Home » Autism Advocacy » School Board Member with Autism Fights for Marginalized Kids

School Board Member with Autism Fights for Marginalized Kids

October 7, 2020


Autism Warrior: Nicole Vander Meulen

Nicole Vander Meulen strives to be a catalyst for change. She is not just the managing partner at Vander Meulen Law Firm and a member of the Madison Metropolitan School Board—she is also open about her identity as a woman with autism. She resides in Madison, Wisconsin, with her cat, Tigger.

School Board Member with Autism Fights for Marginalized Kids

Accomplishments

Nicole considers her graduation from the University of Wisconsin Law School to be one of her most significant accomplishments. She is also deeply proud to be the first openly autistic individual to serve on a school board in the nation.

Elected in 2017, Nicole has fought to make the school system more inclusive for marginalized children and to increase funding for special education programs.

Inspiration

Nicole is most inspired by people who are changemakers—those who challenge the status quo to improve the lives of others. In particular, she admires Representative John Lewis, President Barack Obama, and innovative artists like Lin-Manuel Miranda. It is a dream of hers to meet Miranda one day!


Special Offer

Don't miss out on our special offer.
Click here to find out more

Goals

Nicole hopes to be re-elected and continue her work on the Madison Metropolitan School Board. In the future, she plans to run for the Wisconsin State Legislature.

Advice for families affected by autism

Nicole encourages families to help their ASD children expand their horizons and learn new things: “Please challenge us to accept new ideas, new foods, and new people. Practice social etiquette at home by acting out what is going to happen at an event and how people may respond.”

She also says parents must always keep in mind that their child should be treated with empathy and compassion: “My advice is to treat your child the way you want to be treated. Just because we are autistic doesn’t mean we’re completely immune to the world around us…Most importantly, realize that we are capable of love, joy, and acceptance. We just show it differently than most people.”

Website: www.nickiforschools.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nkvander
Twitter: www.twitter.com/Badgerlaw

This article was featured in Issue 104 –Transition Strategies For Kids With Autism

Support Autism Parenting Magazine

We hope you enjoyed this article. In order to support us to create more helpful information like this, please consider purchasing a subscription to Autism Parenting Magazine.

Download our FREE guide on the best Autism Resources for Parents

Related Articles

Empowering Caregivers Through Voices of Autistic Culture

Empowering Caregivers Through Voices of Autistic Culture

Read More
Autism Acceptance Month vs Autism Awareness Month: Which is Correct? https://www.autismparentingmagazine.com/autism-acceptance-vs-autism-awareness/

Autism Acceptance Month vs Autism Awareness Month: Which is Correct?

Read More
Autism Strengths: Harnessing Your Child’s Abilities

Autism Strengths: Harnessing Your Child’s Abilities

Read More
Autism Language: Person-first or Identity-first?

Autism Language: Person-first or Identity-first?

Read More
Breaking the Autism Stigma: What Can We Do?

Breaking the Autism Stigma: What Can We Do?

Read More
Autistic Screeching: the Meaning and the Controversy

Autistic Screeching: the Meaning and the Controversy

Read More
>

Autism Parenting Magazine