M. Irma Alvarado, Ph.D, OTR/L

M. Irma Alvarado, Ph.D, OTR/L Ph.D Child and Family Development, University of Georgia, 2005
B.S. Occupational Therapy, University of Texas, 1982
M.A. Behavioral Science, University of Houston, 1993

Dr. Alvarado is Associate Professor and Graduate Coordinator at Brenau University in Gainesville, Ga. in the School of Occupational Therapy. She co-owns Essential Therapy Services, Inc. in Cumming, Georgia. Her teaching experience includes: faculty at the Institute on Human Development and Disability, University of Georgia, Athens where she teaches seminars on Cultural Competence and is a resource in her community on sensory integration. Her research interests include the health and well-being of children and families, Latino families, childhood disability, early intervention, and sensory processing abilities in children. Her community experience is dedicated to increasing awareness of issues affecting families and their children with disability and networking between parents, professionals, and friends of children with disability. Irma loves nature, hunting and fishing, and gardening; she is also a member of the Cumming Garden Club. She is also bilingual in Spanish.

Dr. Alvarado is a native Texan whose parents emigrated from Mexico in the 1940’s. She comes from a family of ten children. The notion of family influence on an individual’s actions is important in her work with children and families. As a professional in this regard; she views her role as one who facilitates the capacity of families to understand and thus, nurture the abilities of their children with special needs to become participating members of society.

“I believe the health and well-being of the family is central to the propagation of healthy relationships around the world. One must begin with understanding one’s self in order to have an open heart and mind to understanding others. This understanding is essential for relating to and accepting the views of others as affecting how they live their lives.”

Dr. Alvarado can be contacted by email for Brenau University business at ialvarado@brenau.edu, 678 707 5012 or for Essential Therapy Services, Inc. business at ialvarado@essentialtherapyservices.com, 678 679 1261.


General inquiries: info@brenau.edu, (770) 534-6299 or (800) 252-5119 | Admissions: admissions@brenau.edu, (770) 534-6100 or (800) 252-5119 ext. 6100