Welcome to Niko’s Blog

 
The views and opinions expressed in Niko’s blog posts are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Council. Please help us maintain a space that welcomes conversation without allowing for personal attacks.  If we see a disrespectful comment, we will remove it.

My name is Niko Boskovic, and I am so very pleased to be able to share my thoughts and experiences living as an autistic person.

First, about me: I live in North Portland, and graduated in 2019 with an Oregon high school diploma. I take credit classes at PCC in writing and history, and enjoy writing poetry.

I’ve been autistic all my life. My earliest memory of being different was when I started kindergarten. The teacher was not welcoming or at all accommodating of my needs. She acted like I was the biggest pain in the history of her teaching experience. I didn’t know how to handle her hostility, so I would stim to comfort myself. That seemed to make matters worse – she would get so frustrated that she would ignore me and tell my aide to deal with me. She was awful to my mom too. She would talk about her to others in front of me as if I couldn’t understand. I really hated her and how she made me feel.

September 2021 Blog Post

September 2021 Blog Post

  In many ways, there are a thousand different rules of conduct that I either forget or am not aware of when I go out into the world. In most cases, it’s no big deal, but I usually manage to mess up at least a few times. For example, the racks of gum and candy at...

August 2021 Blog Post

August 2021 Blog Post

People have asked me about various topics on my Facebook page, but one thing I haven’t discussed is my future and what will happen to me when my parents die. I think many families face this predicament with a lot of fear and anxiety. Let’s be honest – your loved...

July 2021 Blog Post

July 2021 Blog Post

One time I was having lunch at school, and overheard another student say how stupid I was, as if not being verbal was an indication of not being intelligent. Sadly, lots of people think this way and have no problem letting me know. It’s so common and unrelenting and...

June 2021 Blog Post

June 2021 Blog Post

This month, I would like to share a thought or two on an important topic: making sure that a disabled person’s wishes are the main, central focus on anything that has an impact on their well-being and life experience, even if they are young and low-speaking. As...

May 2021 Blog Post

May 2021 Blog Post

This month, I’d like to focus on my thoughts about the return to not wearing masks and to no longer having to stay home out of fear of getting exposed to COVID. First, it’s a little strange to be outside without a mask on, but I imagine we will keep wearing them out...

April 2021 Blog Post

April 2021 Blog Post

Q: I am very interested in the importance of the autistic community and how speaking autistic people can better support and advocate for non-speaking autistics. Niko: It seems like there are times when the disability community must come together to advocate on behalf...

March 2021 Blog Post

March 2021 Blog Post

There is so much I want to write about, but I want to be respectful of other people’s wishes and share something that would make someone uncomfortable. So I will revert to a topic that was asked of me a few weeks ago on my Facebook page: I’m curious about...

February 2021 Blog Post

February 2021 Blog Post

By now, you have probably heard a little bit about the movie called “Music” which was produced and directed by the Australian singer Sia, and stars Maddie Zielger as the famously unautistic lead. I was invited to watch a screening as one of the advisory board members...

January 2021 Blog Post

January 2021 Blog Post

I think the first person’s face – aside from those of my parents – that I readily recognized was newscaster Jim Lehrer from the PBS NewsHour. His calm voice and demeanor reached me as I was playing or eating dinner, always on in the background while my...

December 2020 Blog Post

December 2020 Blog Post

I wish everyone reading this a very happy holiday season in this most bizarre year. It’s a time of reckoning and taking stock of how we lived during the last twelve months. But it’s also a time to think about others and what you would wish for them in 2021.  I wish...

November 2020 Blog Post

November 2020 Blog Post

Heading into the last month of the most chaotic year of my lifetime, it’s a good time to focus our attention on the positive things coming ahead. First we have the holidays which will undoubtedly raise people’s spirits, but will also ignite emotions over COVID,...

October 2020 Blog Post

October 2020 Blog Post

One time I was in my house with a new PSW [personal support worker]. He hadn’t been with us long, but I had already formed an opinion about him. It wasn’t that he was always on his phone or often arrived late – it was his attitude towards me and how he spoke to...

September 2020 Blog Post

September 2020 Blog Post

It’s with a profound sense of quiet and calm that I share something with the people who read my hard-to-understand thoughts: I am not doing well. I am utterly anxious and need to address it all the time by engaging in rituals All The Time. I’m mentally unable to get...

August 2020 Blog Post

August 2020 Blog Post

Much can be said about this hard, stressful time as we face a pandemic that has no end date, and our society has to finally address the horrible ways in which powerful institutions have repressed the rights of Black people for hundreds of years. For most of the past...

July 2020 Blog Post

July 2020 Blog Post

Recently, I was in Depoe Bay to celebrate my nineteenth birthday. I love going to the coast with my mom who is the planner of all things and usually runs a little hot in terms of patience. I see her relax visibly as the ocean draws closer, and we always have a great...

June 2020 Blog Post

June 2020 Blog Post

How anyone can function with any semblance of patience is outside my realm of understanding in this time of turmoil. It seems like society is imploding, and rightfully so. We are in a revolutionary period, stoked by a lackluster governmental response to the COVID-19...

May 2020 Blog Post

May 2020 Blog Post

I was interviewed earlier this year by a fellow PCC [Portland Community College] student who was interested in hearing about my experiences on campus. Sam is one of my favorite people at the moment because he treats me the way I see myself: like a regular person who...

April 2020 Blog Post

April 2020 Blog Post

Since the city shut down several weeks ago, I’ve had to get used to living in more isolation than usual. My parents, one of whom is still working outside the home, are totally stressed and anxious. I wrote the following poem for them: These Days Are Long But Fruitful...

March 2020 Blog Post

March 2020 Blog Post

My anxiety has slowly been responding to the medication I’ve been taking since the fall, but I think the biggest help recently is consulting someone who has worked with autistics for decades and really understands us. Barb is not autistic, but she employs one of us in...

Febrero de 2020

Febrero de 2020

De cierta manera, podría parecer contrario a mis mejores intereses describir todas las formas en las que la vida me ha derrotado. Primero, está la incertidumbre sobre mi futuro y cómo voy a cuidar de mí mismo cuando mis padres ya no estén presentes. Sé que esto les...

February 2020 Blog Post

February 2020 Blog Post

In my own way, it would seem contrary to my best interests to describe all the ways life has defeated me. First there is the uncertainty surrounding my future and how I will manage to take care of myself when my parents are no longer around. I know this worries them,...

January 2020 Blog Post

January 2020 Blog Post

It’s time to address a topic I live with every day, and greatly impacts my pursuit of independence: ableism. It basically means when people use their own perspective to design, define, and evaluate the value placed on people with disabilities: what we say and...

December 2019 Blog Post

December 2019 Blog Post

First of all, I want to wish everyone a happy Christmas! It is one of my favorite times of year, because I like all the lights that people put on their houses and trees in their yards. Knowing how hard this holiday used to be makes it all the more special to me. Like...

November 2019 Blog Post

November 2019 Blog Post

I want to focus on the little details of sensory sensitivity and what that’s like. Young people on the spectrum are often overloaded by all the signals they receive from their environment. They might be like me, unable to communicate their discomfort and reaction to...

October 2019 Blog Post

October 2019 Blog Post

September 4, 2019: I have gained a lot of insight into myself over the last few years, but one area that has stymied me completely is getting a handle on my anxiety; namely, my OCD. Like my autism, it’s always been there, and I’ve grown used to its yoke. But as I made...

September 2019 Blog Post

September 2019 Blog Post

It was never in the plan to become a self-advocate, whatever that means. I didn’t wake up one morning and decide that I was going to be passionate about the rights I have versus those of someone who is not disabled. I guess it comes from being so different from the...

August 2019 Blog Post

August 2019 Blog Post

July and August were great months to travel and eat ethnic food! I was lucky to be able to go visit my grandmother in Serbia and let her spoil me with treats and love. Getting there is always a long journey, but this time we were able to fly directly to Frankfurt and...

July 2019 Blog Post

July 2019 Blog Post

It’s been an interesting summer so far. Like any teenager, I’ve been sleeping in late and not doing a whole lot of anything. It’s been great, to be honest! I’ve been scheduled to the point of being overwhelmed by activities that I needed to take part in or had to...

June 2019 Blog Post

June 2019 Blog Post

Right now, I don’t think I could be happier. I graduated from high school, my family threw me a huge party, and I finished my PCC [Portland Community College] poetry class yesterday. I have been sleeping in, and my mom hired two awesome PSW’s [personal support...

May 2019 Blog Post

May 2019 Blog Post

Having a disability like autism means it comes with a lot of preconceived ideas about what someone like me is capable of. For example, since I can’t talk well, people may assume that I have nothing to say. Around the time I learned to communicate, I made a decision...

April 2019 Blog Post

April 2019 Blog Post

It should come as no surprise that I am a big fan of self-determination. I have the same hopes for the future that most people my age do, except my right to fulfill them is at risk because I have a disability. I mostly worry that I won’t be able to live on my own...

March 2019 Blog Post

March 2019 Blog Post

Recently I read an article about a family that made a pretty radical decision to put their three neurotypical children in a boarding school and live at home with their autistic son. I should clarify that their son is a teenager with some hardcore behaviors that made...

February 2019 Blog Post

February 2019 Blog Post

How I Letterboard I want to write about my letterboarding and really explain how it works for me. When I first started letterboarding, it was so hard to stay focused. I think I could stay engaged for at most fifteen minutes before my body needed a break. That was...

January 2019 Blog Post

January 2019 Blog Post

Changing a Belief System There is nothing I would rather change than our healthcare system because it is the driving force behind the skewed attitudes about disabled people and what they can achieve. It is dominating the conversation about perceptions of disability...

December 2018 Blog Post

December 2018 Blog Post

Why It’s Important for Parents of Kids with Disabilities to Learn from/interact with Adults with Disabilities It’s long been my belief that people would shift their perceptions about disability if they only got to know someone with one. I think this is especially true...

November 2018 Blog Post

November 2018 Blog Post

I may only be seventeen, but I’m already thinking about where I’m going to live when I’m old enough. It’s not exactly my fantasy to live with my parents forever, you know? I also know my parents might try to build an ADU [accessory dwelling unit] in the backyard so...

October 2018 Blog Post

October 2018 Blog Post

My experience at the September APSE conference was one of those experiences you don’t forget anytime soon. For one thing, it was in Seaside, and I absolutely love the Oregon coast. For another, I had the surreal understanding of watching my mom get really...

September 2018 Blog Post

September 2018 Blog Post

It is to my dismay that the American Speech Language and Hearing Association [ASHA] recently issued two guidelines that repudiate the use of letterboards for communication for people like me. It appears that it charges itself with the authority to state that it...

August 2018 Blog Post

August 2018 Blog Post

My name is Niko Boskovic, and I am so very pleased to be able to share my thoughts and experiences living as an autistic teen. First, about me: I live in North Portland with my parents and sister, and am about to start my senior year in high school. I work part time...

Septiembre de 2021

Septiembre de 2021

En muchos sentidos, hay miles de reglas de conducta diferentes que se me olvidan o que no conozco cuando salgo al mundo. En la mayoría de los casos, no es gran cosa, pero generalmente meto la pata al menos un par de veces. Por ejemplo, los estantes de chicles y dulces...

Agosto de 2021

Agosto de 2021

La gente me ha preguntado acerca de varios temas en mi página de Facebook, pero algo sobre lo que no he hablado es mi futuro y que pasará conmigo cuando mis padres fallezcan. Creo que muchas familias se enfrentan a esta difícil situación con mucho miedo y ansiedad....

Julio de 2021

Julio de 2021

Una día, estaba almorzando en la escuela y escuché a otro estudiante decir lo estúpido que yo era, como si ser no verbal fuera un indicio de no ser inteligente. Tristemente, muchas personas piensan de esta forma y no tienen ningún problema en hacérmelo saber. Es tan...

Junio de 2021

Junio de 2021

Este mes, me gustaría compartir un par de reflexiones sobre un tema importante: asegurarse de que los deseos de una persona con discapacidades sean el enfoque central de cualquier cosa que afecte su bienestar y su experiencia de vida, incluso si son jóvenes y poco...

Mayo de 2021

Mayo de 2021

Este mes, quisiera enfocarme en mis pensamientos sobre la transición a ya no usar mascarillas y no tener que estar en casa por el miedo de exponernos al COVID. Primero, es algo raro estar afuera sin mascarilla, pero me imagino que las seguiremos usando por precaución....

Abril de 2021

Abril de 2021

P: Me interesa mucho la importancia de la comunidad autista y la forma en que las personas autistas verbales pueden apoyar y defender mejor a las personas autistas no verbales. Niko: Parece que hay momentos en los que la comunidad de personas con discapacidades debe...

Marzo de 2021

Marzo de 2021

Hay muchas cosas de las que quiero escribir, pero quiero respetar los deseos de otras personas y compartir algo que puede causar incomodidad en algunos. Entonces, voy a volver a un tema que se me preguntó hace unas cuantas semanas en mi página de Facebook: Tengo...

Febrero de 2021

Febrero de 2021

Es probable que ya hayan oído hablar un poco sobre la película llamada “Music”, la cual produjo y dirigió la cantante australiana Sia y cuya protagonista es la famosa Maddie Zielger, una persona no autista. Me invitaron a ver una proyección como miembro...

Enero de 2021

Enero de 2021

Creo que el primer rostro, aparte de los de mis padres, que reconocí fácilmente fue el del locutor de noticias Jim Lehrer, de PBS NewsHour. Su voz y su actitud calmadas llegaban a mí cuando estaba jugando o cenando, siempre presentes en el fondo mientras mi familia se...

Diciembre de 2020

Diciembre de 2020

Deseo que todas las personas que están leyendo esto tengan una feliz temporada de fiestas en este año que ha sido tan extraño. Es hora de pensar y reflexionar sobre cómo vivimos estos últimos doce meses. Pero también es hora de pensar en otros y en lo que deseamos...

Noviembre de 2020

Noviembre de 2020

El último mes del año más caótico de mi vida es un buen momento para enfocar nuestra atención en las cosas positivas que se avecinan. Primero, tenemos los días festivos, los cuales indudablemente levantarán el ánimo de las personas, pero también generarán emociones...

Octubre de 2020

Octubre de 2020

Una vez estaba en mi casa con un nuevo trabajador de apoyo personal (PSW, por sus siglas en inglés). No tenía mucho que estaba con nosotros, pero yo ya me había formado una opinión sobre él. No es que siempre estuviera usando su teléfono o que llegara tarde con...

Septiembre de 2020

Septiembre de 2020

Es con una profunda sensación de tranquilidad y serenidad que comparto algo con las personas que leen mis pensamientos difíciles de entender: No estoy bien. Me siento completamente ansioso y necesito hacerle frente todo el tiempo al hacer rituales TODO EL TIEMPO....

Agosto de 2020

Agosto de 2020

Se puede decir mucho sobre estos tiempos difíciles y estresantes mientras nos enfrentamos a una pandemia que aún no tiene fin, y nuestra sociedad finalmente tiene que hacer frente a las formas terribles en las que las instituciones poderosas han reprimido los derechos...

Julio de 2020

Julio de 2020

Hace poco estuve en Depoe Bay para celebrar mi cumpleaños diecinueve. Me encanta ir a la costa con mi mamá, quien es la que planea todo y generalmente tiene muy poca paciencia. Veo cómo se relaja visiblemente conforme nos acercamos al océano y siempre nos la pasamos...

Junio de 2020

Junio de 2020

Está fuera del ámbito de mi entendimiento cómo alguien puede funcionar con aparente paciencia en estos tiempos de agitación. Es como si la sociedad se estuviera colapsando y con justa razón. Estamos en un periodo revolucionario que se atiza con una respuesta deslucida...

Mayo de 2020

Mayo de 2020

Un compañero del Colegio Comunitario de Portland (PCC, por sus siglas en inglés), interesado en escuchar acerca de mis experiencias en el campus, me entrevistó a principios de año. Sam es una de mis personas favoritas en este momento porque me trata de la forma en que...

Abril de 2020

Abril de 2020

Desde que la ciudad cerró hace varias semanas, he tenido que acostumbrarme a vivir más aislado que de costumbre. Mis padres, uno de los cuales sigue trabajando fuera de casa, están totalmente estresados y ansiosos. Escribí el siguiente poema para ellos: Estos días son...

Marzo de 2020

Marzo de 2020

Mi ansiedad ha estado respondiendo lentamente al medicamento que he estado tomando desde otoño, pero creo que lo que más me ha ayudado recientemente es hablar con alguien que ha trabajado con autistas durante décadas y que realmente nos entiende. Barb no es autista,...

Enero de 2020

Enero de 2020

Es hora de hablar de un tema con el que vivo todos los días y que, de forma importante, afecta mi búsqueda de independencia: la discriminación en contra de las personas con discapacidad. Básicamente, es cuando las personas usan su propia perspectiva para diseñar,...

Diciembre de 2019

Diciembre de 2019

Antes que nada, ¡quiero desearles a todos una feliz Navidad! Es una de mis temporadas favoritas del año, porque me gustan todas las luces que la gente pone en sus casas y en los árboles de sus jardines. Saber lo difícil que esta temporada de fiestas solía ser hace que...

Noviembre de 2019

Noviembre de 2019

Quiero enfocarme en los pequeños detalles de la sensibilidad sensorial y en cómo es esta. Las señales que reciben de su medio ambiente saturan frecuentemente a las personas jóvenes que están en el espectro. Pueden ser como yo, incapaces de comunicar su malestar y...

Octubre de 2019

Octubre de 2019

4 de septiembre de 2019: He aprendido mucho sobre mí mismo en los últimos años, pero un área en la que estoy completamente estancado es cómo controlar la ansiedad, en particular, mi trastorno obsesivo compulsivo (TOC). Al igual que mi autismo, el TOC siempre ha estado...

Septiembre de 2019

Septiembre de 2019

El blog de Niko: La importancia de la autodefensa Convertirme en un autodefensor, sea lo que sea que eso signifique, nunca fue parte del plan. No me desperté un mañana y decidí que iba a apasionarme por los derechos que tengo versus los derechos de que tiene una...

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