- Education:BA in Psychology, Carleton College
MA in Clinical/Developmental Psychology, University of Illinois at Chicago
PhD in Clinical/Developmental Psychology, University of Illinois at Chicago
NIH Post-Doctoral Fellow, Waisman Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison
- Website or Lab: Families & Autism Research Lab
Scholarly, Research, and/or Practice Interests
Dr. Orsmond is a developmental and clinical psychologist who conducts research to understand how the family, social, community, and school contexts are crucial to the development and well-being of adolescents and adults on the autism spectrum. Her main areas of research are:
- Social and community participation of individuals on the autism spectrum
- Promoting positive transition to adulthood for individuals on the autism spectrum
- Sibling and family relationships in the context of developmental disabilities
Orsmond’s research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, including the NIA, NICHD, and NIMH. She has current funding from the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences. Orsmond is a Fellow of Division 33 (Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities/Autism Spectrum Disorder) of the American Psychological Association and is a past president of the Division.
Sargent Core Curriculum
SAR HP151: Introduction to Health Professions
Through readings, discussion and written work, we explore the functions of the health and rehabilitation disciplines. An introduction to the health care system and social impact of health and disability is also considered especially with respect to allocation of resources to improve outcomes. Effective Fall 2018, this course fulfills a single unit in the following BU Hub area: Oral and/or Signed Communication. (Credits: 2)
Entry-level OTD courses
SAR OT500: Integrative Seminar I and LIFW
This graduate course in occupational therapy is the first integrative seminar in a 4-seminar sequence designed to enhance clinical reasoning processes by integrating knowledge from previous educational and work experiences with current courses and weekly fieldwork experiences. Using problem-based case scenarios, class discussion, classroom activities, fieldwork experiences and reflective journaling this seminar focuses on learning the foundations for professional socialization, group processes, therapeutic relationships, ethical practice and other professional issues for working with persons and populations of all ages with a variety of needs for occupational therapy services. Self-directed, collaborative learning and class participation are essential aspects of this seminar. (Credits: 2)
SAR OT529: Occupation Across the Life Course
This course examines current theory and research related to the development of human occupation throughout the life course. Human development is viewed from occupation-based and ecological perspectives, emphasizing the inextricable links among person, environment, and occupation. The performance of activities of daily living, instrumental activities of daily living, work/education, play/leisure, and social participation, especially as potentially affected by health and disability, will be examined across the life course. Students are required to observe, interpret, and describe occupational performance, and to apply relevant theories and constructs to understand the development of human occupation. Students will begin to develop a base of knowledge about different types, administration, and interpretation of assessment methods and measures. (Credits: 4)
SAR OT570: Special Topics in Occupational Therapy
Advanced study in a selected area of occupational therapy theory or practice. Specific topic announced in the semester offered. Seminar and/or supervised laboratory study as appropriate to the particular topic. (Credits: Var)
SAR OT904: Thesis Proposal Development
Under the guidance of a faculty mentor, the student develops a written research proposal. (Credits: Var)
PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences courses
SAR RS650: Foundations of Rehabilitation Sciences
This course provides an overview of the field of rehabilitation science and an introduction to the social constructs of disability with an emphasis on bio-psycho-social-environmental models of the enabling-disabling process across the life course. The historical, philosophical and theoretical foundations of Rehabilitation Science and the evolution of laws and policies related to rehabilitation that inform the ethical, funding, and social implications of rehabilitation research are analyzed. The course will also provide an in-depth understanding of person-environment interactions and the link between biomedical factors and community participation. (Credits: 2)
SAR RS750: Research Design
This course serves as an introduction into research designs relevant to rehabilitation science. The first set of sessions provides the background and framework for understanding the reasoning behind different research designs. The remaining sessions focus on various categories of research designs, the types of research questions these designs address, and the types of data analyses that are appropriate to the designs. The course content is integrated with the content students received in Philosophy of Rehabilitation Science. Format of sessions are lecture, discussion, and experiential. Student assignments are individualized to student areas of mentored research. Student presentations are integrated into the topics presented according to the class schedule. (Credits: 4)
SAR RS890: Doctoral Seminar in Rehabilitation Sciences
This seminar allows for a discussion of topics of interest to doctoral-level students in the PhD program in Rehabilitation Sciences, and is designed to provide insight in 1) curricular aspects of the PhD program, 2) mentor-mentee relationship, 3) skills necessary for PhD graduates entering the field of rehabilitation sciences with a research doctorate, and 4) interdisciplinary nature of the field of rehabilitation. This course enhances the student's ability to successfully complete the PhD program by working on skills needed to write and critically review IRB proposals, research manuscripts and research grant proposals, to outline ethical dilemmas in research, to formulate and disseminate a line of inquiry, and to distinguish various career paths. Literature addressing these issues will be used throughout to illustrate the arguments. (Credits: Var)
Post-professional online education courses
SAR OT930: Doctoral Project
This is an on-line graduate course in the post-professional OTD program. Concurrent with each full semester (fall, spring, summer) in the OTD program, students register for one credit of the Doctoral Project. In the fourth semester of the program, students register for 3 credits of the Doctoral Project course. The Doctoral Project is organized around the student's proposed innovation in practice. It is in the form of a series of qualifying tasks, each of which represents a critical phase of the proposal. Guidance in the doctoral project will be through a combination of three elements: Faculty advising and mentorship, peer mentorship and a.Circle of Advisors composed of a minimum of two professionals with content expertise in the doctoral project. The project outcomes include: Description of a short-coming, gap or specific need in the student's area of practice; compilation of a theoretical and evidence base to support the proposed project; description of the proposed program; evaluation plan; funding plan; dissemination plan; executive summary and Fact Sheet. (1 credit each full semester until completed, 3 credits in the final semester - a minimum of 6 credits) (Credits: Var)
- Chen, J., Cohn, E.S., & Orsmond, G.I. (2018). Parents’ future visions for their autistic transition-age youth: Hopes and expectations. Autism: The International Journal of Research and Practice. E-pub ahead of print. doi: 10.1177/1362361318812141.
- Orsmond, I., & Fulford, D.R. (2018). Adult siblings who have a brother or sister with autism: Between-family and within-family variations in sibling relationships. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 48, 4090–4102. doi: 10.1007/s10803-018-3669-8.
- Lussenhop, a., Mesiti, LA., Cohn, E.S., Orsmond, I., Goss, J., Reich, C., Osipow, A., Pirri, K., & Lindgren-Streicher, A. (2016). Social participation of families with children with autism spectrum disorder in a science museum. Museums & Social Issues, 11, 122-137. doi: 10.1080/15596893.2016.1214806
- Orsmond, G.I., & Cohn, E.S. (2015). The distinctive features of a feasibility study: Objectives and guiding questions. Occupational Therapy Journal of Research: Occupation, Participation, & Health, 35, 169–177. doi: 10.1177/1539449215578649.
- Kuo, M.H., Orsmond, G.I., Coster, W.J., & Cohn, E.S. (2014). Media use among adolescents with autism spectrum disorder. Autism: The International Journal of Research and Practice, 18, 914-923. Doi: 10.1177/1362361313497832.
- Orsmond, G.I., Shattuck, P.T., Cooper, B.P, Sterzing, P.R., & Anderson, K.A. (2013). Social participation among young adults with an autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 43, 2710–2719. doi: 10.1007/s10803-013-1833-8
- Kuo, H.Y., Orsmond, G.I., Cohn, E.S., & Coster, W.J. (2013). Friendship characteristics and activity patterns of adolescents with an autism spectrum disorder. Autism: The International Journal of Research and Practice, 17, 481-500. doi: 10.1177/1362361311416380.
- Kramer, J.M., Coster, W.J., Kao, Y-C, Snow, A., Orsmond, G., & Moed, R. (2012). A new approach to the measurement of adaptive behavior: Development of the PEDI-CAT for children and youth with autism spectrum disorders. Physical & Occupational Therapy in Pediatrics, 32, 34-47. doi: 10.3109/01942638.2011.606260
- Shattuck, P.T, Orsmond, G.I., Wagner, M., & Cooper, B.P. (2011). Participation in social activities among adolescents with an autism spectrum disorder. PLoS ONE, 6(11), e27176. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0027176
- Orsmond, G.I., & Kuo, H.Y. (2011). The daily lives of adolescents with an autism spectrum disorder: Discretionary time use and activity partners. Autism: The International Journal of Research and Practice, 15, 579-599. doi:10.1177/1362361310386503.
- Barker, E. T., Hartley, S. L., Seltzer, M. M., Floyd, F. J., Greenberg, J. S., & Orsmond, G. I. (2011). Trajectories of emotional well-being in mothers of adolescents and adults with autism. Developmental Psychology, 47, 551-561. doi: 10.1037/a0021268
- Lin, L.Y., Orsmond, G.I., Coster, W.J., & Cohn, E.C. (2010). Families of adolescents and adults with autism spectrum disorders in Taiwan: The role of social support and coping in family adaptation and maternal well-being. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 5, 144-156. doi:10.1016/j.rasd.2010.03.004
- Hartley, S.L., Barker, E.T., Seltzer, M.M., Floyd, F.J., Orsmond, G.I., Greenberg, J.S., & Bolt, D. (2010). The relative risk and timing of divorce in families of children with an autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Family Psychology, 24, 449-457. doi: 10.1037/a0019847
- Orsmond, G.I., & Long, K. (in press). Family impact and adjustment: Siblings. In L.M. Glidden (Ed.). American Psychological Association handbook of intellectual and developmental disabilities. Washington, D.C.: APA.
- Seltzer, M.M., Greenberg, J.S., Taylor, J.L., Smith, L., Orsmond, G.I., Esbensen, A., & Hong, J. (2011). Adolescents and adults with autism spectrum disorders. In D.G Amaral, G. Dawson, & D.H. Geschwind (Eds.), Autism spectrum disorders (pp. 241-252). New York: Oxford University Press.
- Seltzer, M. M., Greenberg, J. S., Orsmond, G.I., Lounds, J., & Smith, M. J. (2008). Unanticipated lives: Inter- and intra-generational relationships in families with children with disabilities. In A. Booth, A.C. Crouter, S. Bianchi, & J.A. Seltzer (Eds.) Caring and exchange within and across generations (pp. 233-242). Washington, DC: Urban Institute Press.
- Ideishi, R.I., Cohn, E.S., Orsmond, G.I., Wintrol, J., Whalen, M.L., Nickolaus, S., Swanson, J., & Siegel, B. (2013). Sensory Friendly Programming for People with Social and Cognitive Challenges: A Guide for Performing Arts Settings. New York, NY: John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
- Jensen, A.C., Lieber, M.L., & Orsmond, G.I. (2019, May). Young adults’ sibling relationships: The role of parental differential treatment and the broader autism phenotype. Paper presented at the International Society for Autism Research Annual Meeting, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
- Lieber, M., Jensen, A.C., & Orsmond, G. (2019, May). Sibling contact and young adults’ well-being: The moderating role of the broader autism phenotype. Poster presented at the International Society for Autism Research Annual Meeting, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
- Chen, J., Orsmond, G.I., & Cohn, E.S. (2019, May). Integrating family concerns in school transition preparation for diploma-track youth with autism spectrum disorder. Poster presented at the International Society for Autism Research Annual Meeting, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
- Orsmond, G.I. (2018, August). Autism through adolescence and adulthood: Social, school, and community contexts. Division 33 (IDD/ASD) Presidential Address. American Psychological Association Annual Convention. San Francisco, CA.
- Orsmond, G.I., Cohn, E.S., & Coster, W.J. (2018, May). Understanding the contribution of anxiety to school functioning in transition-age youth with high functioning autism spectrum disorder. Paper presented at the World Federation of Occupational Therapists Congress, Cape Town, South Africa.
- Orsmond, G.I., Cohn, E.S., Coster, W.J., Munsell, E., & Wong, J. (2018, May). The need for occupational therapists to develop programs and supports for high school students with autism spectrum disorder. Poster presented at the World Federation of Occupational Therapists Congress, Cape Town, South Africa.
- Jensen, A.C., & Orsmond, G.I. (2018, May). Broader autism phenotype characteristics and young adults’ sibling support. Poster presented at the International Society for Autism Research Annual Meeting, Rotterdam, Netherlands.
- Wong, J.S., & Orsmond, G.I. (2017, June). Positive and negative employment experiences of adults with autism spectrum disorder: Employers’ perspectives. Poster presented at the Occupational Therapy Research Summit of Scholars, Boston, MA
- Orsmond, G.I. (2016, June). Autism across the lifespan: Recent research and implications for China. Keynote address at The 2nd China Rehabilitation Forum, Chengdu, China.
- Orsmond, G.I., (2016, June). Autism across the lifespan: Recent research and implications for China. Symposium presentation at Beijing Rehabilitation Hospital, Beijing, China.
- Orsmond, G.I., Wong, J., Coster, W.J., Cohn, E.S., Erspamer, B.* & Haver, C.E.* (2016, March). The focus of educational goals for transition-age youth receiving special education services. Poster presented at the Gatlinburg Conference on Research and Theory in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, San Diego, CA.
- Orsmond, G.I., & Cohn, E.S. (2015, August). Distinctive features of a feasibility study: A social intervention for youth with autism using video. Poster presented at the American Psychological Association Annual Convention, Toronto, Canada.
- Rajabiun, S., Orsmond, G.I., Grossman, X., Blenner, S., Fernandez-Pastrana, I., & Augustyn, M. (2015, May). Understanding and sharing an autism spectrum disorder diagnosis: Perspectives of diverse families participating in a family navigation program. Poster presented at the International Meeting for Autism Research, Salt Lake City, UT
- Cohn, E.S., Orsmond, G.I., Boris, A., Pirri, K., Reich, C., Lussenhop, C., Mesiti, L.A., Lindgren-Streicher, A. & Goss, J. (2015, April). Community participation experiences of families with a child with ASD: Factors associated with parents’ descriptions of a successful museum visit. Paper presented at the Occupational Therapy Summit of Scholars, Los Angeles, CA.
Current Funded Research
- U.S. Department of Education (Institute of Education Sciences) R324A160113. Transition Outcomes of High Functioning Students with Autism: How and When Students Learn the Skills Necessary for Self-Management of Daily Responsibilities. PI: Gael Orsmond (Co-PI: Wendy Coster). 2016-2020. Total amount: $1,578,509
- NIH/NIMH R34 MH111489 & R34 MH111489-01S1 (Diversity supplement). Engaging Siblings of Adults with Autism in Future Planning. MPI: Gael Orsmond (MPI: Kristin Long; Diversity trainee: Monica Gordillo). 2017-2020. Total Amount: $877,315
- Dudley Allen Sargent Research Fund (internal), College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences: Sargent College, Boston University. Transition Outcomes of Youth with Social, Emotional, and Cognitive Disabilities. PI: Gael Orsmond. 2014-2016. Total Amount: $6070.
- Deborah Munroe Noonan Memorial Research Fund. The VIP Intervention: Using Video Self-Reflection to Enhance Social Well-Being for Adolescents with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. PI: Gael Orsmond. 2012-2014. Total Amount: $80,000
- NIH/NICHD R21 HD06528. Computer Adaptive Testing of Adaptive Behavior of Children and Youth with Autism. Co-I: Gael Orsmond (PI: Wendy Coster). 2009-2013. Total Amount: $284,374
- NIH/NIA R01 AG008768. Impacts of Parenting Adolescents and Adults with Autism. Co-I: Gael Orsmond. Sub-project PI (2005-2012): Gael Orsmond (PI: Marsha Mailick). 2000-2012. Total Subcontract to Boston University: $699,247
- Dudley Allen Sargent Research Fund (internal), College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences: Sargent College, Boston University. Understanding Friendships of Adolescents with an Autism Spectrum Disorder: In Their Own Voices. PI: Gael Orsmond (Co-PI: Ellen Cohn). 2009-2011. Total Amount: $6995
- NIH/NICHD R03 HD039185. Adolescent Siblings of Brothers or Sisters with Autism. PI: Gael Orsmond. 2003-2006. Total Amount: $100,000
Special Positions, Honors, & Awards
- Editorial Board, Autism: The International Journal of Research and Practice. 2019-current.
- Editorial Review Board, American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. 2018-current.
- Chair, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) Clinical Study Oversight Committee (for R01). 2017-current.
- Chair, Deborah Munroe Noonan Memorial Research Fund Review Committee, Boston, MA. 2017-2019.
- President, Division 33 (IDD/ASD), American Psychological Association. 2017-2018.
- Convention Program Chair, Division 33 (IDD/ASD), American Psychological Association Annual Convention, Washington, DC. 2016-2017.
- Selected Participant, American Psychological Association Leadership Institute for Women in Psychology. 2015-2016.
- Fellow, Division 33 (IDD/ASD), American Psychological Association. 2015.
- Invited Reviewer, NICHD Intellectual and Developmental Disability Research Centers (U54 IDDRCs). 2015.
- Panel Member, NICHD CHHD Initial Review Group: Health, Behavior, and Context Subcommittee. 2011-2015.
- Associate Editor, American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. 2011-2014.
- Invited Reviewer, Intervention Research Grants, American Occupational Therapy Foundation. 2013.
- Invited Reviewer, Autism Speaks Treatment Grant Application Review Committee. 2013.
- Invited Reviewer, NICHD Special Emphasis Panel/Scientific Review Group: Academic Community Partnership Conference Series. 2010-2011.
- Invited Reviewer, NICHD Special Emphasis Panel/Scientific Review Group: The Role of Human-Animal Interaction in Child Health and Development. 2010.