Our Team

Nicole, SLP

Nicole Rejment is an ASHA (American Speech and Hearing Association) Certified Speech-Language Pathologist. Nicole earned her bachelor's degree in Speech Language Pathology & Audiology from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania in 2011, and took her Master's in Communication Sciences & Disorders from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh in 2014. Since then, Nicole has worked in a variety of settings providing speech and language therapy. She has experience with providing both home and clinic-based early intervention to children ages 0 to 3, and in schools both via teletherapy and in person across the United States. While originally from Pennsylvania, she and her family recently moved to Okinawa from North Carolina. She enjoys anything outside, and spending time with her husband, their two kids, and family dog. She looks forward to working towards your child's goals and having fun while doing it!

Rachel, SLP

Rachel has been a practicing speech-language pathologist for over 25 years.  She received her Masters of Science in Speech-Language Pathology from Teachers College of Columbia University. Prior to her recent move to Okinawa she worked for Pristine Rehab Care in California during the COVID pandemic treating patients and providing parent training virtually.  The majority of her career was spent working for New York City hospitals while raising 2 daughters with her husband. As a member of the Rehabilitation Team at NYU Langone Orthopedic Health and New York Presbyterian Hospital Early Intervention Team, she received training to treat medically involved children with varying communication disorders stemming from musculoskeletal, cognitive and severe pragmatic-language impairments. During her tenure she has provided consultation to clinics including Birth to Three, Preemie and Cranio-facial Clinic.  Rachel is Prompt trained and has competency working with AAC devices. She specializes in treating children (toddlers - school age), addressing needs from early language to phonology and literacy.

Daphne, SLP

Daphne Le earned her Master of Arts in Speech and Hearing Science from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She has clinical experience in a variety of settings, including schools, hospitals, telepractice, home, and private clinics. Prior to moving to Okinawa, she worked with early intervention to school-aged children on the Autism spectrum with severe impairments in speech, language, and feeding. She has competency in working with AAC, and is PECS and LAMP trained. She is an American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA) Certified Speech-Language Pathologist and holds an Illinois professional licensure.

Hazel, SLP

Hazel Panglilinan holds a Master’s Degree in Speech Pathology from the University of the Visayas, a Master’s Degree in Learning and Teaching from De La Salle University, a History and Multi-Cultural Education Certification from Alaska Pacific University, and a Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA). Hazel has more than ten years’ experience providing clinical services, including working as a Speech Language Pathologist at Fairbanks North Star School District in Alaska for three years and at the Child Early Intervention Medical Center in the U.A.E. for five years. She has a wide range of experience working with children in both school and clinical settings, and has expertise with receptive/expressive language delay, auditory processing disorder, articulation delay, phonological delay/disorder, autism spectrum disorder, fluency disorders, and pragmatic language delay. Hazel is also trained and experienced in Alternative and Augmentative Communication/AAC), Picture Exchange Communication System/PECS, and Level 1 Oral Placement Therapy/TalkTools – techniques to facilitate functional communication. Hazel also provides speech and language workshops for families and professionals. 

Kris, SLP

Kristen (Kris) Bailey, MA CCC-SLP operates on the principle that communication is a human right. They graduated Magna Kum Lade with a Bachelor’s of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Texas Woman’s University and graduated with a Master’s of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology from the University of Northern Colorado. Kris is specialized in aural habilitation, language development, and speech articulation. They value a treatment model that focuses on functional skills that improve daily living and prefer a wholistic approach that involves the entire family and their individual values in the therapeutic journey. Kris favors a child-led approach and operates under the belief that children best learn through play. It is their goal to make language accessible so that the client can be independent. Kris has 8+ years of experience working with all ages and has worked in schools across Washington State, contracted with the Nisqually Tribe Head Start program, provided telehealth services to migrant rural families, and previously owned a speech-language therapy private practice for 6 years. They are so excited to have the privilege to offer services here in Okinawa. In their free time, they are likely to be adventuring outdoors, including; off-roading, SuPing, or hiking and hope to soon become certified in diving.

Kat, SLP

Katherine (Kat) Richardson, MA, MM, CCC-SLP earned her Bachelor’s Degrees in Music (vocal performance) and Linguistics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She received her Master’s Degree in Communication Science and Disorders from the University of Pittsburgh in 2008, where she was awarded a full graduate research assistantship in the voice and motor learning lab. Upon completion of her clinical fellowship in 2009 she earned her certificate of clinical competence (CCC) from the American Speech and Hearing Association. She went on to complete a Master’s Degree in Music (vocal performance) from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2011. She is a US Air Force Veteran, having served in the Medical Service Corps in both active duty and reserve capacities from 2014 - 2022. Her clinical background primarily includes treatment of both acute and chronic/progressive neurological disorders impacting speech/language, voice, cognition and swallowing in acute, sub-acute, and private practice settings. She is certified in LSVT and trained in LMRVT. In her spare time she enjoys composing music, reading, running, CrossFit, and adventuring with her husband and four children.

Tami, SLP

Tamara (Tami) Wirtz is a pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist with fourteen years of experience.  She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and graduated from the University of South Dakota with a master of arts degree in 2009.  She has worked in home-based early intervention programs, school, and clinic-based settings. She enjoys building relationships with families to support a child’s speech and language development and has a love of literacy-based language interventions to develop augmentative or alternative communication programs. She has a Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech Language Hearing Association and is licensed in South Dakota, the Mount Rushmore State.

Aisling, RCSLT (UK SLP)

Aisling first qualified as a Speech and Language Therapist in Ireland and obtained her B.Sc. in Clinical Speech and Language Studies at Trinity College Dublin in 2017. She then moved to London where she was certified by the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists. She worked with children with speech and language impairments and social communication impairments in mainstream schools across North London, and also has experience in special needs schools, early intervention clinics, and telepractice. Aisling grew up mostly in Dublin but spent two years of her childhood in Yokohama and has visited Japan frequently. Aisling enjoys film, theater, and traveling and exploring other cultures.

Marisa, SLP/Owner

Marisa Yagi Connelly, the founder of Yagi Speech, created this company to provide quality speech/language services to the international community. She has a bachelor's degree in Art, a bachelor's degree in Communication Disorders, and a master's degree in Speech-Language Pathology, all from the University of Wyoming. She has experience in numerous clinical settings including public schools, private schools, charter schools, hospitals, private tutoring, and early intervention clinic. She is accredited by the American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA) and holds California and Wyoming professional certifications. Read More

Lindsay, BCBA

Lindsay Gaughran is a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst with 13 years of experience working with children diagnosed on the autism spectrum and their families. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from California State University - San Luis Obispo and a Masters of Science degree in Special Education from Montana State University. Lindsay started her career in San Diego, providing home based ABA services, group and community based services, and parent training. As a clinical supervisor, Lindsay trained new staff, provided parent training, and developed programs for home-based ABA programs. She also served on many IEP teams and collaborated with nearby school districts to provide behavior intervention services and staff training on the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis. Lindsay is passionate about early intervention and incorporating the whole family into services as much as possible to ensure the best outcome for long term success. 

Anna, BCBA

Annastasia Laster is a Board-certified Behavior Analyst with six years of ABA experience working with children on the autism spectrum. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Fort Lewis University in Durango, Colorado and a Master's of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis from Simmons University in Boston, Massachusetts.  Anna started her career in Colorado providing in-home, at-school, and community-based services for children and adults. Later in Florida, she worked in clinic-based settings and served as a Clinical Supervisor, providing clinical oversight. She also supported and trained staff, conducted parent training, created individualized treatment plans, and conducted group parent training and peer social skills sessions. Anna focuses on individualized therapy and pragmatic treatment, and enjoys helping others improve their overall quality of life. Anna enjoys hiking, yoga, and exploring nature in her free time. 

Jade, BCBA

Jade Torres-Vrobel is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) with eleven years of experience working with children diagnosed on the autism spectrum and with other developmental disabilities. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Maryland Global Campus (formerly UM University College) and a master’s degree in counseling psychology from Bowie State University. Jade started her ABA career in Hawaii, providing clinic, home, school, and community-based services. As a clinical supervisor, she trained new staff and provided caregiver training as well as one-on-one direct services, both in-person and remotely. Jade enjoys assessing, programming, and training caregivers, and has experience conducting VB-MAPP, Socially Savvy, ABLLS, and AFLS assessments. Some of her preferred ABA strategies include antecedent modifications, shaping, fading, priming, different reinforcement, errorless teaching, and behavior momentum. Jade’s passion is raising autism awareness and acceptance everywhere she goes as a military spouse. She is currently working on her dream of obtaining a Ph.D. 

Alix, OT

Alix Coleman is a Board-Certified Occupational Therapist with a Bachelor’s in Human Development and Family Studies from Pennsylvania State University and a Doctorate of Occupational Therapy from Creighton University. She has clinical experience in a variety of settings including schools, outpatient clinics, and hospitals. She has worked with the Department of Defense Education Activity (DODEA) as a Special Education Paraprofessional since moving to Okinawa with elementary-aged children diagnosed with ADHD, autism, generalized developmental delay, and so on. Alix is a recently certified Brain Injury Specialist and has a passion for vision therapy. Alix enjoys traveling, spoiling her dog Junie B, and playing nearly any sport.

Erika, OT

Erika Morreira is a Board Certified Occupational Therapist with a doctorate in occupational therapy from Pacific University and a bachelor’s in human physiology and psychology from the University of Oregon. She loves children and has worked primarily in outpatient pediatrics throughout her career, as well as in schools, hospitals, and early intervention settings. She is passionate about supporting families through family-centered care and education. Erika is certified in the Handwriting Without Tears® development program and is working toward an autism-related certification. Dr. Erika enjoys being outdoors, singing at church, and exploring Okinawa with her husband and two-year-old daughter.

Julia, Office Assistant

Julia has a bachelor’s degree in International Studies and master-prep in health sciences from the University of Wyoming. She has studied at Mansfield College at Oxford University in the U.K., has extensive observational and volunteering experience at several hospitals and clinics in Wyoming, and was a sales assistant for an IT-based company in Tokyo. Julia enjoys international travel and engages in a number of sports, especially snowboarding. 

Emily, Office Assistant

Emily Murphy holds a bachelor’s degree in Linguistics and Japanese from the University of Arizona, and previously worked as an administrative assistant at a patent law firm in Arizona and as a language teacher in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. She holds level N3 of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test and is working towards becoming a bilingual speech-language pathologist, recently completing a post-baccalaureate program in communication sciences and disorders and observing clinicians while working as an administrative assistant at ShisaCare/Yagi Speech. In her free time, she enjoys exploring Okinawa with her husband and relaxing at home with her cat. 

Rin, Office Director

Rinsei Teruya is a basketball-loving Okinawan who enjoys using his English and technical skills to administratively support all of ShisaCare and its clinicians. He studied in the United States from high school through college and holds a bachelor's degree in Journalism from the University of Oregon. Rin worked as a computer programmer for a local Okinawan company before coming to ShisaCare/Yagi Speech to pursue his dream of using his organizational and language skills to serve his community. Rin, his wife, and two children enjoy their spare time at the beach. 

Asako, General Affairs

Asako is a native of Kobe, Japan and began her working career as a dental technician. Married to a retired U.S. naval officer and diplomat, she raised four children in Japan, the U.S., Egypt, and Kenya. She has a degree from Keio University and supports ShisaCare by translating documents, managing Japanese governmental and regulatory agency requirements, and providing logical support for company office and employee housing search, leasing, furnishings, and utilities.