Our occupational therapists currently serve children in the home, daycare and center through the First Steps program or private pay as applicable. They provide diagnostic and therapeutic services related to children’s needs in the areas of fine motor development, hand-writing, motor planning skills, bilateral and visual coordination and sensory integration. We have specialized equipment to address concerns in these areas.

Pediatric physical therapy provides intervention aimed at promoting a child’s ability to move, function and participate in all environments. The physical therapist will analyze a child’s movement and perform a physical evaluation to diagnose the source of the child’s movement difficulties. Pediatric physical therapy promotes independence, facilitates motor development, improves strength, balance, endurance and eases challenges with daily caregiving.

Mandy Petersen

M.S. OTR/L

Mandy Petersen

M.S. OTR/L

Mandy is a 2012 graduate from Spalding University with a Masters in Occupational Therapy. She completed her undergraduate degree from Indiana University (Go Hoosiers!). Mandy is married and the proud mom to twin boys. Mandy’s sons were born early and with the help of therapy are excelling. Being a mom to preemies truly changed her perspective on therapy. Mandy has extensive experience with pediatrics and many certifications, including therapeutic listening, Size Matters Handwriting Program, AEIOU Feeding Program and many sensory courses. In her spare time, Mandy enjoys running, shopping and being with her family. She has the world’s worst dog, her Goldendoodle, Louey. Mandy is excited to be a member of The Chatter Box team and work with families to help their child reach their highest potential.

Gina Miller

M.S. OTR/L

Gina Miller

M.S. OTR/L

Gina graduated from Spalding University in 2013 with a Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy and has four years experience working at an outpatient pediatric clinic. She has three children which have taught her the importance of meeting families where they are at to help create an environment that facilitates success for the child with family-centered outcomes. Gina has completed continuing education in feeding disorders, sensory integration and processing, behavioral strategies, handwriting and self-regulation. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, traveling and being outdoors. Gina is excited about being a part of The Chatter Box team and continuing her Occupational Therapy career in pediatrics.

Bridget Carrithers

M.S. OTR/L

Bridget Carrithers

M.S. OTR/L

Bridget is a passionate practitioner who graduated with her Master’s of Occupational Therapy from Spalding University in 2020 and has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Northern Kentucky University. She had the opportunity to complete her fieldwork in the pediatric sector, working alongside knowledgeable First Steps and Outpatient therapists from multiple disciplines. Her past experiences have cultivated her skill set for pediatrics and as a Louisville local, she is thrilled to be serving her community as part of The Chatter Box team.

Melanie McAlister

M.S. OTR/L

Melanie McAlister

M.S. OTR/L

Melanie is a 1999 graduate from Medical College of Georgia with a bachelor's degree in Occupational Therapy and a 2006 graduate from Auburn University with a master's degree in Vocational Rehabilitation. She is a certified life coach and adjunct instructor at Spalding University OT program. Melanie is the proud mom to a 17 year old girl and a 9 year old boy. Melanie has extensive experience with pediatrics and developmental disabilities. She is passionate about how movement affects learning. Topics such as sensory processing, auditory processing, balance, reading comprehension, and bilateral integration are a research focus of Melanie's and she has run a camp for children honing these skills. In her spare time, Melanie enjoys reading, cooking, gardening, and spending time with her friends, family, and church family. She has a very spoiled cat named Winston. Melanie is excited to continue partnering with families and children to reach their goals and maximize their talents.

Melanie Natalie

P.T., DPT

Melanie Natalie

P.T., DPT

Melanie has been practicing physical therapy since 1995 after graduating from Northern Illinois University with a B.S. in physical therapy. In 2013, she completed a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree at the University of Kentucky. Melanie has been an adjunct professor at Bellarmine University since 2008. She has a broad base of clinical experience and knowledge in a variety of pediatric and adult settings. This experience has enabled her to treat individuals with mindfulness of the whole body throughout the lifespan. Her special interest is in postural stability/ control and respiratory function in the pediatric patient. This special focus area involves improved musculoskeletal alignment, strength and pressure generation in the core to improve all body movement and function. Melanie is a mom to 5 children and she understands the time constraints and day to day busyness of parenting. In her free time she enjoys hiking, kayaking, running, sewing and playing the drums.

Kara Vonderheide

B.S. OTR/L

Kara Vonderheide

B.S. OTR/L

Kara graduated from St. Louis University in 1997 with a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy. With 22 years experience in pediatrics, throughout her career she has worked with children with a wide range of diagnoses and abilities in inpatient rehabilitation, community re-entry, early intervention, school, and outpatient settings. She has certifications in Advanced Therapeutic Listening, Integrated Listening Systems (iLs), Interactive Metronome (IM), and IM Home with additional training in non-traditional practices of hippotherapy and aquatics. Kara has experience in the development, coordination, and execution of innovative multi-disciplinary programs that supplement core therapy services such as camps and intensives focusing on handwriting, social skills, motor coordination/ sensory processing, play skills, infant development, and fitness, among others. She enjoys mentoring student practitioners from accredited programs as well as pre-professional interns and volunteers. Kara is passionate about helping families be intentional about routines and habits that will help children and parents thrive, and has helped families achieve this through direct client service as well as parent/ school presentations, written articles, and co-hosting a podcast about therapy related topics. A Louisville native, Kara lives with her husband and three children and a series of beloved pets. In her spare time she can be found either coaching or cheering on the sidelines of a school sporting event.