About Annie O’Connell
Annie O’Connell is an occupational therapist with over 30 years of experience and has worked in a variety of paediatric settings in South Australia and overseas. She feels very honoured to have worked with so many families over the years and is particularly committed to train allied health and educators in supporting sleep intervention with families.
Annie has been facilitating training of allied health professionals and educators since 2005 in sleep education, assessing a sleep disturbance, developing and monitoring a sleep plan for individual families. The webinar series are based on the two day training completed by hundreds of therapists and educators.
Annie is currently working as a occupational therapist as part of Develop Therapy services http://www.developot.com.au/.
- In 2003 Annie completed her M.App.Sc (OT) by research investigating ‘Sleep Disturbance in Children with Autism and the use of a Waterbed’.
From 2003 until 2015 Annie worked for Child and Youth Services, Disability Services, in South Australia leading the ‘Sleepwise project’ addressing sleep disturbance in young people with developmental disabilities.
Two research grants from the Apex Foundation For Research Into Intellectual Disability Limited allowed the evaluation of the Sleepwise approach for children 2–6 years of age and 8–18 years of age.
In 2008 Annie received the Department for Families and Communities Australia Day Award for Innovation for the Sleepwise Project.
Annie was awarded a Churchill Fellowship in 2009 to further explore the management of sleep disturbance in the UK, USA and Canada.
In 2010 Annie received the OT Australia SA (Australian Association of Occupational Therapists SA Inc) Achievement Award – Innovative Service Delivery (Individual).
Publications and Reports
Moss, Gordon & O’Connell (2014) “Impact of Sleepwise: An Intervention for Youth with Developmental Disabilities and Sleep Disturbance” Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders , DOI 10.1007/s10803-014-2040-y.
- Austin, Gordon & O’Connell (2012). “Preliminary evaluation of Sleepwise program for children with sleep disturbance and developmental delay ” Child & Family Behavior Therapy .
- Department for Communities and Social Inclusions, Disability Service, (2012) Special Project Final Report Intervention for sleep disturbance in older children and adolescents (8-18 years) with developmental disabilities 2012.
O’Connell (2009) To explore the management of sleep problems for children/adolescents with additional needs – UK, Canada, USA. Final Churchill Report available on line https://www.churchilltrust.com.au/ .
O’Connell (2009). “Addressing sleep disturbance in young children with developmental delay.” Interconnection Quarterly Journal2(2).
- O’Connell & Vannan (2008). “Sleepwise addressing sleep disturbance in young children with developmental delay.” Australian Journal of Occupational Therapy55: 212-214.
- Department for Families and Communities, Disability SA, (2006) Special Project Final Report Intervention for sleep disturbance in young children with developmental delay.
- IDSC. (2005). Sleepwise: A Resource Manual. Positive Sleep Practices for Young Children with Developmental Delay. Adelaide: Intellectual Disability Services Council Inc.
IDSC. (2005). Sleepwise: A Resource Manual. Positive Sleep Practices for Young Children with Developmental Delay. Adelaide: Intellectual Disability Services Council Inc.
Honours and Awards
2008 Department for Families and Communities Australia Day Award for Innovation.
2009 Churchill Fellowship to travel overseas to research interventions for sleep disturbance with children with disabilities.
2010 OT Australia SA (Australian Association of Occupational Therapists SA Inc) Achievement Award – Innovative Service Delivery (Individual).
|9th State Occupational Therapy Conference Creative Practices||October 2004||Adelaide||Sleepwise: the importance of identification and intervention of sleep disturbance in children|
Australasian Society for the Study of Intellectual Disability Conference—Visions and Realities
|November 2004||Adelaide||Sleepwise: A resource for the identification and intervention of sleep disturbance in young children with developmental delay|
|Autism SA Through the eyes of autism||May 2005||Adelaide||Addressing sleep disturbance in young children with autism spectrum disorder|
|Early Childhood Intervention Australia (SA Chapter)||August 2005||Adelaide||Addressing sleep disturbance in young children with developmental delay|
|Angelman Conference||October 2005||Adelaide||Addressing sleep disturbance in children with Angelman syndrome|
|Early Childhood Intervention Australia||March 2006||Adelaide||Addressing sleep disturbance in young children with developmental delay (update)|
|Parenting Imperatives II||May 2006||Adelaide||Poster presentation|
|Beyond tomorrow IDSC staff conference||May 2006||Adelaide||Addressing sleep disturbance in young children with developmental delay|
|OT World Conference||July 2006||Sydney||Poster presentation|
|OT Australia SA Education Extras||September 2006||Adelaide||Sleep and what to do when it’s disturbed|
|QEC Early Childhood: Evidence into Practice||November 2006||Melbourne||1.Promoting positive sleep practices in young children
2.Addressing sleep disturbance in young children with developmental delay
|DFC Disability SA The Future is Now conference||November 2007||Adelaide||Let’s not just sleep on it|
|World Federation of Sleep Research and Sleep Medical Societies Congress||September 2007||Cairns Australia||Poster Presentation -Addressing Sleep Disturbance In Young Children With Developmental Delay|
|DFC Disability SA Child and Youth Forum||2009||Adelaide||Churchill Fellowship To explore the management of sleep problems for children and adolescents with additional needs and health professional training|
|DCSI Disability Services Forward Together Conference||20010||Adelaide||Snooze it or lose it|
|OT Country Forum||October 2010||Encounter Bay, SA||A Churchill Fellow’s Experience – Exploring the Management of sleep problems for children and adolescents with additional needs and health professional training overseas|
|Research in Special Education conference||November 2010||Adelaide||Snooze it or lose it|
|International Pediatric Sleep Association &Pediatric Sleep Medicine Conference||December 2010||Rome||A community based sleep education model for families of children (2-18 years) with developmental disabilities|
|Australasian Society For Intellectual Disability conference||2011||Adelaide||Sleepwise – addressing sleep disturbance in children & adolescents with developmental disabilities|
|Sleep Retreat||April 2011||Adelaide||BC Chronic Care and Sleep Online Model|
|Special Education Expo||July 2011||Adelaide||Addressing sleep disturbance in children & adolescents with special needs|
|ASID conference||November 2011||Adelaide||Sleepwise – addressing sleep disturbance in children & adolescents with developmental disabilities|
|OT Educational Xtras||July 2012||WCAdelaide||Sleep -Snooze it or lose it|
|National Early Childhood Conference||2012||Perth||Poster Sleepwise- Helping children with developmental disability and their families sleep better.|
|Disability Services ‘Stronger Together’ Conference||August 2012||Adelaide||Sleepwise addressing sleep disturbance in children and adolescents with developmental disabilities|
|OT ‘A Bridge to Well being’ Conference||October 2012||Murray Bridge||Sleepwise – latest research in addressing sleep disturbance in children & adolescents with developmental disabilities|
|Sleep Down Under Conference||October 2012||Darwin||The impact of a Parent-Assisted Sleep Intervention for Children and Adolescents with Developmental Disabilities and Sleep Disturbances|
|OT 25th National Conference||July 2013||Adelaide||1.Aparent’s experience of the Sleepwise approach
2.Sleepwise – an evaluation of a multi-component sleep education and home based intervention for older children and adolescents with developmental disabilities and sleep disturbance. (poster)
3.The development and evaluation of a sleep intervention for children & adolescents with developmental disabilities
|Adelaide Sleep Retreat||August 2013||Adelaide||Parents’ experience of the Sleepwise approach
‘Digital stories of a sleep intervention for children and adolescents on the autism spectrum
|OT Educational Extras||February 2014||Adelaide||Parents’ experience of the Sleepwise approach
‘Digital stories of a sleep intervention for children and adolescents on the autism spectrum
|OT SA State Conference||October 2014||Adelaide||Parents sharing their experience of improving their child’s sleep|
|IV International Paediatric Sleep Association Congress||December 2014||Porto Alegre, Brazil||Sleepwise Intervention: Examples of Case studies and Parents’ experience through digital story telling
Effectiveness of theSleepwiseApproach: A multi-component parent-assisted intervention to address sleep disturbance in older children and adolescents with developmental disabilities.
|Adelaide Sleep Retreat||November 2017||Adelaide||The Sleepwise Approach to develop positive sleep practices in children and adolescents with developmental disabilities – a subjective review of 50 case studies.|