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.


I attended a focus group this week. A new venture is being developed with the intent of providing a unique six to nine-month internship experience for young adults with disabilities. 

The Umbilical Cord-ectomy

Brrrriiiiinnnngggg. There goes the alarm clock. Sniff, sniff ... Yep, that's the coffee brewing. Okay parents, it's time to wake up and inhale deeply …


Cameron has had a rather interesting week. It began last weekend with a visit to see his dad in Atlanta. Always fun. 

Waiting for the Weekend

Ah, weekends … A rest from a week of hard labor. A time to unwind, relax, and recharge. 

Applying Yourself

This week Cameron and I are making our third campus visit. Hopefully it will be our last. 

Putting Diagnosis to the Test

I hate diagnostic testing. The first time I submitted Cameron to a battery of diagnostic testing, he was 4 years old.