A photo of Rebecca Shaffer.

Clinical Psychologist, Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics

Assistant Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics


My Biography & Research


My biggest passion is seeing children with neurobehavioral disorders learn and grow through treatment. It is exciting when these children can engage in new activities or friendships based on the skills they learn, particularly when they learn to regulate their emotions and behaviors.

My research career has been dedicated to the treatment and research of neurobehavioral disorders, such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD), fragile X syndrome and Angelman syndrome. It is a pleasure for me to serve these children and their families.

My current career path began in general child psychology, but I became focused on neurobehavioral disorders during my fellowship and first faculty position at Indiana University (IU) School of Medicine. After my time at IU, I joined Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and the Kelly O’Leary Autism Center. Currently, I serve as an associate professor of pediatrics with an affiliated appointment at the University of Cincinnati.

I have a commitment to training future leaders in neurobehavioral care. As the director of psychological services for the Cincinnati Fragile X Center, I oversee the assessment and treatment of individuals with fragile X syndrome. I also lead or assist with several fragile X research studies focused on parent training, outcome measurement and medication trials.

Emotional regulation is an area of need, especially in children with ASD. It is my strongest area of interest. Difficulties in emotional regulation make it hard for children to fully enjoy life and can place a huge burden on their families. My team has created an emotion regulation treatment program for children with ASD called Regulating Together.

Regulating Together treats emotion dysregulation, especially with reactivity and irritability, in a group setting with concurrent caregiver training. I currently lead several research studies, as well as publications, focused on the development and efficacy of this program. I also serve as the primary investigator of the Simons Foundation Powering Autism Research (SPARK) study at Cincinnati Children’s and other ASD-specific studies.

Clinical Interests

Autism spectrum disorders; fragile X; Angelman syndrome; parent training; social skills training; applied behavioral analysis

Research Interests

Eye tracking; autism spectrum disorders; fragile X; Angelman syndrome; parent training; social skills training; applied behavioral analysis.

Academic Affiliation

Assistant Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

Clinical Divisions

Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics

Research Divisions

Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics

My Locations

My Education

BS: Indiana Wesleyan University, Marion, IN.

MA: Chestnut Hill College, Philadelphia, PA.

PsyD: Chestnut Hill College, Philadelphia, PA.

Internship: Youth Opportunity Center, Muncie, IN.

Fellowship: Indiana University School of Medicine, Riley Hospital for Children, Indianapolis, IN.

My Publications

Sex differences in resting EEG power in Fragile X Syndrome. Smith, EG; Pedapati, EV; Liu, R; Schmitt, LM; Dominick, KC; Shaffer, RC; Sweeney, JA; Erickson, CA. Journal of Psychiatric Research. 2021; 138:89-95.

Use of Telehealth in Fellowship-Affiliated Developmental Behavioral Pediatric Practices During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Wallis, KE; Mulé, C; Mittal, S; Cerda, N; Shaffer, R; Scott, A; Langkamp, D; Augustyn, M; Perrin, E; Soares, N; et al. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics. 2021; 42:314-321.

Brief Report: Intranasal Ketamine in Adolescents and Young Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder-Initial Results of a Randomized, Controlled, Crossover, Pilot Study. Wink, LK; Reisinger, DL; Horn, P; Shaffer, RC; O'Brien, K; Schmitt, L; Dominick, KR; Pedapati, EV; Erickson, CA. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. 2021; 51:1392-1399.

Emotion Dysregulation is Substantially Elevated in Autism Compared to the General Population: Impact on Psychiatric Services. Conner, CM; Golt, J; Shaffer, R; Righi, G; Siegel, M; Mazefsky, CA. Autism Research. 2021; 14:169-181.

A Comparative Study of Suicidality and Its Association with Emotion Regulation Impairment in Large ASD and US Census-Matched Samples. Conner, CM; Golt, J; Righi, G; Shaffer, R; Siegel, M; Mazefsky, CA. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. 2020; 50:3545-3560.

Delineating Repetitive Behavior Profiles across the Lifespan in Fragile X Syndrome. Reisinger, DL; Shaffer, RC; Tartaglia, N; Berry-Kravis, E; Erickson, CA. Brain Sciences. 2020; 10.

Examination of Correlates to Health-Related Quality of Life in Individuals with Fragile X Syndrome. Coffman, MC; Shaffer, RC; Schmitt, LM; Dominick, KC; Pedapati, E; Wang, A; Berry-Kravis, E; Tartaglia, N; Erickson, CA. Brain Sciences. 2020; 10.

Language across the Lifespan in Fragile X Syndrome: Characteristics and Considerations for Assessment. Hoffmann, A; Wang, A; Berger, N; Cordeiro, L; Shaffer, R; Tartaglia, N; Erickson, C; Berry-Kravis, E. Brain Sciences. 2020; 10.

Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory (PedsQL) in Fragile X Syndrome. Fitzpatrick, SE; Schmitt, LM; Adams, R; Pedapati, EV; Wink, LK; Shaffer, RC; Sage, J; Weber, JD; Dominick, KC; Erickson, CA. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. 2020; 50:1056-1063.

Atypical Social Attention and Emotional Face Processing in Autism Spectrum Disorder: Insights From Face Scanning and Pupillometry. Reisinger, DL; Shaffer, RC; Horn, PS; Hong, MP; Pedapati, EV; Dominick, KC; Erickson, CA. Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience. 2020; 13.