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 received an email from Cameron’s employment support specialist this week. She was doing her quarterly check-in with Cameron’s manager at work to see how things were going.
Hurray for having an 18-year old-son! At least that’s what I keep trying to tell myself. Even though Cameron is very different from many 18-year-olds,
Are you sick of hearing about Facebook chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg, and her "Lean In" movement yet? Yeah, me too.
Okay, I’ll admit it. I sometimes have a tendency to forget that “disability” and “autism” are not synonymous.
I am now officially the parent of an adult child. Cameron has reached the age of majority. And how are we celebrating?
Cameron had a surprise at school on Friday. He was presented with an award for completing 180 days of paid employment.
Victory is ours! I've just received a text message from my mom, alerting me to the fact that she and my dad are signing their will and Willie's special needs trust papers this morning. ...
It is that time of year again, when families get together for holidays and people start Christmas shopping.
My daughter wrote a monologue for an acting class about growing up with a sibling on the spectrum.
I’ve come down with an early case of the “Bah Humbugs” this year.
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.
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