Sheila Henderson (Dip PE, BA, MA, PhD, AFBPsS, Chartered Psychologist) is currently a Reader Emerita at the Institute of Education, University of London. She began her professional life as a Physical Education teacher and throughout her career has maintained an interest in how we all learn motor skills as well as in those who find this difficult. Over the years, she has published research on the motor difficulties of children with cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, Down’s and Asperger Syndrome, as well as children and young adults with Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) and specific handwriting difficulties. This body of work includes experimental studies of normal motor and cognitive development, surveys of how handwriting is taught in the UK, as well as large scale medical follow-up studies of children born prematurely.
Sheila is principal author of the Movement Assessment Battery for Children (Movement ABC), and has been involved in its development since the first edition, which was published in 1992 as a result of her longstanding collaboration with the late David Sugden. The original Movement ABC contained both a standardised test and a teacher checklist, as well as some ideas on how to help children who had been identified as having difficulty. Ten years later, Anna Barnett, a former student and close collaborator of both Sheila and David, became project director and co-author for the Movement ABC-2. Since then, the test has been translated into many languages and has become one of the most widely used measures of developmental coordination disorders in the world.
Sheila also collaborated with Anna Barnett, Beverly Scheib, and Joerg Schultz to produce the Detailed Assessment of Speed of Handwriting (DASH) and DASH 17+ and is co-author of the Detailed Assessment of Speed of Handwriting – Second Edition (DASH-2).