Ayer, PT, DPT
Danielle is a New Jersey and Colorado Licensed Physical Therapist who specializes in working with children with disabilities. In 2003, she graduated from Quinnipiac University with her Master of Physical Therapy degree and received her Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree from University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in 2012. Danielle also completed advanced course work in assistive technology and acted as an assistive technology consultant for children birth to three years old while working in Colorado.
Danielle worked on a transdisciplinary early intervention team in Colorado from 2003 to 2010, providing physical therapy services to children between the ages of birth to three in their natural environment. She then moved to Kenya, Africa with her husband for nine months where she volunteered as a physical therapist at a school for children with disabilities (primarily autism spectrum disorders) and in informal settlements. Danielle moved back to NJ in May 2011, where she is originally from, and works in Children’s Specialized Hospital (Mountainside, NJ) outpatient and Early Intervention departments. Danielle has experience working with diagnoses including, but not limited to, cerebral palsy, torticollis, genetic disorders, spina bifida, Down syndrome, developmental delay, and autism spectrum disorders.
Danielle is also a certified yoga instructor and enjoys teaching challenging, yet safe, vinyasa yoga classes in local yoga studios. She views yoga as a beautiful compliment to her physical therapy practice. In her spare time Danielle can be found spending quality family time with her husband and her baby girl, Eleanor. She enjoys practicing yoga, traveling, and spending time outdoors.