Anneke was trained as a pediatrician while she was a part-time teacher of physics and anatomy for student nurses. She did her Ph.D. on a nationwide study of the follow-up of preterm and small for their gestational-age babies in her native country of the Netherlands. In addition to describing a standardized outcome based on the WHO Impairments Disabilities and Handicaps classification, Anneke analyzed the visual-spatial abilities and the language development data of close to 1,000 five-year old children. She participated in writing a textbook for assistant nurses about nutrition for healthy and sick children. She worked in Oxford UK at the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit for several years before moving to the US.
Since her college years, Anneke has been interested in how plasticity enables the brain to acquire knowledge and skills and how language and visual-spatial abilities, like math, come to maturation. She designed a complete curriculum with day-to-day activities for a facility offering daycare for 6-week old infants through Kindergarten and delivered the teacher training to implement it.
On a personal level, Anneke came in contact with dyslexia when the Kindergarten teacher predicted that her daughter was going to struggle with learning to read. This proved very true and for many years their lives were filled with parent-teacher conferences, extra courses and additional testing sessions (for IEP’s, etc…) that were centered around dyslexia. Anneke started to read up on the subject. She became a volunteer at the Neuhaus Dyslexia Institute and volunteered for a fMRI study at UT. She also trained as a tester and reading tutor at UT Health Science Center in Houston.
This tutoring experience brought back fond memories of Anneke’s first high school job as a math tutor for middle and high school students. Unlike dyslexia, where there is an abundance of good information for parents and teachers, dyscalculia is relatively new and unknown so in 2010, to help parents help their children and to promote research based educational strategies for students who struggle in math, Anneke founded Dyscalculia Services. Currently, she gives presentations and workshops on the subject of dyscalculia and teaches part-time at several private schools in Houston.
Anneke is married and has three children. The love of recreational math, riddles, construction toys, thinking games, and 3D puzzles has brought them all much joy as they explored all the children’s or STEM related museums they could find!