Introducing Sanne Kluin
Sanne Kluin, Research Assistant
Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen
Can you explain your research and role in CANDY in 2 sentences?
I’m a research assistant here in Nijmegen for PIP, which means I do most of the testing with the children that we see. I’m involved in the cognitive tests, the imaging, and the contact with all of our parents. So, from the days we see kids, to some coding and administrative stuff.
What do your friends and family think what you are doing in the clinic?
My friends and family usually think I do a lot of tests, little games and measures for and with children that are often marked as more difficult by society. And of course, they do know that this is for research, to understand the children and their development better.
What are you really doing most of your work time?
To be fair, my time is equally divided. There’s more administration work and contacting parents involved than people think. But I’m glad that we’re not testing children 7 days a week, since it’s (besides very fun) very tiring!
What’s your favourite and / or least favourite task in the clinic?
I think my favorites that we do are the ADOS and Mullen tests, so the diagnostic scheme for autism and a developmental test. The best thing about testing are the children themselves. They always bring so much energy to the days, no day is the same! I think my least favourite task is calling parents, but that’s mostly because we have quite a few calendars that all need to be checked before we can plan them in.
Why you have chosen to work in the field of neurodevelopmental conditions?
I’ve always been interested in the constant changes that the brain undergoes. How it can develop, how it proceeds, and how it will eventually decline. The development of the brain is so spectacular to me and the fact that is happens generally in the same way for most kids, is amazing. That also makes me intrigued that sometimes development actually doesn’t follow the ‘rules’ we’ve made up. I’d like to sift through all the details about the brain development.
Why does your research matter to the general public?
In a few months from now, there’s no direct impact from my work on the average citizen. Eventually, with all the work we do with children with developmental conditions, I’d like to think that we do make an impact. By knowing more about the development, we could help the children that have different development tracts by giving them or their parents specific tools and making the way into the world a bit easier.
What is your personal highlight in CANDY up to now?
I think my personal highlight was one of the testing days. We had a child coming in with his mother and he was pre-/non-verbal, but they spoke fluent sign language. It was so cool for me to see that the proper guidance, such as sign language, could be such a wonderful ‘solution’! It was a very fun day!
Which publication or researcher influenced you most?
I don’t think there’s a specific publication, but the work our principal investigator does influences me a lot! He’s asking questions at all the right places, and luckily for me, at the places where it interests me. He should already have his pension, but is still here, because he is truly interested!
Coffee or Tea? I actually do not drink coffee, so tea it is!
Mac or PC? Ever since I started studying, I’ve worked with my trusted Mac, so that’s what I know best
Cats or dogs? Definitely cats! Especially our cat ‘Wiskie’ (pronounced Whiskey, but with the plainest Dutch spelling)
Mountain or sea? I’m not really fond of everything in the deep sea that I cannot see 😄, so I’m gonna have to say the mountains
What’s your favourite thing to do outside the clinic?
I’ve been ‘doing’ scouting since I was about 10 years old and am still active there as a ‘guide’ I suppose for the children aged 5-7. Besides that, I love to dance, I currently do contemporary, showdance, and ballet.
How does your perfect day-off looks like?
I imagine it starts with sleeping in a little, then breakfast. Then in the morning maybe a dance class, lunch, and then going to a book store. Money spent on books is never lost. After a nice dinner I guess ‘borrelen’ (having a drink) with my boyfriend and/or some friends, or just calmly staying in and watching a movie.
Best recent series or movie or novel?
I must admit that I’ve recently watched “New Girl” and absolutely love the series! I’m not watching it again directly after, but in a few years (maybe the year I turn 29, haha) I’ll definitely do it again.