About Us

We emphasize working together using a transdisciplinary team approach focusing on the needs of the whole child and family. 

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Catherine Sargent MS, LMHC, LABA                                                                                                                                                          President and Lead Clinician

Catherine (Kate) is the founder and President of Sargent Child and Family Services. She has a passion for working with children and their families and believes in treating the whole child using a multidisciplinary team approach and feels strongly that all family members are important and essential members of the team and intervention. Kate has a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology, a Graduate Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis from Endicott College, and a Graduate Certificate in Early Intervention from Northeastern University. She is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, a Licensed Applied Behavior Analyst, and a Certified Early Intervention Specialist. She is also a Certified Autism Specialist in the State of Massachusetts. She worked as a Service Coordinator with families and children with a variety of needs at Step One Early Intervention in Quincy, MA for 8 years. At Step One, she co-founded the Building Connections Through Play program, which serves children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and their families. She was a Senior Research Coordinator with the TRANSCEND Research Program at MGH conducting research with children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Kate has worked as a private Behavioral Therapist and Consultant to families, school systems, and early childcare settings for over 17 years. She presents workshops and trainings to schools, early childcare settings, parent groups and other organizations in the South Shore area. Kate lives on the South Shore with her husband, son, and dog. She loves to take yoga classes, paddleboard, eat oysters, and go to the beach in her spare time.

BettyAnn Burghardt MS, BCBA                                                                                                                                                                                  Lead Clinician

BettyAnn Burghardt graduated from the University of Rhode Island in May 2010 with a BS in Business Administration, however, after firsthand experience in the business world, she learned very quickly that her true passion is working with children. BettyAnn started working at Little People's Country Daycare as an early childhood teacher for children ages three months through age five. There she developed the ability to be creative, nurturing and patient. She then began working for Sargent Child and Family Services where she learned to use the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis including concepts of reinforcement, Verbal Behavior, Discrete Trial Training, Natural Environment Training, behavior reduction and Floortime therapy. BettyAnn worked for the Preschool at Wellesley Public Schools (PAWS) in a sub-separate classroom with children ages three to six years old. At PAWS, she continued to further her knowledge and gained experience in Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program, video modeling, errorless correction procedures, Functional Communication Training, various differential reinforcement programs and task analyses to implement self-help skills and classroom routines. BettyAnn received her Master’s in Behavior Analysis at Simmons College in Boston in 2019. During her free time, BettyAnn enjoys being active with her dog, spending time with family and friends, and traveling with her husband.

Kirsten Castro M.Ed., BCBA, LABA                                                                                                                                                                        Lead Clinician

Kirsten Castro M.Ed., BCBA, LABA, received her Master of Education as a teacher of students with severe disabilities from Bridgewater State University.  She completed the Behavioral Intervention in Autism coursework through the University of Massachusetts Lowell prior to becoming a Board Certified Behavior Analyst.  Kirsten has been a special educator for over 20 years, and has experience with students who have various disabilities between the ages of 3 and 22. She previously taught in the upper elementary ASD classroom in an ABA-based program in Sharon, MA. Some of Kirsten’s strengths include using the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), functional communication, and incidental and naturalistic teaching methods.  Kirsten is a Licensed Applied Behavior Analyst (LABA) in the state of Massachusetts. Kirsten lives on the South Shore with her husband, daughter, and 2 dogs. She loves trying new restaurants, exploring new places to walk with her family and dogs, and reading in her spare time.

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Susan Nicholson MS.Ed., BCBA, LABA                                                                                                                                                                   Lead Clinician

Susan Nicholson earned her Masters of Science degree in Behavior Education from Simmons College. She is a licensed behavior analyst and has over 20 years of experience working with young children on the autism spectrum ranging from 18 months to 8 years of age. In addition to working with Sargent Child and Family Services, Susan works as a Specialty Service Provider for several Early Intervention programs in Massachusetts, where she designs and oversees home-based programs for young children in early intervention.  In addition, Susan consults and oversees home programming for families and consults to school systems, performing assessments, designing curriculum and behavior plans and providing training to home-based therapists, parents and school staff. Susan was also part of the Autism Speaks, Global Autism Public Health (GAPH) Initiative and Albanian Children's Foundation (ACF) where she created, designed and led training on ABA principles to lead Albanian educators to deliver the country's first early behavioral intervention program.  Susan lives on the South Shore with her husband and three children and enjoys spending time with her family, enjoying the outdoors and running.

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Kristen Zeoli MS.Ed., BCBA, LABA                                                                                                                                                                   Lead Clinician

Kristen Zeoli received her Master of Education in Applied Behavior Analysis from Endicott College in 2016. She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and a Licensed Applied Behavior Analyst. Kristen has been working with children with a variety of behavioral and social difficulties in both the home and school settings since 2010.  Kristen knew this field was her passion shortly after earning her bachelor’s degree in psychology, when she began working in homes as an ABA therapist and RBT. She worked as a BCBA implementing ABA therapy in school systems on the South Shore before coming to Sargent Child and Family Services. Kristen loves spend her free time with her family and friends at the beach or at her family cottage in Maine. 

Denise Morisseau MS, CCC-SLP, CEIS                                                                                                                                                         Speech-Language Pathologist

Denise Morisseau, MS CCC-SLP, CEIS received a Bachelor of Arts in French with a minor in Psychology from Westfield State College. After working for several years, Denise returned to school and obtained her Master’s degree in Speech Language Pathology from Northeastern University. She holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Denise is a Certified Early Intervention Specialist in the State of Massachusetts. She has worked for over 10 years at Step One Early Intervention. In addition to her work with the children, Denise enjoys visits in the home that allow her to collaborate with families. Using a wholistic approach Denise considers not only speech, language and communication issues but how other factors may impact them. Denise lives in the South Shore with her husband, two children, their cat and their fish. In her free time Denise enjoys spending time at the beach, reading, and spending time with her family.

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Kathleen May MS, OTR/L                                                                                                                                                                          Occupational Therapist

Kate May is a licensed and certified occupational therapist with over 17 years of experience working with children within the school setting, Pre-K-5th grade.  She earned her Bachelor of Science in Dietetics from the University of Vermont and her Masters Degree in Occupational Therapy from Tufts University.  Kate has extensive experience working with children with a variety of disabilities including; Autism Spectrum Disorder, fine motor delays, visual perceptual delays, developmental delays, and Sensory Processing Dysfunction.  Kate is passionate about working with children and utilizing their natural curiosity to create meaningful and individualized treatment plans. Kate lives on the South Shore with her husband and three children. 

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Elizabeth Randall MA                                                                                                                                                                          Music Therapist

Elizabeth (Libby) Randall received a Bachelor of Arts in psychology and music performance from Providence College. While studying abroad in London, Libby worked with children ages of 13-22 with various emotional, behavioral and special needs using the arts as a form of therapy. After graduating Providence, Libby obtained her Masters in mental health counseling with a concentration in music therapy from Lesley University. She has worked at Step One Early Intervention for three years, where she serves children with various needs and their families. Libby uses her music to achieve non-musical goals such as increased attention span, following directions, receptive and expressive communication goals and social skills. She values the work she does in the family system and strives to provide a safe space for children and their families to explore and learn through music. Libby enjoys spending time with her family and friends and hopes to one day eat at every restaurant in Boston!


Kayla Rawcliffe BA                                                                                                                                                                                    Therapist

Kayla Rawcliffe graduated from Curry College in May of 2012 with a Bachelor’s degree in Child Youth and Community with a concentration in Early Care, and a minor in Psychology. During college, Kayla had the opportunity to work with a variety of different ages from infant/toddler to preschool. She also volunteered at an Early Intervention program where she participated in a variety of groups, and home visits. After graduation, she was introduced to ABA, discrete trials, incidental teaching, and behavior management while working with a family with three children with special needs. Kayla has been providing home-based services for children with Autism using multiple approaches to ABA since 2013. She currently works for Heights Elementary school in Sharon as an ASD assistant in addition to her work with Sargent Child and Family Services. In her free time, Kayla enjoys outdoor activities, spending time with her family and friends, her boyfriend Kevin, and their dog Louie. 

Karen DeMartino M.Ed.                                                                                                                                                                                    Senior Therapist

Karen DeMartino M.Ed. received her Master’s in Education from Cambridge College.  She has worked in the field of education for the past 20 years in a variety of different settings; including as a kindergarten teacher, gym teacher, and providing academic support at both the middle/high school levels. Karen has also worked as a behavior therapist in several sub-separate and inclusion-based classrooms.  She has been working for the past 7 years as a home-based ABA therapist with several families across the South Shore.  She brings a wealth of experience to her practice as an ABA therapist and is always continuing to develop as an educator. Karen lives on the South Shore with her two sons and loves to walk the beach each morning. She also enjoys yoga, hiking, traveling and exploring different countries.

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Katie O’Brien BS                                                                                                                                                                                    Therapist

Katie O’Brien graduated from Bridgewater State University in 2016 with a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work and minor in Psychology. During her time at Bridgewater, she had the opportunity to intern in Quincy Public Schools for 3 years in a middle school guidance office. She then went on to accept a job at the same middle school as a one-to-one paraprofessional in a sub-separate classroom. In 2017, she began working at Sharon Public Schools as an Instructional Assistant in one of their sub-separate programs which is an ABA based program. It was here she began to learn about ABA, incidental teaching and other ABA based teaching. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, going to the beach, and reading.

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Rita Larkin BA, LSW                                                                                                                                                                                    Therapist

Rita Larkin, LSW, received her bachelors in Sociology with a concentration in Education from Bridgewater State University in 2015. Throughout her undergraduate career, she worked in various settings including the home, school, and community providing direct care for children and adolescents with special needs. Originally from upstate NY, Rita spent several summers as a summer school aide in special education classrooms; provided home based respite care at Springbrook community services, and upon moving to Massachusetts, began working at Cardinal Cushing Schools as a residential life skills counselor. By working congruently with other professional providers in the child’s care team, she was able to exercise her therapeutic dexterity and knowledge to best provide direction, support and advocacy for children and families. Most recently, Rita obtained her LSW from the National Association of Social Work Boards, practicing as a health Services Care manager for aging adults in the community at Mystic Valley Elder Services. She is committed to supporting individuals where they are with effective treatment goals and opportunities to foster their potential to succeed in their homes and communities. Rita is currently working towards obtaining her RBT. Rita enjoys knitting, reading, dancing and date nights with her husband, Billy. 

Merissa Wright BA, Music Therapist