Julie van der Poel

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.

Fireworks and Tears

While flipping radio stations in the car today, I happened across “Firework” by Katy Perry. Within seconds I started tearing up. 

Good Fortune

I am a very fortunate mom. If you’ve read any of my previous columns, you will fully understand why I say this. 

A Tale of Two Seniors

I attended (my first) Parent Social event this weekend. 

It Takes a Village

The ideal internship for Cameron would be a pizza restaurant. Where to begin?

Parenting Outside the Box

There is a saying that “necessity is the mother of invention.” Likewise, as any parent of a child with special needs knows, ingenuity is the necessity of all mothers! 

From Interest to Innovation: The Micro-Enterprise Model of Employment

Ideally, everyone desiring employment should be able to find a job.