Anne Wheeler, PhD, has more than 20 years of clinical service and research experience focusing on behavior and development profiles of children and adolescents with special needs. She has conducted multiple studies focused on outcomes for individuals with genetic conditions and other special health care needs. She has led the development and testing of innovative technologies, including the development of a behavior observation app, Measuring Outcomes for CHAnge (MOCHA), which provides a tool for parents and teachers to monitor and develop strategies to intervene with specific behaviors in children with rare disorders and a study examining the use of a “language pedometer” to promote maternal well-being in families whose young children are being served by the early intervention system.
She has also conducted formative assessments and qualitative interviews with professionals involved in newborn screening, as well as a randomized control trial on the use of technological formats for promoting decisional capacity among individuals with disabilities. She has also been involved with projects involving the development of survey-based data collection—most prominently, a CDC-funded survey study on the impact of fragile X syndrome (FXS) on families. This study yielded over 20 publications and the development of a web-based survey registry (Our Fragile X World), which creates opportunities for ongoing longitudinal surveillance of the needs of individuals with FXS and their families.
Dr. Wheeler’s current research interests include family and maternal well-being among families raising a child with a chronic condition; adaptation and coping with significant behavior challenges; mother-child interaction patterns; and the development of a strength-based/positive psychology focus in child and family research. She has pursued a number of descriptive and clinical research projects geared toward individuals with genetic conditions.
As part of RTI’s proactive response to the Zika virus, Dr. Wheeler is working on protocols to provide longitudinal surveillance of infants affected by congenital Zika syndrome and their families. She is also studying the role of early intervention programs designed to improve child development outcomes.
Dr. Wheeler is a member of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and the American Psychological Association.