Creative Therapy

Agency Description

Creative Therapy Autism Centre (CTAC) was founded in 2019 as a new division of Creative Therapy Associates (CTA), a locally owned rehabilitation practice in Thunder Bay, Ontario that has been in operation in Northwestern Ontario region for over 30 years, CTAC is a multidisciplinary centre and provides diagnostic assessments and evidence-based intervention for children and youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

We employ a team of qualified OTs. SLPS and behavioral therapists, and are in a partnership with Shining Through Centre, subcontracting 2 full time BCBAs who supervise our therapists and clients daily at that centre.

Our centre offers a full menu of high-quality therapy services to children, youth, young adults and families impacted by ASD. We are committed to a coordinated and integrated approach to service delivery and to offering options that are tailored to the unique needs of the whole child, youth or youing adult, The CTAC team has been built with these goals in mind and they offer a wide variety of services, from parent mediated, programs to direct service options including ABA MI, JASPER. Hanen More Than Words, PECS, The Play Project, DIRFloortime, and Autism Navigator.


Therapist Descriptions


Liz Hathazi, M.A.

Liz Hathazi is a practicing Speech-Language Pathologist with over 30 years of experience, and is co-owner of Creative Therapy Associates, in Thunder Bay Ontario.

This past year, Liz and her long-time colleague and business partner founded a new division for Creative Therapy Associates called Creative Therapy Autism Center in order to offer children impacted by ASD and their families in the region, a full menu of multidisciplinary, evidence-based services including behavioral, occupational and speech-language pathology.

Liz’s current area of clinical focus is the provision of assessment and treatment for children with speech and language delays; and with autism spectrum disorder and disorders of relating and communicating.

She is trained in Hanen More Than Words, Autism Navigator for Early Intervention, DIRFloortime, and the Play Project and has advanced training in the Early Start Denver Model.

Liz holds a Bachelor of Applied Science, and a Master of Arts from the University of Minnesota Duluth, and currently resides with her two children in Thunder Bay Ontario.

Rosemary Tamburini, BCBA

Rosemary Tamburini is a Board-Certified Behaviour Analyst who has been employed with the Shining Through Centre since February 2015. She has an Undergraduate Degree in Child and Youth Studies from Brock University.

At Brock, she continued to complete her Master’s in Applied Disabilities Studies where she graduated with a specialization in Applied Behaviour Analysis in 2015.

Rosemary is currently remotely supervising a team of 10 children at a centre for children with autism in Thunder Bay, Ontario.

She has been delivering workshops and providing family consultations as part of the Northern Collaborative program supporting families in Thunder Bay and the surrounding area over the past year.

Arlene Sanzo

Arlene Sanzo, OT Reg. (Ont.) is an Occupational Therapist who graduated with a Bachelor of Health Sciences in Occupational Therapy degree from McMaster University in 1996 after completing her Honours Bachelor of Physical Education degree at Lakehead University in 1994.

She has been practicing pediatrics since that time and has worked extensively in a variety of settings including private practice and a children’s treatment centre as well as within daycare and school environments.

She was involved in the development of the Kindergarten Skills Camp in collaboration with the Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board.

She enjoys working with parents / guardians, community partners, and educators to provide the best possible care for the children she works with.

She has been a mentor for many occupational therapists and has developed and presented at various conferences and workshops and has been an invited speaker for different programs at Lakehead University.

She has completed the ADOS-2 Critical Training and Play Project introductory course.

Her diverse knowledge and experience in the areas of sensory processing, self regulation, and fine motor development assists with supporting children’s overall learning and participation.

She is pleased to be part of the dynamic team of professionals at Creative Therapy Associates who are dedicated and passionate about the community, partners, and families who they work and collaborate with.

Leticia Toro, BCBA

Leticia Toro is a BCBA with over 12 years of experience in the field of Behaviour Analysis. She has completed her BSc in Psychology at Trent University, a post-graduate degree in Autism and Behavioural Science Technology at George Brown College, and a MA in Professional Behaviour Analysis at the Florida Institute of Technology.

She has worked with individuals across the lifespan and a wide range of skill levels. Leticia has supervised Early Intensive Intervention and academic programs, programs focusing on the reduction of severe problem behaviour, and created and supervised the Learn to Live program for adolescents and young adults at Shining Through Centre.

Leticia is passionate about helping others, doing so by staying current in the field of ABA, participating in continuous professional development, conducting research, and presenting work completed by her and her team.

Some of her current interests include Relational Frame Theory, Precision Teaching, and Acceptance and Commitment Training.

She has participated and presented her work at conferences such as ONTABA and IPTC (International Precision Teaching Conference). She is excited to be one of the full-time BcBas working with our Thunder Bay team.

Melanie Manula, M.S.

Melanie Manula is a registered Speech-Language Pathologist with more than 25 years of experience in the field. She received her Masters of Science degree in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Wisconsin in Eau Claire in 1994 and returned to her roots in Northwestern Ontario to begin her career with Creative Therapy Associates.

She currently resides in Thunder Bay with her two children. In 2015, she joined forces with a long-time colleague and friend, Liz Hathazi, to assume a leadership role in the practice they had helped to build over two decades.

They share a similar vision and are committed to maintaining a dynamic team of professionals that work in collaboration with community partners, to provide quality client-centered care to the individuals and families in Thunder Bay and the surrounding area.

The Creative Therapy Autism Centre, founded in 2019, was build on the same passion and commitment to serve children and families impacted by ASD in their region and offers a full menu of evidence-based services for an integrated approach.

Melanie has training in the Hanen More Than Words Program, Early Start Denver Model, and The Play Project.

Melanie is also passionate about mentoring new clinicians in the field of Speech-Language Pathology as well as offering opportunities to other students to explore the field as a potential career in order to support recruitment and retention in Northwestern Ontario.

Emily Bernie, M,Cl, Sc. SLP, Reg. CASLPO

Emily Bernie earned an Honour’s Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of British Columbia – Okanagan in Biolology and with a Masters of Clinical Science in Speech-Language Pathology from Western University in London, Ontario.

Being born and raised in Kenora, ON, Emily is no stranger to Northern ONtario! Emily has a broad range of clinical interests.

Over the past few years she has enjoyed working with adults in community, hospital, and long-term care settings with various communication and swallowing needs and disorders related to acquired brain injuries and progressive neurodegenartive disorders.

She also work with preschool and school-aged children in various speech and language needs in pre-school, school, and private practice settings.

Most recently, she has developed a strong interest working with children and families impacted by ASD. She enjoys being part of our multi disciplinary services and working through a developmental approach following a DIR framework.

Emily has been fortunate to gain experience collaborating with community members to provide culturally sensitive speech and language services to First Nations reserves in the Kenora and Thunder Bay districts.

Emily values the importance of holistic client-and-family centered care and views both clients and caregivers as partners in fostering their own / their child’s speech and language development and rehabilitation.