ABOUT

Dr. Susan Spitzer is a licensed occupational therapist, regulated by the California Board of Occupational Therapy, with over 20 years of experience. She has operated her private practice clinic for over 14 years. Her play-based approach is highly creative and individually tailored. Susan is passionate about the benefits of occupational therapy as well as the capacity for development and potentiality in all individuals. Her practice focuses on children with various developmental differences such as learning disorders, autism spectrum disorders, ADHD, and sensory processing/integration disorders.

Dr. Spitzer received her B.A. in psychology from Claremont McKenna College and both her M.A. in occupational therapy and her Ph.D. in occupational science from the University of Southern California. She has co-created 2 books; is internationally published; and has written on autism, sensory integration, learning disabilities, play, and occupational therapy. She was adjunct clinical faculty at the University of Southern California. Susan is certified in sensory integration and assisted in developing and teaching clinical courses on sensory integration offered throughout the U.S. and abroad. She is also certified to use the Interactive Metronome® and Integrated Listening Systems.

• View her courses on-line through MedBridge.
• Watch Susan Spitzer administering sensory testing on episode 4 of Disney’s Explored video: “Sense”
• Follow Susan’s research on ResearchGate

PROFESSIONAL PUBLICATIONS:

      Clark, F. (with Gordon, D., Mandel, D., McDannel, R., McDonald, A., Meltzer, P., Scroggins, B., Spitzer, S., & Young, B.) (1997). Occupational Science. In P. Crist & C. B. Royeen (Eds.) Infusing occupation into practice: Comparison of three clinical approaches in occupational therapy (Proceedings of the Education Special Interest Section of the American Occupational Therapy Association, 1996) (pp. 13-17, 30-34, 40-43, 51-52, 57-59, 101-11). Bethesda, MD: American Occupational Therapy Association.
      Kuhaneck, H.M., Spitzer, S. L., & Miller, E. (2010). Activity Analysis, Creativity, and Playfulness in Pediatric Occupational Therapy: Making Play Just Right. Boston, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers, LLC.
      Lillas, C., TenPas, H., Crowley, C., & Spitzer, S.L. (2018). Improving regulation skills for increased participation for individuals with ASD. In R. Watling and S.L. Spitzer (Eds)., Autism Across the Lifespan: A Comprehensive Occupational Therapy Approach (4th Edition, pp. 319-338). Bethesda, MD: AOTA press.
      Parham, L.D., Cohn, E.S., Spitzer, S., Koomar, J.A., Miller, L.J., Burke, J.P., Brett-Green, B., Mailloux, Z., May-Benson, T.A., Smith Roley, S., Schaaf, R.C., Schoen, S.A., & Summers, C.A. (2007). Fidelity in Sensory Integration Intervention Research. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 61, 216-227.
      Spitzer, S. (2017, July 3). How to Make Therapeutic Work Fun for Pediatric Clients.
      Spitzer, S. (2017, October 10). Restricted Interests in Children with ASD: Deficits or Strengths?
      Spitzer, S.L., & Bodison, S.C. (2018). Motor and praxis differences in individuals with ASD. In R. Watling and S.L. Spitzer (Eds)., Autism Across the Lifespan: A Comprehensive Occupational Therapy Approach (4th Edition, pp. 35-58). Bethesda, MD: AOTA press.
      Spitzer, S.L., & Watling, R. (2018). Regulation and psychosocial differences in individuals with ASD. In R. Watling and S.L. Spitzer (Eds)., Autism Across the Lifespan: A Comprehensive Occupational Therapy Approach (4th Edition, pp. 83-101). Bethesda, MD: AOTA press.
      Spitzer, S. L. (1999, June). Dynamic systems theory: Relevance to the theory of sensory integration and the study of occupation. Sensory Integration Special Interest Section Quarterly, 22, 1-4.
      Spitzer, S. L. (2003). Using participant observation to study the occupations of young children with autism and other developmental disabilities. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 57(1), 66-76.
      Spitzer, S. L. (2003). With and without words: Exploring occupation in relation to young children with autism. Journal of Occupational Science, 10 (2), 67-79.
      Spitzer, S. L. (2004). Common and Uncommon Daily Activities in Individuals with Autism: Challenges and Opportunities for Supporting Occupation. In H. Miller-Kuhaneck (Ed.), Autism: A Comprehensive Occupational Therapy Approach (2nd ed., pp. 83-106). Bethesda, MD: American Occupational Therapy Association.
Spitzer, S. L. (2008). Play in children with autism: Structure and experience. In L. D. Parham & L. S. Fazio (Eds.), Play in Occupational Therapy for Children (2nd ed., pp. 351-374). St. Louis, MO: Mosby Elsevier.
     Spitzer, S. L. (2010). Common and Uncommon Daily Activities in Children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder: Challenges and Opportunities for Supporting Occupation. In H. Miller Kuhaneck & R. Watling (Eds.), Autism: A Comprehensive Occupational Therapy Approach(3rd ed., pp. 203-233). Bethesda, MD: American Occupational Therapy Association.
     Spitzer, S., Parham, L.D., Mailloux, Z., & Huecker, E.M. (1998). Statement: Occupational therapy for individuals with learning disabilities. Reference Manual of the Official Documents of the American Occupational Therapy Association (pp. 357-370). Bethesda, MD: American Occupational Therapy Association. {also published in American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 52, 874-880}
     Spitzer, S. L., & Smith, S.S. (2001). Sensory integration revisited: A philosophy of practice. In S. Smith Roley, E. I. Blanche, & R. Schaaf (Eds.), Understanding the nature of sensory integration with diverse populations (pp. 3-27). San Antonio, TX: Therapy Skill Builders.
     Spitzer, S., Smith Roley, S., Clark, F., & Parham, D. (1996). Sensory integration: Current trends in the United States. Scandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 3, 123-138.
     Watling, R. & Spitzer, S.L. (2018). Addressing behaviors that interfere with participation for individuals with ASD. In R. Watling and S.L. Spitzer (Eds)., Autism Across the Lifespan: A Comprehensive Occupational Therapy Approach (4th Edition, pp. 339-360). Bethesda, MD: AOTA press.
     Watling, R., & Spitzer, S.L. (Eds). (2018). Autism Across the Lifespan: A Comprehensive Occupational Therapy Approach (4th Edition). Bethesda, MD: AOTA press.
Watling, R., & Spitzer, S.L. (2018). Establishing Comprehensive and Individually Relevant Occupational Therapy Practice with Individuals with ASD. In R. Watling and S.L. Spitzer (Eds)., Autism Across the Lifespan: A Comprehensive Occupational Therapy Approach (4th Edition, pp. xxiii-xxxv). Bethesda, MD: AOTA press.

Autism Across the Lifespan
Edited by Renee Watling, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA and Susan L. Spitzer, PhD, OTR/L

Activity Analysis, Creativity, and Playfulness in Pediatric Occupational Therapy
by Heather Miller Kuhaneck, Susan L. Spitzer, Elissa Miller

PROFESSIONAL AWARDS/HONORS:

• Cordelia Myers Writer’s Award
Awarded by the American Occupational Therapy Association May 21, 2004, Minneapolis, MN

• Developmental Science Workshop, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, May 1998. Participant, competitive selection. Multidisciplinary research institute funded by the Office of Behavioral Research at NIH and the National Institute of Nursing Research to promote research with children.