Meet The Staff

  • Erin Bernett, M.S., CCC-SLP
  • Speech-Language Pathologist, Oral Myofunctional Therapist
  • Owner and Director
  • I’m Erin Bernett, MS, CCC-SLP, and I founded Monkey Mouths because I wanted to do what I love in a people-centered environment that fosters growth throughout the therapy team in children, parents, therapists and families.  My incredible staff and I are honored to serve families in the greater Dallas/Fort Worth area, improving families’ lives through support and collaboration.

    When I left my position in a pediatric hospital setting in 2003, I had a vision and a desire for big changes in my work life.  Monkey Mouths started as a small team of dedicated therapists and we strive to preserve our ‘families first’ culture as we grow and expand the scope of our pediatric care.  My “why” behind what I do has always been family and faith; together with my son Carter and my husband Matt.  We work with In My Image Ministry, a faith-based organization dedicated to special needs children and their families.  We also partner with Alas De Dios – a non profit 501 C (3) corporation formed to impact the lives of the poorest and most marginalized children in Nicaragua by caring for their physical, spiritual and educational needs.

    As a therapist for over 20 years, I have training and specialization in the following:


    Applied Verbal Behavior Analysis with Vincent Carbone PhD, BCBA

    Michelle Garcia Winner's Social Thinking 

    Visualizing and Verbalizing/Seeing Stars/LIPS by Lindamood Bell

    Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS)

    Tamera Kasper Sign to Talk


    Sound Card System:  Developer/Presenter

     PROMPT therapy/Advanced PROMPT Bridging

    Talk Tools Oral Placement Therapy

    Kaufman Apraxia System

    Dynamic Temporal and Tactile Cueing (DTTC) with Edyth Strand PhD, CCC-SLP


    Pediatric Vital Stim

    Langmore Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing (FEES)

    Myofascial Release Therapy

    S.O.S. Feeding Therapy

    Lori Overland Feeding Therapy

    Beckman Oral-Motor Therapy

    CAN-EAT Approach to feeding

    Oralfacial Myofunctional Therapy (OMT):

    Coarsework through:  AOMT , IAOM, Simon Says

    Tethered Oral Tissues (TOTS trained)

    Functional Assessment and Remediation of TOTS/Talk Tools


    Presenter for Vocal Cord Dysfunction (VCD)

    UT Southwestern Singer’s Symposium







  • Nikki Wensel Rustad, M.A., CCC-SLP
  • Speech-Language Pathologist
  • Monkey Mouths Assistant Director
  • I’m Nikki Wensel Rustad, M.A., CCC-SLP,  I joined Monkey Mouths in 2006 and have been sharing the power of communication with children and their parents for over 25 years. I graduated from University of North Texas…Go Mean Green!  Prior to joining Monkey Mouths I worked for Children's Medical Center of Dallas and in management at Cook Children's Medical Center as the graduate student liaison. I have a passion for educating families on the power of play (90% of what preschoolers learn at school is through play).  I believe that therapy should be fun and functional, and that parent education is crucial for each child's success.

    In my free time I enjoy spending time with my husband Eric (who is also a speech pathologist) and my son.  I also love baking, gardening, volunteering, and decorating for the holidays.

    As a SLP for over 25 years, I have training and specialization in the following:

    • Social Thinking with Michelle Garcia Winner M.S., CCC-SLP
    • Applied Behavior Analysis with Vincent Carbone PhD ABA
    • Mark Sundburg PhD, BCBA
    • Tamara Kasper, M.S., CCC-SLP, BCBA
    • Crafting Connections program
    • Love and Logic
    • PROMPT therapy
    • Sound Card System
    • Kaufman Apraxia System 
    • Deborah Beckman M.S., CCC-SLP Oral-Motor Therapy
    • Sensory-Motor Feeding by Lori Overland, M.S., CCC-SLP
    • Sara R. Johnson M.S., CCC-SLP
    • Catherine Shaker, M.S., CCC-SLP
    • Jeri Logemann PhD, CCC-SLP
    • Literacy Speaks 
  • Patricia Gurinsky, M.A., CCC-SLP
  • Speech-Language Pathologist, Oral Myofunctional Therapist
  • Fort Worth Clinical Director
  • I’m Patricia Gurinsky, M.A., CCC-SLP.  I joined Monkey Mouths in 2015 as the Clinical Director of the Fort Worth clinic and have been working as a Speech-Language Pathologist for over 12 years.  I attended TCU for undergrad and University of Northern Colorado for grad school.  Prior to Monkey Mouths I worked at Therapy 2000 home health agency, serving as a Team Manager II and supervising a team of speech therapists and mentoring other team managers.  In addition to management duties, I provided mentoring for therapists in feeding and hearing disorders in addition to serving my own patients.  I also worked at Arlington Memorial Hospital as the primary pediatric outpatient therapist with cross-training in adult acute care.  I collaborated with occupational therapists, case managers, physical therapists, referring pediatricians, specialty physicians, dieticians and social workers in both settings to provide the best services for each of the patients I served. 

    I have provided patient/family training on Passy Muir Valve to produce voice and support safe swallowing for patients with a tracheostomy and/or ventilator dependence assisted in successful carryover of home programs.

    I encourage interactive, positive therapy with patients that involves parents/family for meaningful experiences that can be carried into the home and community.In my spare time I love watching hockey, attending TCU football games, traveling, singing, and spending time with my husband David and my son.

    As a SLP for over 12 years, I have training and specialization in the following:


    • SCERTS model by Barry Prizant
    • The Hanen Program More Than Words


    • Kaufman Apraxia System
    • PROMPT Therapy/Advanced PROMPT Bridging
    • Talk Tools Oral-Motor Placement Therapy
    • Sound Card System
    • Hodson Approach to Phonological Disorders


    • Tamara Kaspar Sign to Talk
    • The Hanen Program It Takes Two to Talk

    Augmentative Communication:

    • High Tech:  Dynavox/Mayer Johnson, Tobii, IPAD/My Talk/ProLoQuo2Go/CommLink 3G/PRC/LAMP/Tango
    • Low Tech:  Picture Exchange Communication Systems (PECS)


    • Deborah Beckman M.S., CCC-SLP Oral-Motor Therapy
    • Advanced Vital Stim, MBSS (Jeri Logeman)
    • G-tube weaning and transitioning to oral feedings (Marsha Dunn Klein)
    • S.O.S. Feeding Therapy
    • CAN-EAT
    • Special Populations in Feeding: Extreme Food Hyperselectivity
    • Frasier Water Protocol
    • Get Permission Approach to Feeding, Breathing, Digestion, and Swallowing in High Risk Infants
    • AOMT; Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy
    • Pediatric Feeding and Swallowing with Joan Arverdson Ph,D, CCC-SLP, BC-NCD, BRS-S, ASHA Fellow

    Hearing Differences:

    • AVT techniques for hearing impairment (attended TCU Listening and Spoken Language Summer Institute)
    • Use of amplification (BAHA, FM systems)
    • Sign language
  • Deborah Mode, M.S., CCC-SLP
  • Bilingual Speech-Language Pathologist, Oral-Myofunctional Therapist
  • Coppell Clinical Director
  • I’m Deborah Mode M.S., CCC-SLP, Clinical Director in our Coppell location and I joined Monkey Mouths in 2018 as a bilingual speech-language pathologist.  I earned my bachelor’s degree in Communication Disorders from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, a Masters degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Worcester State University in Worcester, MA and a Masters in Autism Spectrum Disorder from Elms College in Chicopee, MA. I’m certified through the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and licensed by the State of Texas and Massachusetts as a speech-language pathologist.

    I started my career working in the Massachusetts public school system for approximately 7 years prior to expanding my skills in Early Intervention and hospital settings.  I then owned my private practice for 9 years before moving to Texas.  In my years of experience, I have had the opportunity to work with children with childhood apraxia of speech, fluency disorders, autism spectrum disorder, articulation disorders, language disorders, and hearing impairment.  Being bilingual in Spanish and English has helped establish an appreciation for other languages and cultures.  I have dedicated the majority of my career to enhancing my skills to better serve children with autism and increase my abilities and knowledge by attending conferences, workshops and trainings that address communication disorders in order to provide quality care for my patients.

    As a SLP for over 20 years, I have training and specialization in the following:

    • Social Thinking with Michelle Garcia Winner M.S., CCC-SLP
    • Visualizing and Verbalizing with Lindamood Bell
    • Verbal Behavior with Vincent Carbone, BCBA, PhD
    • Picture Exchange Communication Systems (PECS)
    • Orton-Gillingham reading instruction
    • PROMPT Therapy
    • Sound Card System
    • Sensory-Motor Feeding by Lori Overland, M.S., CCC-SLP
    • Simon Says:  Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy (OMT)


    Get Social


    I have always heard Monkey Mouths is the Best!   Kim C.; mother of Ben with hearing impairment

    I have tried other therapists in the past.

    My child either never took to the therapist or we never saw any results.  When we came to Monkey Mouths, Aaron started to thrive.  His vocabulary... more

    The therapists at Monkey Mouths continually educate themselves with the most current and relevant therapeutic techniques.  They relate to children of all abilities in a very personal and... more


    Monkey Mouths is dedicated to alleviating injustice at the local, national and international levels locally, nationally and internationally.