Meet Sheri A. Marino MA, CCC-SLP

Speech Pathologist and Director, Pediatric Health Initiatives for Focus for Health Foundation

Sheri received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology from Rutgers University and attained her Master of Arts degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Montclair University.

Sheri’s clinical experiences include the University Hospital at UMDNJ in Newark, NJ, where she provided evaluation and treatment services in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

Sheri was trained in Applied Behavior Analysis at the Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, New Brunswick, NJ, where she treated children on the autism spectrum. For 10 years, she coordinated home programs in New York, New Jersey, and London, England. As a member of a trans-disciplinary team, Sheri conducted evaluations and treatment services for the birth-three year old population at the Milestones Child Development Center, Jersey City, NJ. As part of the Expansion Team, she provided homebound services to medically fragile infants and infants affected by pre-natal drug exposure.

Sheri is the Director, Pediatric Health Initiatives for the Focus for Health Foundation (FFH).  As Director to FFH, she contributes her clinical expertise to help guide the Foundation’s mission addressing chronic health issues related to environmental causes.

Sheri is the founder of Rocking Horse Rehab, a pediatric rehabilitation and family wellness center specializing in equine assisted therapies, located at the Essex Equestrian Center in West Orange, NJ. Rocking Horse Rehab treats children with various disabilities including, cerebral palsy, spinal muscular atrophy, brain tumors, autism, rare syndromes, neuromuscular and psychiatric disorders. Rocking Horse Rehab was selected as “NJ’s Favorite Kids’ Docs” in NJ Family Magazine in 2009 and 2011 and as Hospital Newspaper’s Pediatric Rehab and Family Wellness Center of the Month in 2009, 2010 and 2013. A pediatric speech pathologist, Sheri has been voted as “NJ’s Favorite Kids’ Docs” in 2012, 2015, 2016 and 2017.

FFH has been a proud partner with Rocking Horse Rehab since 2015.

As the Executive Director of The Autism Think Tank, N.J. (501(c)3), Sheri coordinates medical videoconferences with a team of distinguished physicians who collaborate on medically complex cases of autism around the globe. Sheri is solely responsible for all fundraising, community outreach, continuing education, marketing and public speaking engagements.

Sheri serves on the advisory board for Autism Family Services, NJ with other leaders in the field of autism. She is an international speaker on autism and has presented for Haven International in Ghana, Africa, Autism One in Chicago, Princeton University, Touro College/NYC, Seton Hall University, NJ Speech and Hearing Association, and PATH International. She has been a guest on the “Autism with Dr. Andy” radio show out of Manhattan Beach, CA and has been featured on CBS News, NBC News, NJN and multiple Cable networks.

Articles by Sheri A. Marino MA, CCC-SLP

Collaboration articles with FFH Team and Sheri A. Marino MA, CCC-SLP:



my son 42, has been difficult…..teasing siblings all the time, pulling things apart and creating havoc. in that time period, the doctors said nothing but, normal for child.
I add on that he was nauseated by many foods and starved himself if only those were served at meals. And eventually shrunk his tall body to look skinny as possible. But he ate a lot when he liked somthing.) He only wore the same style jeans and flannel shirts, and insisted on re buying only those same even today he has four identical pair of shoes at one time or other. He has no idea of financial balance, is an engineer, eats books and studies as a past time. He is argumentative and debating all the time since childhood. He quits jobs, says he does not like to work, anxiety, picks up ailments from year to year to support his actions and feelings. A battered childhood accompanied this child, on and off, along with three other siblings. But his child from toddler years was a bit different. He slept all the time, even fell asleep in his high chair or walker. He was birthed with c section after long labor and forceps attempt birth. He always excelled in school. Teachers loved him. No complaints. When he was in first grade he was put with a speech therapist. when he became an elementary age child, he was not friendly or open to being friends. Where ever we went he was pointed out by strangers as a genius and conversed with adults often. In school all the kids liked him and thought he was shy. Home he was mean a lot. If i went into his room, to chat with him, and sat on his bed he was too polite to say anything when i sat on his tidy bed but when i got up he smoothed it out. He lent books out to his siblings but was upset if they were returned in a used look since he read his books without opening them enough to cause a crease. We tried to make him more social and sent him to camp and after a week we visited him to see if he was fine and wanted to stay for the second week and he did. He was such a trouble maker home we took him to a religious person and often told him we would send him away to school since he caused so much chaos in the home.
He did silly experiments, such as close to shaving his eyebrows at 12 and then penciled them in so we did not notice for a days. He lit a fire in the middle of the kitchen floor, on the terazza floor to see what would happen at 12 years. He put tape on the elevator putton on a high floor in the building where we lived so when the elevator was called it did not go. He defied his father in many things, challenging him and getting beat, but had to have his way. He did fabulous in school and went to Ivy League. He would not share ANYthing with us. He was polite and kind. We knew nothing of what he did. He stayed in school, two years more taking on additional loans. He said it was fear of going into the working world, and when he did at 25 get his first career job, he stayed a year and then changed, second job, stayed a couple of years and changed and so on. In between he did not confide or share with us and pulled away from siblings too. Kindly and politely.
In the past 10 years, he has gone downhill, depression, shame, debt and moving far away enough to deter family interaction. He had relationships with older woman which he said ended good, and he did not want to hurt them but things were not working.
Recently he has attributed his debt, financial disability to pay his college loan, anxiety, failure to hold a job or be able to perform in it to his bad childhood and selfish parents who did not pay for many things others get, a car, college. There was a time he understood that his parents could not afford that for four children at all. He is now living by finding sofas in different buildings where he can sleep, showering at the gym and with funds from family to sustain him, he has gotten used to not having a home/apartment/ in spite of family funding him for such. He packed and is ready to go on to a place where he will more able to find his kind of field employment since where he is not, there is not al lot of that………and he is packed with stuff in storage, unable to make the move. A sibling went to stay in the town he lives for a month and was unable to convince him to take the flight with him to the next step in his life, so the sibling left. He told the sibling a month later, he was sorry he did not leave with him and is not yet able to move on. Stuck. Living in libraries, showering and very clean and eats well and the sibling said he looks quite good, not like a street person, but will not pay for accommodations with the money family gave him.
He had many many ticks, chin ticks, eye ticks, facial ticks since childhood and through childhood, which seems not not to exist any more. The sibling who visited him is an educated adult and thinks he does have emotional stability problems but also thinks he is a selfish jerk, self absorbed and self centered. The man who is troubled, over years has expressed his lack of desire to live unless he can live to certain standards, and that he thinks he does not like to work and can not get himself to work. HE REFUSES MEDICAL ADVICE AND THERAPY. SAID HE TRIED AND HE DOE NOT BELIEVE IT HELPS. HE SAID HE TRIED MEDS, MAKES HIM FEEL LIKE A ZOMBIE. He is meticulous clean, health conscious and sees physicians sometimes. He is not fearful of some things, for ex. before his 30’s he has his eyes zapped both of them at once to stop using glasses when reading.
His family offered love, connection, the one adult visited him twice in the past four years, and when he visited this problem man, agreeing in advance to accept the visit, but only spent a few hours a day on some days with him and refused to stay over night more than one time, and would not share his secret places to steal a sofa. The visiting sibling got his own accommodations both times. In fact the sibling visiting did not see one inkling of this man’s life outside the meetings, debates and some meal times. The sibling who was trying to help invited his brother to sleep over and that was a NO. The helping sibling said that in public, his older sibling seemed to be normal in public and relating to people in general. Non detectable in any way of illness. Is living on the street ( not really the street, since he finds ways of getting sofas anywhere, low profile……gyms to shower and exercise) I tried to vary info to see if any of it fits into this autism. One specific note, in family videos, he appears to have a different gaze, something with the way he looked at the camera……than the dozens of others in the video. Like gazed over. Could you tell from a video if someone has asperger?

kathryn m salazar

Hello, I am a mother of a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and a certified Medical assistant. I have had experience with pediatrics for about 1 year and with children with Autism. I couldn’t help but notice your post went unanswered . I don’t know if you will read this but i wanted to offer some advice. My son often has that same gaze you are talking about. Usually he is just in his own world thinking about something. Also, individuals with Autism tend to avoid eye contact. My son is high functioning can communicate well, but often with aggression when things don’t quite go his way. Your son is older, and seems he is using guilt on you and the family in an attempt to try and find methods in which to explain his condition. I would try to work with him when you speak to him next. Even though he may turn down medical advice, there are many centers that can help him out. Social workers can even travel to his location to try and assist or give him information on resources. It sounds like he needs intervention, and family members are the best advocates. Don’t give up; even when people or professionals seem to be giving you or him the wrong message. Keep trying . It took 4 different professionals and 3 years to figure out my son had Autism. Don’t give up hope!


Sandy, yes, absolutely, this sounds exactly like autism. My adult son and husband have autism. Get an evaluation asap.

Warren Mabee

Hi Sherri
My name is Warren Mabee. I have a friend Sherry by coincidence who has a son Nolan with MTFH… I Don’t know if inn correct in abbreviation. I am a distributor partnered with a publicly traded biohacking company. Nutrigenomic science. Natural product that reduces oxidative stress by 40% in 30 days and supports healthy mitrocondrial function. Was wondering on your thoughts for Nolan.


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