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.
I've said before that I have two only children. The age difference between Cameron and his sister is eight years, and they are opposite in every way imaginable.
What makes a vacation a vacation? For me it's all about doing nothing.
Shout out to the AirTran and TSA agents at Jacksonville International Airport. You guys rock!
My son has completed his first week of paid employment!
By the time you read this, my son will have arrived at his first day of work for his first paying job.
This is the time of year when a student’s milestones are often celebrated.
As we get older, one of the major decisions that we have to make is when to retire. For some people, their employer makes that decision for them with a “forced retirement.”
The future creeps up on you when you’re busy doing other things. Deadlines and decisions come jumping at you just when you start to relax.
Last week, Cameron had an interview with the director of a postsecondary program we are considering. The interview was done via Skype.
Being a self-advocate in the autism community for the past several years has definitely had a few perks here and there.
Last night I had a dream that found me raging through my childhood home. For some reason, I was very angry with my family.
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