You can use UISpy (microsoft)/ UIAVerify (codeplex) to see controls in Applications
For WPF you can also use Snoop (Snoop shows each control also the ones which are not visible for UIAutomation).
Other way is use operation LogStructure on a element (for example on a window)
this will log the structure in a file, in the nunit console or in the resharper console
if your panel has no child elements than Automation Peer is not implemented (on application side) and UIAutomation and so white will not find them.
Click events to buttons can you send by position but that is not nice.
If you have a access to the developer they should implement automation peer for the panel.