You can be confident that your therapist is trained and qualified.
Chatterbox prides itself on the diverse educational backgrounds, knowledge bases, and areas of expertise of its therapy staff.
Some therapists hold honours and masters degrees, while others possess specialized training and certification in a variety of areas.
The Story of Chatterbox!
Chatterbox was created in 2004 by Melissa De Matteo. Melissa's educational background includes a Bachelor of Health Science with honours and a Masters in Speech Pathology.
During her University years, Melissa spent much of her time volunteering for St Johns Ambulance and The Australian Red Cross. Melissa held a highly coveted position on the Executive Board of the Australia Red Cross Victoria branch for 6 years and gained invaluable business skills as well as knowledge and needs of the community. She has many awards to her name including being a semi finalist for Young Australia of the Year in 2001 for her community work, more specifically developing a program that promoted young adults to volunteer their time for many different areas, including tutoring refugee children. The program was so successful if was taken up nationally by all branches of the Red Cross within Australia.
Other accomplishments to her name was being acknowledged by the Premier of Victoria in 2002 with a Premiers Community Service Award and also acknowledged at government house with two National Service awards. As she began to work and concentrate on her chosen career as a Speech Pathologist she decided to try some work in country Victoria as this allowed her to work in every area of Speech Pathology. She settled in adult acute work at The Royal Melbourne Hospital while still seeing private paediatric clients. She settled into paediatrics on a part time basis and then moved into full time as she knew working with children and their families was where she was meant to be.
The creation of Chatterbox was due to the absence of services available to children with special needs back in the early 2000's. Kinder teachers relied on the early intervention system but at that stage there was an18 month wait to see a therapist in the Banyule area. There was also a lack of private practitioners who had experience with dealing with complex children including children with an ASD.
Melissa would receive referrals from Paediatrcians asking for assistance with diagnosis and treatment of their clients. Melissa started on her own and slowly the business built and is now one the largest and well known clinics in Melbourne. The Bundoora clinic was also an aspiration for Melissa and now it is a reality.
The large complex has a gross motor gym, full size classroom, sensory room, feeding room and therapy rooms. Melissa's expertise is in complex diagnostic cases and treatment of complex clients, especially 18 months onward. She leads a large team of Speech Pathologists and Occupational Therapists who share the same dedicated and enthusiasm in their work. In 2014, Melissa created The Prepare Program. Along with her team, the developed what they believed was a gap in therapy - a full day therapy program that fast tracked high functioning special needs children to be ready for Prep.
Melissa's vision is to provide the very best holistic care for all children.