Projects

Research is mainly in the field of developmental disorders. The research team have worked in collaboration with a number of Universities internationally and nationally, including Cardiff, Bristol, Leeds, Prague, RMIT in Melbourne, Haifa and Trondheim in Norway.

Current research includes:

Top Tips and Tricks
Dr Catherine Purcell and Sally Scott-Roberts, Lecturer and Clinical Specialist Occupational Therapist were recently awarded funding from the Richard Benjamin Trust to facilitate a participatory research project, where the aim was to elicit the strategies that young people use to manage their daily activities with other children. A booklet written by young people for other young people has been produced, and can be downloaded from the Resources page.

Social and emotional wellbeing in adults with DCD
Dr Miri Tal-Saban and Professor Amanda Kirby are currently conducting a study which investigates the experiences of adults with AND without DCD/Dyspraxia in making and maintaining close friendships and the opportunities for doing so. This information is really important to understand in order to guide other adults (and parents of children) so they can maximize the opportunities in the future if they wish to do so. If you wish to participate in this project, please click on the following link: Participate

Sharing Experiences and Expertise to Develop a ‘Top Tips’ Booklet
The Richard Benjamin Trust has awarded Dr Catherine Purcell, Lecturer and Sally Scott-Roberts, Lecturer and Clinical Specialist Occupational Therapist funding to facilitate a participatory project which will provide an opportunity for children with neurodiverse profiles to share their successful strategies, adaptations and experiences in order to produce a ‘’Top Tips’ booklet that can be used as a resource with other children that are struggling.

Road Safety
Dr Catherine Purcell has been awarded funding to carry out research into the developmental readiness of children with and without DCD to acquire new knowledge and skills through different methods of teaching road safety. The preliminary results were presented at the DCD-UK Conference 2016 in Leeds.


Examples of previous research include:

  • Guides to Success: Dr Catherine Purcell and Sally Scott-Roberts, Lecturer and Clinical Specialist Occupational Therapist were awarded funding from the Richard Benjamin Trust to facilitate a participatory research project, where the aim was to elicit the strategies that neurodiverse adults use to develop a series of guides to success as a resource for other adults struggling with neurodiversity. For more information please click here. A copy of the Guides to Success can be downloaded from the Resources page.
  • Falls in adults with significant motor difficulties: The Dyscovery Centre were involved in a project that is exploring the incidence and impact of falls in adults with significant motor difficulties.
  • Does Animal Assisted Therapy make a difference to a child’s socialisation and participation? This is the first large scale study of its kind in the UK and took place across schools in South Wales. The project was funded by the Big Lottery Fund.
  • Language MEets Intercultural Competences (LiMErIC): The LiMErIC project was a collaborative project between The Dyscovery Centre and partner organisations in Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Romania and Turkey. A copy of the LiMErIC hand book can be downloaded from the Resources page.
  • Dyslexia and Additional Language Learning (DYSLANG): DYSLANG is a collaborative project between The Dyscovery Centre, the British Dyslexia Association (BDA) and partner organisations in Switzerland, Italy, Bulgaria, Czech Republic and Turkey. The modules are available to download from the Resources tab.
  • Advanced Brain Imaging in Childhood Epilepsy (BECCTS): (in collaboration with Cardiff University) BECCTS and the association with motor and language disorders.
  • Dyslexia Benchmarking: in 2010 The Dyscovery Centre was involved in Welsh Government funded benchmarking exercise examining dyslexia provision across Wales. The report summarising the results of the information gathering is available on the Welsh Government website.
  • UK Guidelines for Assessment and Management of Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD)/Dyspraxia: This was a collaborative study between The Dyscovery Centre and Oxford Brookes University funded by the Waterloo Foundation.
  • Developmental Coordination Disorder and Employment Study: This was a collaborative study between The Dyscovery Centre and Goldsmiths University of London funded by the Waterloo Foundation.
  • A double-blind placebo-controlled study with 400 children using Omega 3 supplementation and measuring the effect on learning.
  • Genes associated with DCD.
  • Footprint study – exploring how children with DCD plan and move.
  • Perception study – to examine what others see when looking at children with movement difficulties.
  • Study exploring the social and behavioural characteristics of adolescents and adults with DCD in further and higher education.
  • Executive Functioning in Students with specific learning difficulties.

The development of the first adult screening tool for Developmental Coordination Disorder
Prof Amanda Kirby, developed the Adult Developmental Coordination Disorder Checklist (ADC), the first screening tool developed specifically to identify the difficulties experienced by adults with Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD). DCD was previously regarded as a childhood disorder. However, increasing evidence suggests that the motor difficulties experienced in childhood persist into adulthood. Previously, little information was being collected about how these difficulties present in emerging adulthood or their impact on everyday living and there was no standardised screening tools for assessing the level of functional impairment in adults. Read more…