Staff Writer

Staff Writer

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.


Learning to Fly

I'm that mom. You know the type. The one whose reaction to a boo-boo causes the child more distress that the actual boo-boo.

Mama Bear Instincts

I found myself taking a dose of my own medicine last week.

Having Your Pizza and Eating it Too

Last Friday night was Cameron’s first evening of paid employment with Angelico’s Pizzeria. 

How Much is Too Much?

As a parent, I often find myself walking the fine line between offering too much support to my children and not offering enough. 

Pioneer Spirit

It’s hard for me to believe, but Autism After 16 is celebrating its first birthday this week. 

Once More with Feeling

Today is the first day of school for Cameron. It’s the first day of his first senior year.