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.
RCSLT (UK SLP)
Aisling Donnelly 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.
Vicky (Kang-Chi) Lo is Speech Pathology Australia certified Speech Language Pathologist. She believes that communication is the cornerstone of being human, and is thus dedicated to providing holistic care to her clients. She graduated from the University of Sydney with a Bachelor of Applied Science (Speech Pathology) with First Class Honours. During her research candidature, she explored areas of Adults with Primary Progressive Aphasia, which led to publication in peer reviewed journal. Vicky has experience working with children and adults within the disability sector across a range of settings, including, preschool, school, aged care and home. She strives to provide evidence based therapy for her clients whilst making sessions fun and engaging. Vicky is accredited by the internationally regarded Hanen Centre to run the ‘More Than Words' Hanen parent training program. She has professional development certificates in Key Word Sign and Australian Sign Language 1. Outside of work, Vicky enjoys staying active and exploring local cafes and bakeries.
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!
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.
Charissa Simpson is an ASHA (American Speech-Language-Hearing Association) certified Speech-Language Pathologist. She received her bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and Communication Sciences & Disorders in 2014 from the Pennsylvania State University, and following graduation, she transitioned to North Carolina to complete her Masters of Science in Communication Sciences & Disorders in 2017. Over the years, Charissa has worked in a variety of early intervention clinics, outpatient rehabilitation settings, acute care facilities, nursing homes, assisted livings, and school settings. Charissa’s experience with early intervention includes both in-home and clinic-based care to address feeding disorders, receptive/expressive language delays, phonological disorders, and developmental delays in the pediatric population. Charissa is passionate about engaging with children and their families when providing therapy services in order to help facilitate carryover in the home environment and establish good communication between everyone involved.
Heather A. T. Staton is an ASHA (American Speech-Language-Hearing Association) certified Speech-Language Pathologist. She received her bachelor’s degree in Communication Sciences & Disorders in 2012 from the University of Connecticut. During graduate school, Heather developed a passion for treating individuals with ABI/TBI and completed a Master’s Thesis on “The Effect of Cognitive Rehabilitation on Traumatic Brain Injury in a Single-Subject Design Study.” She presented her research at ASHA in November, 2013 and her research was later published in the journal of Aphasiology, in 2018. Heather has over 9 years of clinical experience as a SLP and has worked in both nursing facilities and acute care facilities, developing expertise in dysaphagia, and swallowing-based disorders, feeding disorders, expressive/ receptive language, fluency, voice in addition to cognitive-communication based disorders and Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC). Heather also has significant group-leading experience and was a co-facilitator of acute rehabilitation family-based team meetings and the sole facilitator of the TBI/ABI support group for L&M Hospital/ Yale New Haven Health in partnership with the Brain Injury Alliance of Connecticut for the past 8 years. Heather is certified in: SPEAK OUT! ®, Manual Therapy for Voice and Swallowing Disorders, McNeil Dysphagia Therapy and completed frequent Modified Barium Swallow Studies in her last setting. Since the birth of her daughter, Heather has developed a special interest in pediatric/ infant feeding and is currently in the process of becoming an International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). Heather is creative and passionate about assisting her clients of all ages and their families achieve their goals. Her interests include running, scuba diving and traveling with her husband and daughter.
Sara Greenfield earned her bachelor's degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Missouri State University in 2011 and received her Masters in Speech-Language Pathology from North Carolina Central University in 2013. She also holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). With over ten years of experience, Sara has provided skilled speech and language services to individuals from toddlers to adulthood in various settings, including nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and both public and cyber school systems. Most recently, she served on the preschool transdisciplinary assessment team in Norfolk, Virginia, determining appropriate educational placements for children transitioning from early intervention. Sara has additional training in D.I.R./Floortime model. She holds a basic certification through The International Council on Development and Learning (ICDL). This model focuses on engaging children to foster social-emotional development. The model focuses on engaging children to foster social-emotional development. In her spare time, Sara enjoys hiking, traveling, and trying new restaurants together with her husband and their two children, Trey and Adalyn.
Christian Thornton is a speech-language pathologist based in Fernandina Beach, Florida. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Valdosta State University and a Master's degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Jacksonville University. Before joining ShisaCare, Christian focused on enhancing the speech and language abilities of adolescent students to support their academic success. He also gained valuable experience at a private clinic, working with a diverse clientele ranging from 6 months old to adolescent age. His work there covered speech, language, feeding, and pragmatics cases. Christian expresses that witnessing clients, especially children, realizing the communicative power they cultivated during treatment is truly rewarding. It brings him fulfillment to see them apply these skills to achieve their goals, whether academically or socially. Outside of his professional life, Christian enjoys exploring various restaurants, engaging in hiking and running activities, collecting and listening to music, and building meaningful relationships with new friends.
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.
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.
Lilit Salazar is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst with more than five years' experience working with children on the autism spectrum. Lilit received her bachelors of science in psychology with a concentration in neuroscience from Azusa Pacific University and went on to get her masters degree at National University. Lilit has experience providing in-home, at-school, and community-based services for children and adolescents. Before moving to Okinawa, she managed behavioral programs for an entire school district; as a district BCBA she conducted many functional behavior assessments, trained staff members on ABA principles, participated in many IEP's, and collaborated with IEP team members regarding issues including as speech and OT. Lilit enjoys traveling and exploring new places, hiking, reading, and trying new foods and hobbies.
Lauren Sponaugle is a Registered Behavior Analyst (RBT) with a Bachelor's degree in Special Education and a minor in American Sign Language. She also holds a Master's degree in Applied Behavior Analysis, which she completed during the pandemic. Lauren and her husband have been residing in Okinawa since 2021, accompanied by their dog named Penny. They delight in embarking on adventures and beachcombing along the picturesque beaches of Okinawa. Lauren has also acquired her scuba certification, enabling her to explore the captivating underwater world surrounding the island. She is enthusiastic about commencing work and acquiring more experience in the field of ABA.
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 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.
Jamie Young is a Board-Certified Occupational Therapist with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy from San Jose State University. She has over 18 years of clinical experience treating both children and adults in various settings, including outpatient pediatrics, non-profit sector for at-risk youth, subacute care, long term care, skilled nursing and assisted living. While working in Rehab in her hometown of San Francisco, Jamie initiated a task force that provided clinical mentoring in geriatric cognition, group therapy, and medical complexities. After transitioning into management, Jamie’s passion for adventure led her to the Hawaiian Islands where she thrived as a travel therapist and consultant. She created the OT program for the groundbreaking transformation of an old medical campus to an innovative all-inclusive medical/rehab/senior living community. Jamie holds advanced certification in Physical Agent Modalities. She enjoys camping, cooking, beach life and making memories in Okinawa with her husband and toddler.
Dr. Hannah, Psychologist
Dr. Hannah Samaha is a licensed psychologist in the state of Louisiana. She obtained her PhD in School Psychology at the University of Houston. She completed a fellowship in Clinical Child Psychology (birth to 6) at Tulane Medical School. Dr. Hannah specializes in the evaluation and treatment of ADHD, Autism, and Anxiety. She has worked in various settings including schools, private practice, and hospitals. Dr. Hannah uses evidence-based approaches with children to ensure the best outcomes. She loves working directly with children but also with parents. She has extensive experience working with military families and is a military spouse herself. She is also the mother to two young girls, and they enjoy exploring the best parks and beaches Oki has to offer!
Rachel Glazer 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.
Sara Holub is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst with over 12 years of working with children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, as well as other developmental disabilities. She received her Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Florida State University. She began working in the field while living in Washington State. While stationed there, Sara provided ABA services for children ranging in age from 3-18 years old in home, clinic, and school settings. During this time, she also completed her teaching certifications in elementary education (K-6) and ESE (K-12). While living in Germany, Sara completed her Master's degree from the University of West Florida in Exceptional Student Education. She then completed the BCBA coursework through Florida Institute of Technology while living in Norfolk, VA, completing her practicum experience in a clinic setting. Sara worked in a clinic in San Diego, CA as a BCBA in the role of clinical supervisor overseeing multiple children's progress, providing parent training, and revising programs to meet the individual needs of each child. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she also provided telehealth-only services to several children. Sara has experience working with a wide range of insurance providers including Tricare, Blue Cross/ Blue Shield, Cigna, Aetna, and Medicare. Sara is a naval spouse who has lived all over the world. She has a passion for traveling and exploring the places she lives.
Megan Jacobs holds a B.S. in Psychology with a concentration in ABA from Capella University. She is set to embark on her next academic journey, commencing her Master's degree in the Exceptional Student Education and ABA program at the University of West Florida in Spring 2024. Megan brings with her five years of valuable experience working with children on the Autism spectrum, ranging in age from 3 to 16 years. Her journey began as an RBT, and her dedication led her to earn her BCaBA certification in February 2023. In her leisure time, Megan finds joy in reading, swimming, and embarking on adventures across Japan with her two daughters and husband.
ShisaCare ABA in Sasebo & Iwakuni
Jade, BCBA - Sasebo
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.
Sujey, BCBA - Iwakuni
Sujey Rangel Pelikan is a Board-certified Behavior Analyst with over 6 years of experience working with children under the spectrum of ASD. Sujey graduated from the University of Texas A&M with a Bachelor of Science in Communication Science and Disorders and received a minor in Psychology. She then practiced as a licensed Speech Language Pathologist Assistant in Texas for four years before moving to Chesapeake, Virginia. In Virginia, she began to explore the field of ABA which led her to pursue a master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis. Sujey received her masters from Arizona State University. Her career entailed providing ABA services in the home, school, and community settings. As a case supervisor she trained RBTs, provided caregiver training, and made ongoing modifications for the support of an effective intervention. Her interpersonal skills, communication, ability to multitask, and problem-solving skills have led to her success in changing lives as a BCBA. She and her family have recently moved to Iwakuni from Chesapeake, Virginia. Sujey enjoys spending time with her husband, running, and mosaic art.
Kiyoe, Office Director
Julia, Office Assistant
Julia Yagi 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.
Asako, General Affairs
Asako Yagi 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.
Erika, Authorization Tracker
Erika Yagi is our authorization tracker at ShisaCare and a PhD student in Social Science & Comparative Education at UCLA. Her research field focuses on Third Culture Kids’ (TCK) home-language retention in the context of learning barriers. She also received her master’s degree in Education from UCLA. Prior to attending UCLA, Erika obtained her B.A. in Elementary Education and German from the University of Wyoming, and worked as an elementary school teacher at an international school in Cameroon. She is passionate about teaching in both of her home languages; English and Japanese.
Angel, Claims Processor
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.