Melissa Raspa

Senior Research Public Health Analyst

Melissa Raspa


  • PhD, Early Childhood and Special Education, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • MA, Educational Psychology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • BA, Psychology, Franklin and Marshall College

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Melissa Raspa studies early childhood education and development, with a focus on children with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. Much of her work has examined the impact of fragile X syndrome on children and families, including the health and social development of individuals with fragile X syndrome and family well-being.

Corollary work has focused more broadly on family outcomes of early intervention and services for young children with special needs. Of particular interest is the overlap between health communication and disability, including developing materials for parents of young children to recognize the early signs of developmental delay and adapting health care materials, such as those related to participating in clinical trials, for individuals with disabilities and their families.

Dr. Raspa began working at RTI in 2005. She currently serves as Principal Investigator and co-Investigator for two ongoing projects on fragile X syndrome, both funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Development. Dr. Raspa also leads the evaluation of the New-York Mid-Atlantic Consortium for Genetic and Newborn Screening Services and collaborates with partners at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on a technical assistance project that assists states in examining family outcomes of early intervention. She has received RTI’s Highly Published and Career Author Awards, as well as the President’s Award.