Mary L Mannion

Mary, a graduate of the University of MN and 6th degree blackbelt, has worked for the past 25 years teaching both Taekwondo and Physical Education in the Athlone area. Through her experience, she has identified a need and developed a special interest to find ways to help children with motor skill difficulties overcome their challenges.


Multi-approach gross motor intervention programme for children aged 5-12 with Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD).

Project About

DCD interferes with the ability of young children to perform everyday tasks as a result of motor skill dysfunction and impacts 5-7% of all children. Our aim is to gain a full understanding of the motor skill challenges facing children with DCD from the perspectives of parents, teachers, therapists and children. Information provided will help inform the design of a workable solution, making effective motor skill treatment more accessible.

Practical Impact of Project

In Ireland, lengthy waitlists or high costs often prohibit children with DCD from receiving necessary help for motor skill challenges. Our aim will be to design a community-based, multi-approach intervention programme which will provide both children and existing multidisciplinary teams support. Evidence-based information from theoretical models, past research and our own research including parental, teacher, therapist and child feedback will be used to inform the design of our intervention programme.

Major finding of project

We performed a research study using an online survey administered to the parents of children aged 4-12 with DCD. Through this we gained their perspective on the impact this disorder has on the children and participation in physical activity as well as the process and availability of motor skill assistance.



 Dr Niamh Ni Cheilleachair and Dr Kieran Dowd