Dr. Esler is an Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics and a licensed psychologist. She completed her PhD in school psychology from the University of Minnesota and worked as a school psychologist for 3 years prior to specializing in autism spectrum disorder. Dr. Esler is the Section Head of the Autism and Neurodevelopment Clinic and Director of the Fragile X Clinic at the University of Minnesota. Her clinical interests include early diagnosis of autism, care and treatment of individuals with severe forms of autism, and care and treatment of individuals with fragile X and other rare genetic conditions. She performs diagnostic and follow-up evaluations with individuals from infancy through adulthood.
Dr. Esler is actively involved in federally funded research and co-leads a CDC-funded study of autism prevalence in Minnesota. Her research focuses on improving access to care and quality of care in early detection, early diagnosis, and services and supports throughout the lifespan. Her research in this area has focused on tracking racial/ethnic disparities in autism prevalence and age of identification, developing and refining diagnostic measures for autism, and understanding differences in the autism characteristics across sex, race/ethnicity, and culture. Her recent work focuses on health needs across the lifespan, including improving clinical interventions for obesity in autism and for individuals at the severe end of the spectrum. She regularly collaborates with autism and fragile X researchers across North America on research and clinical issues.
Dr. Esler is an international trainer on diagnostic measures for autism, the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, 2nd edition and the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised, and is actively involved in refining and expanding training options for these measures. Dr. Esler is a member of the Center for Neurobehavioral Development at the University of Minnesota, the International Society for Autism Research, and the American Association of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.
Autism Spectrum Disorder; Fragile X; Other Developmental Disabilities