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 teen.

First, about me: I live in North Portland with my parents and sister, and just graduated with an Oregon high school diploma. I’ve started taking credit classes at PCC, and I work part time at the Hollywood Trader Joe’s where I stock and face products. I’ve wanted to work there since I was fourteen. It’s incredible to earn money on my own!

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.

Niko's Posts:

  • 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 happens to be autistic. He talks to me like there’s no plastic… Read More
  • 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 me veo a mí mismo: como una persona normal que además es autista.… Read More
  • 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 (When Push Comes to Shove) This is a time of unknowns… Read More
  • 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 largos pero fructíferos (Cuando las cosas se ponen difíciles) Este es un tiempo de incertidumbres, un… Read More
  • 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 her office, and unlike so many professionals with whom I’ve had contact, she… Read More
  • 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, pero emplea a uno de nosotros en su oficina y, a diferencia de muchos profesionales con… Read More
  • 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 preocupa, pero también me preocupa quién va a ayudar a cuidarme. Consideraría… Read More
  • 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, but I am also concerned about who is going… Read More
  • 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, definir y evaluar el valor que se la da a las personas con discapacidades: lo que… Read More
  • 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 experience, how we are treated, and the ways we live, work, and love in the world.… Read More
  • 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 I wrote last month, I used… Read More
  • 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 sea aún más especial para mí. Como lo mencioné el… Read More
  • 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 reacción a esos estímulos, y pueden reaccionar de formas que no son claras. Es ridículo pensarlo,… Read More
  • 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 these stimuli, and act out in unclear ways. Ridiculous to think, but there was a… Read More
  • 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 ahí y me he acostumbrado a su yugo. Sin embargo, a medida que yo… Read More
  • 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 my way through high school, I saw… Read More
  • 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 persona que no tiene una discapacidad. Supongo que viene de ser tan… Read More
  • 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 people around me. After a while, you get so… Read More
  • 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 catch a connecting flight to Belgrade. My… Read More
  • 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 complete written assignments for that doing nothing for a few… Read More
  • 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 workers] to support me this summer. One of them is the mom of a… Read More
  • 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 that I would share as much of my experiences as I… Read More
  • 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 because someone thinks I shouldn’t.… Read More
  • 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 the other kids fearful for their safety and resentful for all the ways… Read More
  • 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 particularly frustrating because I was so eager to communicate all that… Read More
  • 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 and future contributions that we can expect from a person. It is especially toxic because it places an… Read More
  • 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 for parents of autistic kids because there are so many misconceptions about what the future holds… Read More
  • 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 that I can be independent while they are still nearby.… Read More
  • 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 nervous before it was time to go up on stage. She was giving off this fluorescent… Read More
  • 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 is the one that knows better than me regarding how I should communicate. It is ironic that ASHA… Read More
  • 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 at the Hollywood Trader Joe’s where I stock… Read More

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