Dr Jane Waite BSc, PhD, ClinPsyD

Dr Jane Waite

School of Psychology
Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Contact details

School of Psychology
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Jane Waite is a research fellow at the University of Birmingham and is based at The Cerebra Centre for Neurodevelopmental Disorders.


  • BSc Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology Doctorate (ClinPsyD)
  • PhD Psychology


Dr Jane Waite was awarded a studentship by Cerebra to complete a PhD in the behavioural and cognitive phenotype of Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome before training as a Clinical Psychologist at the University of Birmingham. She worked in the NHS prior to taking up a postdoctoral research fellow post at the University of Birmingham. She is interested in the developmental trajectories of cognitive abilities in rare genetic syndromes.


  • Behavioural phenotypes in rare genetic syndromes.  In particular, behavioural and cognitive difference in Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome.
  • The developmental trajectory of executive function in rare genetic syndromes and associations with repetitive behaviour, impulsivity and challenging behaviour.
  • Developing neuropsychological tests of executive functioning and social cognition for individuals with moderate to severe intellectual disability.
  • Developing clinical interventions for behavioural difficulties and emotional distress in individuals with rare genetic syndromes and intellectual disability. 
  • Parental and child well-being and barriers to service provision and support.  Maximising the impact of dissemination of information to inform effective intervention strategies for behavioural difficulties in children and adults with rare genetic syndromes and intellectual disability.

Current Projects

  • Longitudinal Follow-up of Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome

This project is following-up individuals with Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome to describe changes in the behavioural and cognitive characteristics of the syndrome over 10 years.

  • Challenging Behaviour in Lowe syndrome

This project explores the cognitive correlates of behaviours that challenge in Lowe syndrome using neuropsychological assessments. Jane is particularly interested in the temper outbursts that are displayed by approximately 80% of individuals with Lowe syndrome.

  • The Development of a Challenging Behaviour DVD for Parents

This project involves the dissemination of research findings about behaviours that challenge via a 30-minute DVD. Jane is working in collaboration with the NHS.

Past Projects

  • Parents’ Perceptions of Challenging Behaviour and Service Provision

This project addresses behaviour perceived as challenging in people with genetic syndromes. Jane is interested in how parents view challenging behaviour, the factors that impact on parents’ views, and the support that parents have received from services. 

  • ESRC Knowledge Exchange Project

It currently takes up to ten years for research in genetic syndromes to reach the parents, carers and professionals.  Jane is working in partnership with ESRC and Cerebra to develop accessible web resources to help disseminate findings from our research centre.  This involves a wide scale consultation exercise with parents and professionals.

The behavioural and cognitive phenotype of Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/3548/

Other activities

  • Editorial Assistant for the Journal of Intellectual Disability Research
  • Clinical consultancy for parents of children and adults with intellectual disability
  • Committee member for the Society for the Study of Behavioural Phenotypes (SSBP)


Waite J. & Hennekam. R. The Behavioural Phenotype of Rubinstein-Taybi Syndrome.  Sage Handbook of Developmental Disorders.  Invited chapter, in press. 

Nelson, L., Moss, J., Powis, L., Waite, J., & Oliver, C. A comparative study of sociability and selective mutism in autism spectrum disorder, Angelman, Cri du Chat, Cornelia de Lange, Fragile X and Rubinstein-Taybi syndromes. American Journal of Medical Genetics, in press. 

Royston, R., Howlin, P., Waite, J., & Oliver, C. (2016). Anxiety Disorders in Williams Syndrome Contrasted with Intellectual Disability and the General Population: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 1-13. 

Waite., J., Heald, M., Powis, L., Beck, S.R. & Oliver, C. (2016). Dissociation of the developmental trajectories for verbal and visuo-spatial working memory in Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome, Under submission. 

Waite, J., Moss, J., Beck, S., Arron, K., Burbidge, C., Berg, K., and Oliver, C. (2015). Repetitive behavior in Rubinstein-Taybi Syndrome: Parallels with autism spectrum phenomenology,  Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 45, 1238-1258.

Waite, J., Heald, M., Wilde, L., Woodcock, K., Welham, A., Adams, D. and Oliver, C.(2014). The importance of understanding the behavioural phenotypes of genetic syndromes associated with intellectual disability. Paediatrics and Child Health, 24, 468-472. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.paed.2014.05.002