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.
Friday night, Cameron attended his high school prom. This wasn’t his first prom, as his school invites all high school students to attend each year, and Cameron had attended the year before last.
I jumped right into the midst of the game, becoming a Hunter/Warrior version of myself, looking for the silver bullet that would magically make him “normal.”
Last week I attended the monthly Parents Association meeting at Cameron’s school.
I have created my own interpretation of “putting the cart before the horse.” Under my direction (coercion?), Cameron has purchased his first car.
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,
As my journey through adulthood continues, I am constantly becoming aware of new and unfamiliar responsibilities as they present themselves.
On a trip to Arizona three years ago, my son Mickey asked to visit the airport gift shop. He rummaged through a display of stuffed animals.
Since I wrote of Cameron’s postsecondary funding dilemma last week, not much progress has been made.
Over the last year or so I’ve talked to parents who have children that have been newly diagnosed with ASD.
Whenever I share stories of my family's experience with Willie's aggressive and self-injurious behavior, I'm always concerned that the accounts will seem over the top to some ...
With April being Autism Awareness Month, everyone is getting into the spirit of helping out when it come to this cause.
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