Welcome, Maria!

Today, Maria arrived at work wearing a light green tutu, because it’s a big day! She is about to be employed in my newborn lab, within the project Extraordinary Brains.

Today, we walk proudly through the corridors, because we’re now officially a lab! And that’s not the only victory. We’ve gone through a lot to be where we are today.

 
Maria, in the building for child and adolescent psychiatry, at the University Hospital in Linkoping, a few feet from our offices.

Maria, in the building for child and adolescent psychiatry, at the University Hospital in Linkoping, a few feet from our offices.

 

Maria is a civil engineer and teacher, and has an extraordinary brain (autism, ADHD, amazingly competent and amazingly wonderful). She has hit the wall three time after pushing herself way too far in her profession of engineering. She’ll write more in the blog about her experiences soon.

Her private life consumes most of her energy , and she has a drive and creativity that both helps and creates challenges. She loves Lego and (luckily) has a like-minded family. Her entire basement (and sometimes the living room) is basically drowning in Lego. I know, because I’ve been there!

If you haven’t stepped on her Lego, you don’t know the real Maria ;-) Well.. it might not be entirely true, but it’s not far from it…

 
Some of Maria’s creations

Some of Maria’s creations

 

Maria has spent a year in rehabilitation with Extraordinary Brains at Linkoping University, and we’ve witnessed an amazing development. Everyone who’s been close to Maria is very impressed.

When she first arrived, she was in such bad shape that she wasn’t able to turn on her computer without sort of losing it. We had to take it slowly, and find new ways of getting around her sensitivity to stress. Slowly, she’s become calmer and more secure, and slowly she’s regained her strengths — the strengths that had been hidden in the background, inaccessible due to the chronic stress..

Now, one year later, Maria has found a kind of balance in her life, and she’ll be the first member of my lab. Research Engineer Maria! I’m so very happy!

She’ll write more about this herself, but it’s big news. We are establishing ourselves in Sweden with the first employee (apart from Kajsa), and that’s an employee who’s managed to survive a rollercoaster going from complete exhaustion to self-acceptance and balance. Can it get more awesome than that?

Yay for Maria, and welcome to the lab!!

/Kajsa