Monday, October 24, 2011

Introducing: Amanda Kirby - Understand the difference

Amanda KirbyProfessor Amanda Kirby MBBS MRCGP PhD

Professor Kirby founded The Dyscovery Centre in Cardiff in 1997.

Since that time The Centre has become internationally recognised for its work in Developmental Co-ordination Disorder (DCD) and related specific learning difficulties.

In 2006, the Dyscovery Centre became part of the School of Education at the University of Wales, Newport. In April 2007 Amanda gained a Chair in Developmental Disorders in Education at the University.

Amanda previously worked as a General Practitioner and has worked in Community Paediatrics and Psychiatry.

She has many books published in the field of specific learning difficulties, and has published Mapping SEN – a CD-based programme for schools - and '100 Ideas for Supporting Pupils with Dyspraxia and DCD' as well as academic texts.

She is very interested in the ability to transfer evidence-based research into everyday practice and has recently developed several different websites including, and

Amanda is currently the patron of the Dyspraxia Association in New Zealand and medical advisor to the Dyspraxia Foundation in the UK and Ireland.

She is also a medical advisor to a developmental disorders clinic in Singapore, the UK Neurofibromatosis Association and is on the Royal College of General Practitioners Learning Disability Working Party.

She also works with the Welsh Assembly on specific projects including a benchmarking exercise on Dyslexia and specific learning difficulties provision.

She has provided consultancy to the RAF and Football Association.

Amanda has both a professional and personal interest in DCD (Dyspraxia) and related specific learning difficulties as her middle child, her 25-year old son, has co-ordination and some attentional difficulties, and trying to address his difficulties and finding answers to problems first sparked her interest in the area.

Her research interests include the effects of nutrition on learning and behaviour, outcomes for students in further and higher education with Dyspraxia and DCD, and executive functioning in school and college students.

Recent work has continued to look at the effect of specific learning difficulties in gaining employment.

Check her for a comprehensive presentation on Supporting Learning Difficulties in Adulthood by Prof. Kirby: this presentation was given at the Understand the Difference conf. 2011

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