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									A. Jean Ayres, PhD, OTR, FAOTA
       The Pioneer Behind
       Sensory Integration

   Blanche Kiefer, D. Surfas, S. (2010). A.
    Jean Ayres: The Pioneer Behind Sensory
    Integration. Torrance, CA: Pediatric
    Therapy Network (DVD)
 Every field of study has founding
and influential theorists and leaders
   Developmental Psychology ~ Piaget

   Psychoanalysis ~ Freud

   Neuro-Developmental Treatment/
          The Bobath Concept ~
           Berta and Karel Bobath
              Examples of
     Founders, Leaders & Theorists
        in Occupational Therapy
   Eleanor Clarke Slagle

   Margaret Rood

   Anne Mosey

   Mary Reilly
Why learn more about the leaders
    in occupational therapy?
   Helps us to understand the foundations of
    core knowledge and skills in OT

   Guides us to have a greater understanding
    of the depth and breadth of the OT

   Inspires us!
               A. Jean Ayres~
         Who is she in the world of OT?
   Developed the theory of sensory integration
   One of the first occupational therapists to use
    “evidence based practice”
   Conducted systematic research to build
    constructs and demonstrate efficacy
   Invented tests, equipment, and intervention
    methods that have become one of the most
    common OT frameworks
       Leadership Touch Points

   What qualities do you think Dr. Ayres
    must have had in order to be able to come
    up with a new and innovative theory?
   We hear a lot about “evidenced based
    practice” now. What do you think would
    have motivated Dr. Ayres to conduct her
              Her Early Years

   She grew up on a farm in central

   Her father was scientific (a chemist) and
    her mother was sensitive and artistic

   Her family had a strong work ethic
              Her Struggles

   She spoke about having some learning
   Visual tasks were easier for her than
    verbal language activities
   She had some health challenges
    throughout her life
             Her Personal Side

   Many artistic skills ~
           painted in water color
           made charcoal drawings
           accomplished seamstress
           (made many of her own clothes)
           enjoyed Tai’chi and dance
           appreciated nature and outdoors
            Her Personal Side

   Married late in life (in her 50’s)
     to Franklin Baker
   Spoke of Franklin as her biological soul
   Never had children of her own, but was
    close to nieces and nephews
       Leadership Touch Points

   How do you think Dr. Ayres’ early life
    affected her goals, plans and dreams in
   In what ways might the personal health
    and learning difficulties Dr. Ayres’
    experienced influenced her professional
             Early Training and
             Professional Work
   BS in OT from USC ~ 1945
   MA in OT from USC ~ 1954
   PhD in Psychology from USC ~ 1961
   Post-Doctoral study at Brain Research
    Institute at UCLA ~ 1964-1966
   Worked with children with cerebral palsy
    and war veterans in the 1950’s and 60’s
     Sensory Integration Theory
   First paper- AJOT 1954
    Ontogenetic principles in the development of
    arm and hand functions
   Developed tests and conducted studies to
    understand patterns of sensory integration
    problems between 1950’s and 1980’s
   Described several main patterns based on
    numerous factor analysis studies
   Published Sensory Integration & Praxis Tests
    (SIPT) January 1989
        Professional Challenges

   Not initially accepted within OT
   Was unable to find funding & OTs willing
    to help with first test standardization
   Work was criticized by people outside the
    profession of OT
   Sensory integration often confused with
    other methods/interventions
       Leadership Touch Points

   How do you think being a woman in the
    1950’s affected Dr. Ayres’ professional
    aspirations and plans?
   Why do you think that the OT profession
    did not initially embrace sensory
    integration theory?
        Major Accomplishments
   Eleanor Clarke Slagle Lectureship 19
   One of the first occupational therapists to
    receive grant funding for research
   One of 3 first inductees into the
    AOTF Academy of Research
   Author of more than 60 publications
   Sensory integration is one of the most widely
    used theories and interventions in OT
                   Final Years
   Spent her last 15 years at her private practice in
    Torrance CA where she continued to develop
    assessment and intervention innovations
   Trained hundreds of therapists in her 4 month
    hands-on course in collaboration with USC~
   Developed and standardized the Sensory
    Integration and Praxis Test in collaboration with
    Western Psychological Services
             Leading a Completely
                Meaningful Life
   Her work ethic evident to the end of her life
   Dr Ayres passed away in December 1988
   SIPT published January 1989
   Her husband, Franklin, although previously in good
    health, experience a quick decline and passed away
    in 1989
   At her memorial service, hundreds of people
    recounted stories of Dr. Ayres’ mentorship, support
    and guidance
       Leadership Touch Points

   What qualities and attributes are required
    to become a leader?
   How do you think Dr. Ayres’ work has
    influenced the profession of OT?
   Do you think Dr. Ayres ideas have had an
    influence outside of OT? If so, how?

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