Member at Large/Education Director

Leslie Baldwin Ruthven - Education Director

Leslie is an ardent autism, special needs and rare disease advocate. She graduated from Oakland University with a degree in Human Resources Development with a Specialization in Early Childhood Education. After graduation, Leslie began her career working as a Family Services Consultant for General Motors in Detroit, Michigan. Over the course of her career, Leslie has worked in a variety of roles focused on education, non-profit health programs and grant writing. This includes Leslie's work at Educational Testing Services in Princeton, New Jersey, Front Range Community College in Westminster, Colorado and Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, Texas. During her time at Texas Children's, Leslie served as Manager and Special Educator for the Bridges Program. Bridges was a specialized, therapeutic program for young children with delays in communicating and relating, including Autism. Leslie also worked in Research Administration at Texas Children's as a Grant Administrator.  Leslie has been advocating on behalf of children with autism and disabilities for over 25 years. She began actively advocating on behalf of children and families affected by rare disease, after her own rare disease diagnosis in 2009. Since leaving Texas Children's in 2015, Leslie has utilized her advocacy skills to help empower individuals, families and caregivers affected by autism, disabilities and rare diseases. She also works with several, non-profit patient advocacy organizations, to help support grant writing and program development efforts. Leslie is excited to join Bridge the Gap – SYNGAP ERF's Board. Leslie is the proud Mom of two adult sons, Alex and Tyler. She currently lives in Houston, Texas.