Susan Spitzer is a licensed occupational therapist, author, and lecturer with expertise in sensory integration, play, and autism spectrum disorders. She has operated her own private practice clinic in Pasadena, CA for 12 years. Her highly creative and individualized approach continues to energize her practice after 20 years of experience. Previously, she directed a hospital program and worked in early intervention programs and public and private schools. She is certified in sensory integration and the Interactive Metronome®. Dr. Spitzer has taught occupational therapy courses at the University of Southern California. She is a highly respected presenter for audiences within and outside of occupational therapy. Her work radiates her passion about the benefits of occupational therapy as well as the capacity for development and potentiality in all children with developmental disabilities.
Dr. Spitzer received her B.A. in psychology from Claremont McKenna College, where she conducted research on video modeling for play with children with autism and assisted in behavioral interventions. She received both her M.A. in occupational therapy and her Ph.D. in occupational science from the University of Southern California. Her doctoral research focused on understanding individual meaning in activities for children with autism. This research and training provided the foundation for her focus on using personal occupational meaning as the cornerstone for effective intervention.
Dr. Spitzer’s professional endeavors have been driven by her desire to make research more accessible and relevant to practice. Currently, she is co-editing the 4th edition of the text, Autism: A Comprehensive Occupational Therapy Approach (published by the American Occupational Therapy Association). She co-authored the text book Activity Analysis, Creativity, and Playfulness in Pediatric Occupational Therapy: Making Play Just Right, as well as chapters in other books. She has written several articles in the American Journal of Occupational Therapy as well as published in the Journal of Occupational Science and the Scandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy.
How can we assess what is personally meaningful for a child with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) if the child prefers to engage in atypical… read more
How can we engage a pediatric client’s motivation and self-direction for therapy when what the child wants to do is not what the child needs… read more
How can we help children with autism build a sensory foundation for maximal interaction/engagement with the world? Sensory needs are recognized widely as a significant… read more
How can we use Ayres Sensory Integration® for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) who present unique challenges to implementing this approach? Despite the benefits… read more