Susan Osborne is the Executive Director of Autism Unites. Susan is passionate about finding solutions to the challenges faced by adults with autism spectrum disorders after they transition from high school. Out of a need to support her own son she founded Full Spectrum Life Coaching, a company which helps young men and women with ASD and non-verbal learning challenges reach their goals in employment and social interactions. Full Spectrum also supports them in active participation in community-based activities focused on health, fitness, leisure, and recreation suited to their sensory preferences and centered on their special interests.
Susan has been professionally employed in the autism education field in the West Los Angeles area for nearly ten years. Her roles have included Principal of Gilbert Hall School, a school for elementary and middle-aged students with autism that incorporated the Relationship Development Intervention program, and as Program Director of the College Internship Program Long Beach, a residential support facility for young adults with autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, and non-verbal learning challenges. She opened the center, hired and trained the entire staff, and developed innovative curriculum in executive functioning, career development, social thinking, and sensory integration. Several her ideas were implemented by the company for use it their five nationwide sites located in Massachusetts, Indiana, New York, Florida, and Berkeley, California.
Susan’s deep interest in the issues affecting individuals with autism started when her son Jacob was diagnosed with autism at age 3. He recently graduated with a diploma from public high school and is currently attending community college and starting an internship at Rover Kennel in Culver City.
Susan shares her experiences as the parent to a young adult on the autism spectrum in her blog, “Taking the Awe out of Autism”. Her posts have been featured in the Autism Speaks blog In Their Own Words and on the website Autism Support Network. Susan is a contributing writer for the website, Moms LA, and was a featured writer in The Johns Hopkins University Press publication Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics in the article “Narrative Symposium: Parenting Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders During the Transition to Adulthood” published in Winter 2012.