The Patterns Team
One of the most rewarding aspects of our field is finding the right staffing fit for our clients. At Patterns, our staff has been strategically developed with our clients in mind. We firmly believe that our team can inspire and support behavior change through evidence-based teaching methods. In addition to their expertise, the members of our Patterns team are personable, engaging, and interested in doing all that they can to meet the needs of our clients.
Ihab Shahawi - M.A., MBA
President & CEO
Ihab our new President, has been a student and practitioner in the field of ASD since 1983, he has a BA & MA in Psychology and an MBA from UCLA. Having studied and worked with the likes of Dr. Ivar Lovaas and Dr. Gary LaVigna, luminaries and pioneers in the ABA field. In 1996 he founded The SAILS Group, an organization specializing in the treatment of children and adolescents with Autism and other intellectual and developmental disorders who are behaviorally challenging. He enjoys traveling and spending time with family and friends.
Vivian received her BS in Biology from the University of Virginia and since has worked at helping those in need, first as a candy striper hospital volunteer while in college and then as a counselor to addicted street children in her hometown of Barranquilla, Colombia. Since 2002 has been the operations director of The SAILS Group, an organization focused on services to children and adults on the Autism Spectrum. We welcome her now to Patterns as our Financial Director. Vivian enjoys time traveling, spending time with her husband, children, and 2 grandchildren.
AMBER RAEMER - M.S., BCBA - Orange County, California
Amber our Clinical Director, has brought a level and expertise that we are very excited to utilize. She trained both Katie and Robbie Fattal (Patterns Founders) for 6 years while they were special education teachers. With more than 22 years in the field, Amber has used her BCBA in various ways such as consulting in Hawaii, Alaska, Las Vegas, and Tennessee, as well as local districts including PYLUSD, Garden Grove, Long Beach, Newport-Mesa, San Luis Obispo, and Oceanside. She worked closely with Clark County school district for 15 years, supporting and working with families and the school district to develop quality ABA programming. Amber has two kids (10 year-old girl, and 8 year-old boy) and spends her time attending her children’s sporting events.
Katherine N. Spiteri, M.Ed., BCBA - Michigan
Katherine earned her graduate degree in Psychology Education from Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, in the summer 2015 and has spent the last couple of years working in the behavioral health field serving children on the autism spectrum, supporting individuals with special needs. She began studying in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis in 2009. Her experiences with ABA began with working as Direct Interventionist, Supervisor, passed her certification in November 2015, and now works within the C.E.I. counties as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. In her spare time, Mrs. Spiteri enjoys spending time with her husband, their large family and friends.
Kristi Julian, M.Ed., BCBA - Pennsylvania
Kristi earned her Master’s of Education degree from The University of Pittsburgh with a concentration in Mental and Physical Disabilities. She completed the BCBA coursework from Florida Institute of Technology. Kristi started her career as a Therapeutic Support Staff and was fortunate to receive training and program development/consultation from The Lovass Institute. That valuable experience peaked Kristi’s interest in ABA and lead to a change in career path. Kristi has over 15 years of experience working with children and adults with Austim and other developmental disabilities
NATALIE JACOME, BCBA, LPA - North Carolina
Natalie is a psychologist and behavior analyst who resides in Raleigh, North Carolina. She began studying and conducting research in the field of behavior analysis in 2002 and received her Master of Arts in Psychology from the University of North Carolina Wilmington in 2007. Natalie has worked as a consultant, clinical supervisor, and program psychologist in community, clinic, facility, and group home settings serving individuals with developmental disabilities, traumatic brain injury, and disruptive behaviors. She is passionate about supporting and enhancing the lives of individuals with autism and their families through the use of evidenced-based ABA practices.
Program Manager, Orange County, California
Courtney earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Child and Adolescent Development from California State University, Fullerton, in 2008 and has spent the time since working in the behavioral health field and non-profit sector and volunteering with organizations that support individuals with special needs. Her 5 years’ experience as a behavior therapist has given her a unique perspective for a Program Manager that guides the support she provides each day to the staff and families at Patterns. In her spare time, Ms. Muehlebach enjoys spending time with her family and friends and running and bike riding at the beach.
Ariana Lopez has been employed with Patterns since 2015. She was initially hired on as a part time Direct Interventionist and part time Administrative Assistant. She received a Bachelor’s of Arts in Sociology from Cal State Dominguez Hills in May of 2015. In her spare time, Ms. Lopez enjoys spending time with her family, dancing, bowling, and watching the Anaheim Ducks win. Ariana is also Fluent in Spanish.