RESPONSE TO WHITE HOUSE PROCLAMATION TO LIGHT IT UP BLUE

I WANT TO STATE THAT FOR ME, THERE IS NO “LIGHT IT UP BLUE.” SURE, WE NEED TO DO MORE ABOUT MAKING OUR COMMUNITIES MORE ACCEPTING OF AUTISTICS, BUT NOT AT THE EXPENSE OF AUTISTIC PEOPLE’S LIVES.

THERE ARE MORE OF US THAN EVER BEFORE – WHAT TRUMP’S PROCLAMATION ADMITS IS THAT AUTISM IS A FATE WORSE THAN DEATH – THAT WE NEED TO WORK TOWARDS A FUTURE WHERE AUTISM DOESN’T EXIST.

I SAY THAT THIS IS BULLSHIT. MAYBE IT LOOKS LIKE A CURE, BUT IN ALL HONESTY, IT IS GENOCIDE. SORRY IF I THINK YOUR PROCLAMATION SUCKS.

HOW I TRY NOT TO IMPLODE (OR, A POEM ABOUT PATIENCE)

NEUTRAL I AM NOT.
THERE ARE DAYS WHEN I FEEL LIKE SCREAMING,
GIVE UP AND NOT MAKE AN EFFORT TO RESPOND.
THANK MY PATIENCE FOR THAT NOT HAPPENING.

HAVING NO OUTER VOICE
DOESN’T SILENCE THE ONE INSIDE.
THAT VOICE IS STRONG.
THAT VOICE IS DEEP AND COMMANDING.
IT BREAKS LIKE WATER ON THE ROCKS.
LEAST OF ALL,
IT IS WEAK.

HOW THAT VOICE SCREAMS
AT EVERY INJUSTICE.
LIKE A GROWLING HARPIE
EYEBALLING A MERE MORTAL,
I WOULD DESTROY YOU
IN BIBLICAL TIMES.

SO YOU SEE,
MY PATIENCE IS NOT REALLY
PATIENCE,
IT’S A BIDING OF MY TIME.
MY PATIENCE IS A DANCE
ON THE EDGE OF A BLADE.
MY PATIENCE IS A GRAND HEIST IN THE WORKS
AT THE BANK.
AND SOME DAY SOON,
MY PATIENCE IS GOING TO RUN OUT.

Why I Marched in the Women’s March on Portland Today

image of Niko in blue jacket, black gloves and hat holding a sign that reads "Autistic & proud."SOMETHING I SHOULD GET OFF MY CHEST: INITIALLY, I THOUGHT TRUMP WAS AMUSING. HE WAS THIS MANIACAL, TINY-HANDED EGOCENTRIC FOOL WHO WAS IN IT AS SOME SORT OF DARE THAT HE COULDN’T GET OUT OF. THEN HE WON THE ELECTION, HARDLY, AS A MATTER OF FACT, WITHOUT A GOOD UNDERSTANDING OF THE DISABILITY COMMUNITY. THE MINI-TYRANT WON, LEAVING MILLIONS FEELING HOPELESS.
THAT IS WHY I WANTED TO MARCH. VERY LITTLE ATTENTION WAS GIVEN TO THE DISABILITY COMMUNITY DURING THE ELECTION, AND WE ARE NOW FACING THE BIGGEST THREAT TO OUR FREEDOM AS WE KNOW IT. WE NEED TO BE TELLING OUR STORIES OVER AND OVER SO THAT WE ARE NOT FORGOTTEN.
YOU ONLY SEEM TO THINK OF OUR RIGHTS WHEN YOU READ SOMETHING IN THE PAPER OR READ ABOUT IT IN YOUR NEWSFEED. NOTHING WOULD PROTECT US BETTER THAN NON-DISABLED PEOPLE SEEING OUR VALUE AND CONTRIBUTION TO SOCIETY. WHAT WOULD SAVE US FROM TRUMP’S HISTORICAL DISDAIN WOULD BE IF PEOPLE BELIEVED IN INCLUSION AND INSISTED THAT PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES WERE VALUED MEMBERS OF THEIR COMMUNITY. YOU CAN KEEP OUR RIGHTS INTACT FOR THE NEXT FOUR YEARS.
= WHY I MARCH TODAY =
TO MAKE PEOPLE SEE US.
TO MAKE US VISIBLE.
TO MAKE OUR VOICES HEARD.
TO MAKE THE WORLD A KINDER PLACE.
TO SHOW THAT WE WILL NOT TAKE SHIT FOR BEING DIFFERENT.
image of people dressed warmly in the cold rain holding protest signs MARCHING ALONGSIDE MY MOM AND MY SISTER WAS THE BEST WAY TO SHOW MY SUPPORT FOR THE WOMEN WHO HAVE MADE ME THE MAN I AM BECOMING. HOW THEY HAVE CHANGED MY LIFE, STOPPING AT NOTHING TO GET WHAT I NEED! NOW THAT I HAVE A VOICE, I CAN TELL THEM HOW MUCH I LOVE THEM. SOMEDAY SOON I WILL BE MORE INDEPENDENT, AND I WILL TOW THEM BEHIND *ME* FOR A CHANGE. UNTIL THAT DAY, WE WORK FOR *ALL* OUR RIGHTS AND LOVE ONE ANOTHER.
@WomenMarchPDX

Letter to the Editors of “The Oregonian”

DEAR OREGONIAN,

THE REASON I TOOK PART IN TODAY’S WALKOUT WAS BECAUSE I MEANT TO BE THERE ON BEHALF OF STUDENTS WHO ARE DISABLED. WE ARE NOT INCLUDED IN THE VISION OF TRUMP’S AMERICA. MANY PEOPLE WANT TO SEE THIS COUNTRY BECOME GREAT AGAIN. WHAT ARE THEY EXPECTING FROM A MAN WHO DOES NOT PRETEND TO CARE ABOUT ANYONE WHO IS NOT WHITE AND RICH? REALLY, CAN WE EXPECT TO BE INCLUDED IN ANY DEBATES ABOUT WHAT PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES CAN ACHIEVE WITH TRUMP? I SINCERELY DO NOT BELIEVE HE CARES. FOR THAT REASON I PROTESTED TODAY, AND I WILL CONTINUE TO VOICE MY OPINION IN ANY WAY I CAN. PLEASE DO NOT DISPARAGE YOUNG PEOPLE’S PASSION; WE WILL BE VOTING IN FOUR YEARS. PLEASE BE PATIENT WITH US AS WE CUT OUR POLITICAL TEETH.

SINCERELY,

NIKO BOSKOVIC
NORTH PORTLAND

The Trump Win

REALLY HARD TO PROCESS THE ELECTION RESULTS RIGHT NOW. YOU MIGHT THINK I WOULD HAVE MORE TO SAY, BUT IN FACT I AM TOO UPSET ABOUT WHAT A TRUMP PRESIDENCY WILL DO TO MY MUSLIM BROTHERS AND SISTERS, TO MY GAY FRIENDS, TO MY SISTER AND OTHER YOUNG GIRLS, TO ANYONE WHO WANTS TO LIVE WITHOUT FEAR, TO THINK ABOUT MYSELF.

WHERE IS THE LOVE? WHERE IS THE TOLERANCE THAT MOVES US FORWARD AS A COUNTRY? WE HAVE TAKEN A GIANT STEP BACKWARDS, AND WILL FIND SOLACE IN WHAT WILL BE RESUMED IN FOUR YEARS. I EXPECT THE WORK WILL CONSUME A GREAT DEAL MORE TIME TO FIX THAN IT WILL TAKE TRUMP TO DESTROY.

Comments on ABA Therapy

In preparing for a psychology assignment on behaviorists, Niko read the following article and had some thoughts about his own experience with ABA.

https://spectrumnews.org/features/deep-dive/controversy-autisms-common-therapy/

I AGREE WITH THERE BEING A MIDDLE GROUND FOR ABA. IN MY EXPERIENCE, IT HELPED ME MAKE SENSE OF THE WORLD AROUND ME. IT WAS SOMETHING THAT WAS FUN. I HATED WHEN I WAS TOLD TO QUIET MY HANDS.

SOMETIMES, HOWEVER, MY INSTINCT WAS TO HAVE A MAD FACE OR PROTEST HAVING TO DO SOMETHING. MOSTLY I JUST WANTED TO PLAY. THIS MEANT CUTTING PAPER AND SPRINKLING IT ON THE FLOOR.

LATER ON I GOT BORED WITH ABA, AND WAS SO RELIEVED WHEN YOU SWITCHED TO REALLY OPENING YOURSELVES UP TO PLAYING ON MY TERMS. IT WAS A TURNING POINT FOR ME. KNOWING HOW I INTERACTED WITH OTHERS, IT MADE A TREMENDOUS DIFFERENCE WHEN YOU STARTED ACCEPTING ME AS AN AUTISTIC PERSON. WHEN THIS HAPPENED, IT WAS LIKE YOU THOUGHT OF ME AS SOMEONE WITH SOMETHING TO CONTRIBUTE. I THINK ONLY PEOPLE WHO HAD ABA KNOW WHAT THAT FEELS LIKE.

Motivation

WP_20160629_09_15_14_Pro

SO MUCH OF WRITING DIDN’T SATISFY THE DESIRE I FEEL FOR SAYING WHAT IS ON MY MIND. SOMETHING THAT I ENJOY WOULD BE HAVING THE INDEPENDENCE TO EXPRESS MY OPINION WITHOUT HAVING TO RELY ON OTHER PEOPLE. FOR EXAMPLE, I WOULD LOVE TO HAVE A CONVERSATION WITH A GIRL WITHOUT WAITING FOR AN ADULT TO HELP ME.

EVERYTHING I AM DOING IS FOR THE PURPOSE OF GAINING THE SKILLS TO BE JUDGED ON THE MERITS OF MY WORDS. FOR EXAMPLE, WHEN YOU OR STORMY SUPPORT ME, I JUST EXPECT SOMEONE TO DISAGREE WITH THE ANSWER. REALLY, I DO. YOU WOULD THINK BY NOW THEY BELIEVE THAT I AM THE ONE TALKING.