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.

Memorable Weekend

I hope everyone is having an enjoyable Memorial Day Weekend. It certainly has been a memorable one for me. 

A Trip of Discoveries

I'm traveling ... again, but this time the whole family is with me. 

The High Low Game

When you have a kid on the autism spectrum, the first thing people often want to know is where he falls on that scale. 

Up in the Air

It's time for what has become my somewhat regular installment from the air. 

Teaching Teachers to Teach

Over the weekend, I read an article in the Washington Post entitled “Seeing a shortfall, parents of autistic kids mobilize.” 

Charting the Course

This is not the first time I've asked this question, nor am I the only person who has asked, but maybe, dear reader, you are the one that has the answer: Does it really have to be this difficult?