What our families are saying:
"The therapists here are wonderful and very caring."
Lauren Marshall M.S., Ed. is a graduate of Salem State University with a degree in Elementary Education and Psychology, and has been with Peer Projects - Therapy from the Heart since 2011. She recently earned her Masters as a Reading Specialist through Gordon College. Lauren started her career with children about 10 years ago as a Preschool Lead Teacher at Majestic Harbor Community School in Gloucester while working towards her B.A. She has been a substitute teacher in all elementary grades for Gloucester and Beverly public schools. Lauren also lived in Florida for a short period of time where she worked as a substitute teacher in all elementary and middle schools in Orlando. Lauren has worked as a Head Start teacher at Pathways for Children in Gloucester, as a third grade teacher at St. Ann School, also in Gloucester, and as a first grade teacher at Sacred Heart School in Lynn. She was introduced to Peer Projects through a training she attended while working at Pathways. This year she is very excited to work full-time here at PPTFTH as a reading tutor, social group leader, and also helping out in the office.
Lizz Restrepo holds a B.A., majoring in Psychology and Sociology, from the University of Massachusetts-Boston. She has worked with various populations but holds the most experience with young children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Lizz was able to gain previous experience collaborating with multidisciplinary teams during her time at Northeast Arc-Building Blocks Program. During her time there, she held the role of autism service provider and later on transitioned into team supervisor for the Central Middlesex region of the program. Lizz then found The FUSE Program and Preschool in Lexington, MA where she gained experience with Relationship Development Intervention (RDI) philosophies and techniques, the Zones of Regulation, and used the Social Thinking curriculum. While at FUSE, she was a lead preschool teacher, and led 1:1, dyads and social groups after school. For the past two summers Lizz also has worked at the FUSE summer camp as a lead counselor. Lizz is very excited to currently be in training to become an RDI Consultant, and looks forward to learning more on how she can better support the families she works with. In her spare time she enjoys volunteering for a Special Olympics program, coaching swimming during the school year and boating during the summer. Lizz joined our team in August 2016 and could not be happier to be part of Peer Projects - Therapy from the Heart. She looks forward to collaborating with everyone!
Marlena Simoes M.Ed. has worked with children with diverse needs for over 10 years, and has been with Peer Projects - Therapy from the Heart since 2010. Currently Marlena works as an Inclusion Specialist in a public school. She is passionate about her job of meeting children’s individual needs and supporting them both socially and academically in the mainstream environment. Marlena feels strongly that all children want to succeed and can succeed with the right supports in place. She has earned her Master’s Degree from Endicott College with a focus on Special Education and Applied Behavior Analysis. She feels a combined approach is the best approach when working with children with diverse needs. She feels fortunate to work with such a talented group at Peer Projects - Therapy from the Heart. She is continuously learning new things here, not only from the staff but also from the children!
Sean Patrick Walsh A.A.S. first began working with children 8 years ago, as a teacher’s assistant at an elementary school, while earning a degree in Architectural Engineering. From there he became an after-school program instructor throughout several public and private schools on the north shore, teaching kids (K-6), engineering and physics concepts using LEGO. To better assist some of the children with special needs who joined these programs, he attended The Interdisciplinary Council on Developmental and Learning Disorders training on the DIR Floortime® model, earning his first certificate. As his passion for helping children grew, he connected up with The FUSE Program and Preschool in Lexington, MA, where he was trained in and applied Relationship Development Intervention® (RDI) and Social Thinking® strategies. There, he gained experience as a camp counselor, 1:1 aide, home provider and eventually a lead classroom teacher. While teaching in the preschool, he earned his second certificate in DIR Foortime® from the ICDL. He also currently co-runs the sports program SCORRE, working as coach. Sean joined Peer Projects Therapy from the Heart in the fall of 2015 and is now with us 20 hours a week running groups (including our new social pragmatics LEGO® group on Fridays at 3:30!), seeing individual clients, and helping out in many ways behind the scenes. Look for our weekly quote board in the waiting room. This is just one of Sean's many contributions! Sean is thrilled to work and learn from the amazing staff and children he sees at PPTFTH.