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 was particularly cold in the mall, as the A/C worked its way through the end of peak back to school season.
A new school year means a new internship for Cameron.
Cameron’s final year of high school begins in a week and I’m finding myself in a bit of a panic.
Last week, I wrote of my unusually optimistic nature when it comes to Cameron. This optimism was slightly foiled by a less than glowing review of his recent summer employment.
For the record, I am a glass-half-empty kind of person. I inevitably get in the wrong line at the grocery store, and if there’s a chance of rain, it will rain … as soon as I go outside.
Kids say the darndest things. Last summer, we were at a family dinner at my father’s house when Cameron announced to our hosts that I don’t like coming over there because their house is too small.
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.
By the time you read this, I will have returned from a week’s vacation in Florida with my family.
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