A photo of Danielle Simmons.

Pediatric Psychologist, Division of Behavioral Medicine and Clinical Psychology

Assistant Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics


"I have a flexible, collaborative, personalized approach to meet the needs of each patient."

My Biography & Research


As a volunteer in a pediatric hospital when I was a teen, I witnessed the resilience of patients facing chronic health conditions. Inspired by their healthcare providers, I wanted to support the management of the medical and behavioral health concerns of youths and their families so they could live their best lives.

In my training as a pediatric psychologist, I focused on improving sleep, which is essential to multiple domains of healthy living in youth – with and without chronic health conditions. In my practice, I help children, adolescents and families cope with and manage a variety of health concerns, including:

  • Insomnia and circadian rhythm disturbances
  • Hypersomnia (excessive sleep or sleepiness)
  • Management of sleep-disordered breathing treatments
  • Neuromuscular disorders
  • Parasomnias (disorders occurring while sleeping like nightmares or sleep terrors)

I also help children and adolescents develop tools for managing anxiety.

I have a flexible, collaborative, personalized approach to meet the needs of each patient. I work closely with medical specialties, such as pulmonary medicine, neurology and otolaryngology, to help manage health and quality of life. I use evidence-based treatments to help families reach their personal goals and develop nonmedical tools to manage their symptoms.

With my research, I’ve collaborated with medical and psychology colleagues to focus on the relationship between sleep, physical health and daytime functioning. We are also evaluating and optimizing the effectiveness of pediatric insomnia treatments, improving self-management and disease outcomes in hypersomnia disorders, and studying the management of barriers to the use of positive airway pressure (PAP) therapy for sleep apnea.

In my free time, I enjoy hiking, gardening, playing tennis and board games. I also like watching sports and exploring the variety of choices Cincinnati offers “foodies.”

Clinical Interests

Pediatric behavioral sleep medicine; adherence; adjustment and coping with medical illness; anxiety and related disorders

Academic Affiliation

Assistant Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

Clinical Divisions

Behavioral Medicine, Pulmonary Medicine, Sleep Disorders

Research Divisions

Clinical Psychology

My Locations

My Education

BA: University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, MO, 2009.

MS: University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, 2011.

PhD: University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, 2014.

Residency: Nemours/A.I. DuPont Hospital for Children, Wilmington, DE, 2014.

Fellowship: Pediatric Psychology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, TN, 2014-2016.

Certification: Clinical Psychology, Ohio State Board of Psychology, 2016.

My Publications

0924 Adolescent Perceptions of Insomnia Treatment. Simon, SL; Meltzer, LJ; Williamson, AA; Graef, DM; Byars, KC; Honaker, SM. Sleep. 2020; 43:a351-a351.

0921 Insomnia in Adolescents: Patient-Centered Outcomes and Perspectives. Honaker, SM; Simon, SL; Byars, KC; Graef, DM; Williamson, AA; Meltzer, L. Sleep. 2020; 43:a350-a350.

Utility of the Sleep Disorders Inventory for Students in Clinically Referred Youth With Insomnia: Risk Identification and Relationship With Polysomnographic Measures. Graef, DM; Byars, KC. Behavioral Sleep Medicine. 2020; 18:249-261.

Topical Review: A Biopsychosocial Framework for Pediatric Narcolepsy and Idiopathic Hypersomnia. Graef, DM; Byars, KC; Simakajornboon, N; Dye, TJ. Journal of Pediatric Psychology. 2020; 45:34-39.

0731 Factors Affecting Pediatric Adherence to Positive Airway Pressure: Treatment Barriers, Sleep Difficulties, and Behavioral Sleep Medicine Consultation. Carmody, JK; Simakajornboon, N; Gurbani, N; Burrows, C; Krietsch, K; Graef, D; Byars, KC. Sleep. 2019; 42:a293-a294.

Sleep and mood during hospitalization for high-dose chemotherapy and hematopoietic rescue in pediatric medulloblastoma. Graef, DM; Crabtree, VM; Srivastava, DK; Li, C; Pritchard, M; Hinds, PS; Mandrell, B. Psycho-Oncology. 2018; 27:1847-1853.

Brain Tumors. Graef, DM; Crabtree, VM L. Sleep Disorders in Adolescents. 2017.

Sleep and Pain in Pediatric Illness: A Conceptual Review. Allen, JM; Graef, DM; Ehrentraut, JH; Tynes, BL; Crabtree, VM. CNS Neuroscience and Therapeutics. 2016; 22:880-893.