Annemarie Connor, PhD, OTR/L is an Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy in the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences and Director of the Community Autism Network (CAN) at Florida Gulf Coast University. After 15 years of clinical experience as an occupational therapist (OT), Dr. Connor transitioned to academia to research the needs of an underserved segment of the disability community, adolescents and young adults with autism and related neurodevelopmental disorders. While ample funding and attention goes to research related to early identification, biological causes, and potential cures for autism, historically only 1-2% of federal research dollars has gone to understanding lifespan issues, such as employment and independent living.
Dr. Connor’s research agenda focuses on these complex needs and is informed by her OT clinical background and PhD in Rehabilitation Counseling, which honed her research skills to be team-based, interprofessional, population-specific, and clinically relevant. She has presented her work at the state, national, and international levels; published more than 12 refereed journal articles and book chapters, and is the principal investigator of multiple community-based participatory research projects. In addition to her work with CAN, Dr. Connor’s service commitments include co-chairing the Florida Occupational Therapy Association Research Special Interest Section, non-profit board work, and reviewing for the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. She is an active member of the American Occupational Therapy Association and the Florida Occupational Therapy Association.
Occupational therapy practice with children in schools, residential programs, outpatient, and private practice; adult practice in outpatient, private practice, and home health.