Erna Blanche to keynote division’s 2023 commencement
April 10, 2023
USC alumna and current faculty member is a renowned expert in pediatric occupational therapy and therapeutic interventions based on occupational science.
Clinical Professor Erna Imperatore Blanche MA ’88, PhD ’98 has been selected as the keynote speaker for the USC Chan Division’s 2023 commencement ceremony to be held on Friday, May 12, at the USC University Park Campus.
Blanche is an expert in pediatric occupational therapy and therapeutic interventions based on occupational science. She is currently a professor of clinical occupational therapy at the USC Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, where she has held a full-time faculty position since 2003.
Blanche’s research interests are in the areas of play, clinical evaluation of children with developmental disabilities including autism and the relationship between sensory processing and lifestyle choices. She has co-authored two books — “Understanding the Nature of Sensory Integration with Diverse Populations” and “Observations Based on Sensory Integration” — an assessment tool titled “Structured Observations of Sensory Integration — Motor” and one video series titled “Combining Neurodevelopmental Treatment and Sensory Integration Principles” for practice with pediatric populations. She has published numerous articles in English and Spanish on the topics of play, wellness and other issues in clinical practice, with publications appearing in the American Journal of Occupational Therapy, Occupational Therapy International, Journal of Occupational Science and Play and Culture Studies, among others.
Blanche has lectured internationally in more than 20 countries and maintains ties with Therapy West, Inc., a Los Angeles-area private clinic she co-founded that currently sees more than 400 children per week, as well as with the Department of Occupational Therapy at the University of Chile (Santiago, Chile). She completed her basic training in occupational therapy at the University of Chile and earned her Master of Arts degree in Special Education at Columbia University. She received her Master of Arts degree in Occupational Therapy and PhD degree in Occupational Science from USC.