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'm Your Mom. Have We Met?

Cameron is a source of unending surprises. I am constantly surprised by his ability to answer the most open ended questions imaginable with a one word answer.

What Planet Are You From?

Cameron is usually so far off in one direction or another from any other ASD person that I’ve started referring to it as the Autism “galaxy” as opposed to “community.”

IEPs: Once More with Feeling

It's IEP writing time again.  Does anyone ever feel entirely prepared?

Eye Off the Ball

Can't a mom get a break? I worked so hard to find a proper placement for my son, I thought I could rest on my laurels for just a second.

Transition Undefined

How do you define Transition? It means movement, passage, or change from one position, state, stage, subject, concept, etc., to another. As students with ASD reach adulthood

Leaving Free and Appropriate and Avoiding Expensive and Mismatched

A student with Autism Spectrum Disorder typically exits secondary education between the ages of 18 and 21.  At this point, the question of the desirability of postsecondary education may well arise.