ANNIE O’CONNELL

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).

Conferences

Conference Date Place Paper Title
9th State Occupational Therapy Conference Creative Practices October 2004 Adelaide Sleepwise: the importance of identification and intervention of sleep disturbance in children
ASSID
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.