For Children & Teenagers with Sleep Difficulties
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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 including former Spastic Society, Autism SA, Flinders Medical Centre, private practice and Disability Services. She feels very honored to have worked with so many families over the years and is particularly committed to extend SleepAbility to country areas.

As an occupational therapist, Annie has incorporated a range of  therapy techniques including relaxation training, sensory approaches, play, Floortime Model,  Marte Meo, narrative therapy and PRPP. 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).

In 2017 Annie was certified in Qigong Sensory Massage with the Qigong Sensory Training Institute (

In 2022 the Sleepwise e-manual was released - go to