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

Irma Alvarado

Ph.D. Child and Family Development, University of Georgia, 2005

M.A. Behavioral Science, University of Houston, 1990

B.S. Occupational Therapy, University of Texas, 1982

A.A.S. Applied Sciences, Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant, 1976

2005       Graduate Certificate Interdisciplinary Qualitative Studies

University of Georgia, Athens


Dr. Alvarado is Professor and Research Coordinator at Brenau University in Gainesville, Ga. in the School of Occupational Therapy. Her teaching experience across several states and in Georgia includes: occupational therapy course curriculum including advanced practice elective in vision, clinical education, cultural competence and she is a resource in her community on sensory integration. Her research interests include the health and well-being of infants, children, adolescents, and families, sensory processing abilities, Latino families, and international fieldwork education. She serves as Brenau University Institutional Review Board Chairperson

Dr. Alvarado has co-owned Essential Therapy Services, Inc. in Cumming, Georgia since 2007 which provides clinic-based, home health, and school-based occupational therapy as well as physical and speech therapy. She has held several offices in Georgia Occupational Therapy Association, currently serving as Vice President. Her community experience is dedicated to increasing awareness of issues affecting families and their children with disability.

Dr. Alvarado is a native Texan whose parents emigrated from Mexico in the 1940’s and comes from a family of ten children. The notion of family influence on an individual 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 and family members.

“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.”

Irma loves nature, hunting and fishing, and gardening; she is a member of the Cumming Garden Club. She is also bilingual in Spanish.

Dr. Alvarado can be contacted by email for Brenau University business at ialvarado@brenau.edu, 678 707 5000 or for Essential Therapy Services, Inc. business at ialvarado@essentialts.com, 678 679 1261.


Alvarado, M. I, Burch, E., Espino, I., Stockton, J, Wolkow, N. Electronic Auditory Stimulation effect application (EASe app) for adolescents and adults 11 to 27 years old with sensory processing deficits, Scientific Research Poster PO 7082 accepted, AOTA Annual Conference and Expo, Nashville, TN, April 16-19, 2015

Alvarado, M. I., and Lambert, J., Electronic Auditory Stimulation Effect (EASe), Georgia Occupational Therapy Association Annual Conference & Business Meeting, Savannah, GA, September 21, 2013.

Alvarado, M. I., Evans, M., Rogers, A., Salad, P., Wagner, E., Development of an administration and scoring protocol for S.T.R.I.D.E.S.©: A postural alignment scale for use with hippotherapy, Poster PO2064, Accepted for presentation, AOTA, 93rd Annual Conference and Expo, San Diego, CA, April 25-28, 2013.

Alvarado, M. I., (2004). Mucho camino: The experiences of two undocumented Mexican mother participating in their child’s early intervention program. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 58(5), 521-530.

Alvarado, M. I. & Stoneman, Z. (2004, March), “I don’t want my children to have to toil and struggle to live.” Immigrant families: Stories of young children with disabilities: Countering stereotypes about undocumented Mexican immigrant families. Institute on Human Development and Disabilities. The University of Georgia, Athens

Alvarado, M. I., (2004, June 18), Using portfolios with Latino families International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual Disabilities (IASSID) Montpellier, France

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