About Susan Kleiman
Susan Kleiman, President
Ross Daniel Adaptive Apparel
When Susan Kleiman began her successful career as a sales and marketing executive, she never dreamed that one day, more than 20 years later, the circumstances of her life would lead her to become an advocate, entrepreneur and fashion designer for children and teens with special needs.
In 1993, Susan delivered her first born child, Ross Daniel Kleiman. As a surviving twin, he was born 11 weeks prematurely with multiple complications resulting from a lack of oxygen in utero. Ross suffered a stroke due to twin to twin transfusion syndrome, and that was only the beginning.
With a list of debilitating challenges, including cerebral palsy, impaired vision, seizure disorder and cognitive delays, Susan’s hopes and dreams for her baby were shattered, and she had to gain a new set of skills to cope with the complexities of raising a child with multiple disabilities.
Ross is now 16 years old, and Susan has spent the past 15 years helping her son beat the odds through non-traditional therapies, education and socialization. As a trained advocate through the New York City Parents as Partners Program, Susan has helped hundreds of parents with special needs children navigate the school system to get the best possible services, public benefits, and compassionate emotional support.
Susan’s determination to provide dignity and the highest quality of life for her son and others like him has been unwavering. Her involvement with Children’s Neurobiological Solutions (CNS), an organization focused on expanding the current boundaries of scientific research, included co-chairing two fundraisers in New York City. The events raised money for research that was being conducted at Harvard Medical School for brain disorders.
Currently, Susan is on the fundraising committee for The Center for Discovery in Monticello, NY where her son Ross is a resident and goes to school. For the past three years, she has helped raise funds at the annual Discovery Ball benefitting The Center. Susan also served on the fundraising committee for SKIP of NY (Sick Kids need Involved People). SKIP provides advocacy and support to families who care for their chronically ill or developmentally disabled children at home.
Inspired by a need to find fashionable, comfortable and breathable socks for Ross’ ankle-foot orthotics, Susan launched Ross Daniel Adaptive Apparel in 2009 to bring much needed fun, stylish and comfortable clothing options to kids that just want to be kids.