Julie van der Poel began her career in the IT industry, where over the course of a decade she wrote user documentation and training programs, developed and managed an educational services department, and eventually headed up a marketing team for an internet startup. Her somewhat accidental career shift towards special education came about during her six-year stint as an expat in Europe. Out of necessity, she became a full-time advocate and teaching support for her young son while they lived in Amsterdam. A move to London found Julie working with high school seniors in her son’s special needs school. It was this experience that fueled Julie’s passion for transition issues facing students with developmental and learning disabilities. Upon returning to the United States, Julie became an Independent Living Skills Instructor for postsecondary students. In this role, Julie developed curriculum and taught students everything from money handling and budgeting, to nutrition and household management.
Julie attended Georgia Tech where she earned a B.S. in Management. Julie now resides in Washington, DC with her family and two labradoodles. When she is not writing for Autism After 16, she spends most of her time ensuring that her 16-year-old son with Autism Spectrum Disorder and his exceptionally bright 8-year-old sister are getting appropriate educations.
It’s hard for me to believe, but Autism After 16 is celebrating its first birthday this week.
Today is the first day of school for Cameron. It’s the first day of his first senior year.
While the events surrounding last week’s column have been fraught with emotion, the outpouring of support from readers has been overwhelming.
This is one of the most difficult things I've ever had to write. There is raw emotion involved, and I'm not sure what else might erupt within me as I begin to tell this story.
I really thought this week’s column was going to write itself.
Have you ever had one of the moments when you're just about the drift off to sleep and you suddenly bolt upright as you remember something you've forgotten to do?
Here's what really gets to us about the holiday season. It's not the way advertisers assault us, though that's troubling.
By the time you read this, I will have returned from a week’s vacation in Florida with my family.
Schedule-based living, however, can be a tricky proposition. On the one hand, a schedule orders the day, the expectations, and is comforting to Madison who has difficulty with transitions....
The search for a postsecondary program for a student like Cameron is not much fun. It’s actually pretty awful.
Last week I had the opportunity to head to Washington, DC to attend the “Autism Speaks to Washington” summit.
This hasn't been a peaceful time in the autism community.
We have previewed and commented on the "How-To" videos below. Some of these are simple; others are fairly complex. Refer to these yourself, or use them with your adult child or student to help teach and generalize skills. Please note that some videos may contain skills which require support or training. You must determine which are appropriate for you, your adult child, or your student to use safely. Also note that as these videos come from other websites, they may contain pop-up ads. Click on an icon to see category index. Click here for full index.
Search the Autism After 16 website using the form above. You may alter your search settings on the search results page.