Julie Balderston graduated from Oregon State University in 1991 with a Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communication. She then moved to the San Francisco Bay Area and after a short stint in the business world, overseas travel and much introspection, she realized that working with children with disabilities was part of her life path.
Julie enrolled in the post baccalaureate Speech-Language Pathology program at California State University, Hayward (Cal State East Bay). Accepted into the graduate program Julie earned a M.S. in Speech/Language Pathology in June 1998. While in graduate school, she worked as a respite care provider for children with disabilities as well as young children in the foster care system.
After that, Julie began working in a local public school district both as a speech-language pathologist and then as the program coordinator for those in the district with autism spectrum disorder. She started social skills groups at the elementary, middle and high school level for children with high-functioning autism and Asperger's. Her fourteen years working in public education gave her the insight into best practice strategies, how to create strong IEPs, and the importance of teamwork when developing programs for students with ASD.
Today, Julie devotes her energy to running SCC and consulting with families and districts to develop strong educational programming. She also does some special projects for the local ESD.
Julie comes from a family of educators and credits the influence of her mother who was a phenomenal special education teacher for more than 25 years, with her inspiration. She enjoys spending time with her husband and her two high-school-aged children. You can find her at all of her daughter's sand and indoor volleyball games, and listening to her son play the cello for the local high school orchestra, Corvallis Youth Symphony and various quartets.
Amanda Stenberg graduated from Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington. After being a special education instructional assistant for several years, she went on to get her teaching certification and Masters in Special Education from the University of Washington. She taught students with autism in an inclusive setting for seven years in the Seattle area. She then moved back to Oregon, where she'd grown up. In addition to her social coaching at SCC, she is an autism specialist for a local education service district. Amanda enjoys collaborating with staff in local school districts about how to best serve their students with autism. As a consultant, she stresses the importance of social thinking, helping teachers run social groups and incorporate social thinking instruction throughout the school day. Amanda also enjoys fostering understanding and empathy by speaking to both students and educators about what it is like to have autism and other social-cognitive challenges. It is a special joy for Amanda to put her ideals into practice at the Social Communication Clinic.
Amanda is an avid reader, and enjoys spending time with her family.
Our staff make up some of the most experienced and well-networked individuals in Western Oregon.