The late A. Jean Ayres, Ph.D., OTR (1920 - 1988) was in private clinical practice in Torrance, California from 1977 through 1984. With the exception of three years during which she pursued doctoral and post-doctoral studies, she held faculty positions in occupational therapy and/or special education at the University of Southern California from 1955 through 1984. Prior to joining the USC faculty, she held various occupational therapy clinical positions at centers in southern California. Dr. Ayres’ earned the BS and MA degrees in occupational therapy and the Ph.D. in educational psychology, all from the University of Southern California. She completed a post-doctoral traineeship at the UCLA Brain Research Institute under Dr. Arthur Parmelee. In addition to her occupational therapy credentials, Dr. Ayres was also a California licensed psychologist. Dr. Ayres is the recipient of some of the highest honors bestowed by the American Association of Occupational Therapy, including being named to the Roster of Fellows, the Eleanor Clarke Slagle Lectureship, the Award of Merit, and charter membership in the AOTA Academy of Research.
A. Jean Ayres is best known for her discovery of, and subsequent lectures and publications related to a type of developmental disorder known as sensory integrative dysfunction.
She is the author of over thirty refereed journal articles, several books and book chapters, and three major standardized test instruments: the Southern California Sensory Integration Tests (1972), the Southern California Postrotary Nystagmus Test (1975), and the Sensory Integration and Praxis Tests (1989), all published by Western Psychological Services.
Her pioneering work, spanning most of her professional lifetime, has helped thousands of children and their families cope with, and recover from this baffling set of problems. A. Jean Ayres was born and grew up on a farm in the San Joaquin Valley area of California. She was married to Franklin B. Baker, an engineer, and they resided in Torrance, California. Dr. Ayres was deceased on December 20, 1988 after a long battle with cancer. The work she began in the 1960’s continues to be expanded and advanced into the 21 st century through the many individuals she taught and mentored during her career.