Anna Jean Ayres

#OverIt Moment: She founded her own pediatric practice where she conducted occupational therapy assessment and intervention on children and adults with a variety of disorders, including learning disabilities and autism.

Anna Jean Ayres was born on January 18, 1920 in Visalia, CA. Ayres earned three degrees from USC: a Bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy, a Master’s in occupational therapy and a Ph.D. in educational psychology. Both her parents were school teachers, and growing up, Ayres suffered from learning dysfunctions that she would later study and create groundbreaking research about. After completing her studies, she began post-doctoral research at the UCLA Brain Research Institute. She has written two books and over 30 scholarly journal articles. She founded the “Sensory Integration Dysfunction” theory, which is well-known and widely used in the field of psychology, specifically in the practice of diagnosing and treating learning disorders and deficiencies. She also opened her own practice where she focused on assessing, diagnosing and treating adults and children with a variety of disorders, including learning disabilities and autism.

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