Meet the Team:

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Colleen Lama, M.S., CCC-SLP, BCBA is the owner of Lama Pediatric Therapy. She is a Speech-Language Pathologist and Board Certified Behavior Analyst who has ten years of experience in providing pediatric speech and language therapy.  A graduate of Florida State University, Colleen is licensed by the State of Florida and holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech–Language and Hearing Association (ASHA). Colleen expanded her education and became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) in 2015. She combines both her speech-language and behavior skills to provide quality therapy services. Colleen has a variety of experience working with the pediatric population in both home and clinic settings. She specializes in early intervention, feeding disorders, and verbal behavior therapy.  She is skilled with implementation of the verbal behavior milestones assessment placement program (VB-MAPP) as well as Picture Exchange Communication (PECS). She also has extensive experience working with stuttering, receptive and expressive language delays, articulation impairments, social skills, and augmentative and alternative communication (AAC).  Colleen takes pride in working with children and their families to provide exceptional therapy.

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Hanan Shihada, M.S., CF-SLP is born and raised in Florida with a Middle Eastern background. She is fluent in Arabic and English. Hanan completed her undergraduate education at the University of South Florida in Communication, Sciences, and Disorders. Additionally, she graduated from Nova Southeastern University with a Master’s of Science in Speech-Language Pathology. She has a passion for working with children with all types of speech and language disorders with over 5 years of experience. Hanan’s clinical experiences include working with individuals of all ages in daycares, outpatient clinics, elementary schools, inpatient rehab hospitals, and acute care hospitals.
Hanan has treated and evaluated individuals with Hearing Impairments, Dysphagia, Dysarthria, Childhood Apraxia of Speech, Articulation and Phonological Disorders, Language Disorders, Fluency Disorders, Traumatic Brain Injury, Neurodegenerative Disorders, Aphasia, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and Craniofacial Anomalies. She looks forward to completing her certifications and aims to excel with her nurturing personality to foster a positive environment in her therapy sessions.

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Marina Melendez, M.S. CCC-SLP is a Speech-Language Pathologist born and raised in Clearwater, Florida. She attended Florida State University where she pursued a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education and went on to pursue a Master’s degree from Nova Southeastern University in Speech-Language Pathology. She has a passion for working in pediatrics and has experience working in the private setting, home healthcare setting, public/private school setting, and daycare setting. Much of her experience has been in serving pediatric patients with Autism Spectrum Disorder and patients with Augmentative and Alternative Communication needs. She also enjoys working with children who have speech and/or language delays and has a passion for finding the most functional form of communication for her patients. 

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Emily Davio, M.S. CF-SLP was born and raised in Vermont before moving to Massachusetts for the last 11 years where she completed her Bachelors of Science in Communication Science and Disorders at Worcester State University. She received her Masters of Science in Speech Language Pathology at Bridgewater State University. She then had an undeniable desire to relocate to Florida where she currently resides in the Pasco County area. She has a strong passion for working with children with a variety of disorders and have experience treating and evaluating individuals with Language Disorders/Delays, Hearing Impairments, Articulation and Phonological Disorders, Fluency, and Autism Spectrum Disorder. She speaks moderate levels of Spanish, Portuguese, and basic American Sign Language. She is excited to provide a positive and engaging environment for all her patients!

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Alisha Arattuculam, B.A. and RBT, is a registered behavior technician at Lama Pediatric Therapy. She has graduated from University of Calcutta with an honors Bachelor's degree in Education with a minor in Psychology. She is currently in University of South Florida to become an assistant Behavior Analyst and continue to help the children she works with in a higher capacity. She has had clinical and in home experience working with children that have an Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis all across the spectrum. She is experienced in the implementation of AAC devices, picture exchange system (PECS) and other social skills building therapies. She is very eager to complete her education and get to work as an assistant behavior analyst. 

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Claudia Shafer, B.S., is a Behavior Technician at Lama Pediatric Therapy. She recently graduated from the University of Florida with a B.S. in Applied Physiology and Kinesiology. She was born in Savannah, Georgia, but raised in a military household that allowed her to travel and live in several unique places such as Italy and Hawaii. Claudia has always enjoyed working with kids and her opportunity to work as a behavior technician at Lama Pediatric Therapy has been nothing but rewarding and exciting! She is eager to dig deeper into the ABA field and is currently working towards becoming a Certified RBT.

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Amy Purcell, M.A., ABA, is a behavior technician at Lama Pediatric Therapy.  She graduated from the University of West Florida with her Master’s Degree in Applied Behavior Analysis in August of 2020.  She also has her Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from the University of South Florida, and spent 8 years as a (SLPA) Speech Language Pathology Assistant.  Amy has experience in the clinical and public school settings working with children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, learning disabilities, and speech/language disorders.  She is currently working towards becoming a BCBA and plans to take the certification exam in the fall of 2021.

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Tessa van Haaren is a full time Registered Behavior Technician. She is also a part time student at Saint Petersburg College. Her studies focus on education and psychology. Growing up in St. Petersburg has allowed her to attend a great variety of schools, and throughout her experience in school, she slowly realized that she wanted to be the one to teach a child. She saw what a great opportunity the ABA field would be. Tessa became an RBT when she was 18 years old. She had no idea what a huge impact it would have on who she has become. It has humbled her, allowed her to have more patience with everyone she meets, and created a whole different perspective on children. She says it was the greatest decision she has ever made. We are so happy to have Tessa on our team!

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Kaitlin Carmichael is a Behavior Technician at Lama Pediatric Therapy. She is currently working towards her Bachelors in Communication Sciences and Disorders and has a certificate in Youth Development Professional. Kaitlin then plans to work towards her Masters in Speech Language Pathology. Born and raised in St. Petersburg, Florida Kaitlin has always worked with kids. Her favorite part about working with kids, is the ability to watch them learn and grow.

Katie Borek, COTA/L, is an Occupational Therapist Assistant, born and raised in Fishkill, New York. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology with a concentration in Human Services, in 2011 from SUNY New Paltz. She worked as a social worker to serve at-risk children and families within the community. She graduated with an Associate of Applied Science in Occupational Therapy in 2018 from Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, New York. Katie has three years of experience working with the pediatric population with learning disabilities, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and Sensory Processing Disorder, in a trauma-based private special needs school. She recently moved to Lutz, Florida to pursue her Masters of Occupational Therapy at Keiser University. Katie aims to provide a fun and educational experience to help her clients feel confident within themselves, while successfully navigating their world.

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