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 IEP writing time again. Does anyone ever feel entirely prepared?
Can't a mom get a break? I worked so hard to find a proper placement for my son, I thought I could rest on my laurels for just a second.
How do you define Transition? It means movement, passage, or change from one position, state, stage, subject, concept, etc., to another. As students with ASD reach adulthood
A student with Autism Spectrum Disorder typically exits secondary education between the ages of 18 and 21. At this point, the question of the desirability of postsecondary education may well arise.
Though my parenting experience is not unique, I have often found myself feeling alone and in uncharted territory.
Last Tuesday my sister Connie had to have a surgery.
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.
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