Dannii Gilhome, Speech Pathologist, Director & Founder of Cheeky Monkey Speech, has been working in the field close to 15 years and has experience working in community health setting, an autism specific early intervention service and in private practice. Dannii is passionate about working alongside children and families to ensure that individualised support is provided. Dannii is a member of Speech Pathology Australia and a Certified Practicing Speech Pathologist.

Lauren Ball, Speech Pathologist has been at Cheeky Monkey since the start of 2011 and had previously worked in both mainstream and specialist school settings, as well as private practice. Lauren has experience in articulation disorders, early communication, social skills, play skills and delayed receptive and expressive language skills. Lauren enjoys working with a varied caseload including families with complex needs and autism spectrum disorder.
Lauren has developed and implemented various social skills group programs at Cheeky Monkey Speech for pre-schoolers and school age children, tailoring programs to meet the children’s needs. Lauren has attended numerous professional development and training courses including Karen Stagnitti’s ‘Play’ workshop, ‘Assessing and Teaching Social Skills’ by Alex Kelly, ‘Starting Early – Red Flags and Treatment Tips for Toddlers on the Autism Spectrum’ through Hanen Centre and a 2 day seminar by Professor Rhea Paul titled ‘Assessment and Treatment of ASD’. Lauren is a member of Speech Pathology Australia and is a Certified Practicing Speech Pathologist

Melissa Hedstrom, Speech Pathologist (currently on maternity leave) completed Ba of Speech Pathology at LaTrobe University in 2005 and has been part of the Cheeky Monkey Team since January 2012. Melissa specialises in assessing and providing therapy for preschool and early primary school children who have language delays, play and social skills difficulties and articulation disorders. Melissa also currently works part time at an early intervention service and has a wide caseload of pre-schoolers with Autism Spectrum Disorder and complex needs. Melissa worked in the UK for a short period of time in services including community health, early intervention and specialist school settings. Melissa has completed the following training: SCERTS, PECS, ‘Hanen’s It Takes Two to Talk’ and ‘More Than Words’, ‘Hanen Red Flags for Autism’ Webinar, Caroline Bowen’s training for Dyspraxia and Phonological Impairments as well as Michelle Garcia Winner’s ‘Social Thinking’. Melissa is a member of Speech Pathology Australia and a Certified Practicing Speech Pathologist.

Ruth Cahill, Speech Pathologisthas over 25 years experience. Ruth has previously worked in child and adolescent psychiatry services, early childhood development programs and for the past 16 years at an Early Childhood Intervention Service in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne working with preschool children with delays. Ruth has completed a variety of training programs including PECS training, SCERTS training; Social communication, Emotional Regulation and Transactional Support framework for Working with children with Autism and Michelle Garcia Winners ‘Social Thinking’ Masterclass. Ruth is Hanen trained completing ‘It Takes Two to Talk’, ‘More than Words’ and ‘Talkability’ and has run parent training programs over the years. Ruth is a Certified Practising Speech Pathologist and member of Speech Pathology Australia.

Cara Baker, Speech Pathologistjoined Cheeky Monkey in May, 2016 and has previously worked with preschool and school aged children in private practice across the school, kinder and home settings. Cara is passionate about working with preschool and school age children across the areas of expressive language, receptive language, articulation, literacy and social skills.
Cara has completed a number of professional development courses including Karen Stagnitti’s ‘Learn to Play’, Little Learners Love Literacy, The University of Queensland Phonological Awareness for Literacy (UQPAL), Michelle Garcia-Winner’s ‘Social Thinking’ webinar, Auslan and Cued articulation.
Cara is a member of Speech Pathology Australia and a Certified Practicing Speech Pathologist.

Georgie Johnson completed her Master of Speech at the University of Melbourne, and joined the team at Cheeky Monkey in January, 2018. Prior to starting at Cheeky Monkey Speech, she has enjoyed working across a range of settings, such as  schools, community health centres and hospitals, with both adults and children.  Georgie is passionate about working collaboratively with families and children to conduct holistic assessment, and generate client centred goals to achieve optimal outcomes. Georgie regularly attends Speech Pathology Australia’s National Conference, and has presented current research to ensure her work is founded in evidence based practice. Georgie has completed a range of professional development coursed to support her clients and families.  These courses include Lidcombe Program (for stuttering), Hanen- ‘It Takes Two to Talk’, ‘Speech Sound Disorders – Assessment and Management’ Workshop with Barbara Dodd, and ‘Functional Behaviour Analysis’ for children presenting with complex behaviours. Georgie is a member of Speech Pathology Australia as a Certified Practicing Speech Pathologist.

Fiona ZitoPractice Manager,  has been part of the team at Cheeky Monkey since July 2011. Fiona completed a Bachelor of Education (Secondary) Drama, English and Social Studies at Melbourne University and a Certificate IV in Business Administration.
She has previously worked in Marketing and Admissions Melbourne Girls Grammar and was the Director of Development and Alumni Fintona Girls School. We are very lucky to have Fiona as part of our team and love that we can use her many skills across so many areas of our clinic.

Elissa, Administration Assistant. Elissa has joined Cheeky Monkey Speech on Tuesdays and Thursdays as our part time administration assistant.  Elissa has a background in Microbiology and Pastoral Care and in 2018 is commencing a Masters in Primary and Secondary Teaching.  Elissa has three children, a husband, 2 dogs, a cat, 3 chickens and 8 goldfish.  She is looking forward to meeting the Cheeky Monkey families.

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