Hope Jacobson (’20) Opens Up On Autism in Her New Book

After living with anxiety throughout her life, Hope Jacobson (’20) is sharing her experiences through her new book, “The Speakers in My Head,” and will be signing copies of the self-published tome on April 3, at 11 am in the Marie Graber Ballroom inside the Alumni Campus Center. A native of Lindenhurst, Ill., Jacobson is a sociology major. The book is a compilation of her personal writings.

Diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, Jacobson has been using writing as a way to help her navigate her autism from a young age. Through this book, she has gone back through key moments that helped shape who she is the role autism and anxiety have played in them. That meant some experiencing tough moments all over again.

“It was emotionally draining because I had to relive my life as I wrote this so I could only work on it for a few hours each day,” she explained. “I kept in mind that the end result would be worth it so that helped keep me going.”

In relating her experiences, Jacobson uses popular music as the vehicle to connect different points in her life. “It was almost by accident, but all my memories come together in the form of what songs take me there. I figured if I have all of these thoughts already on paper, why not release them and see if other people can relate.”

From elementary school to her most recent experiences as a Loras student, she shares an unapologetic look at how Autism and anxiety shaped her formative years.

“People are complex and that is not a bad thing,” she said regarding the message of the book. “We are full of traits inside that others usually knows about. No one label defines a person and we can have different ways that we think of ourselves in different situations and that doesn’t mean they are putting on a face in one situation, they are just expressing a different part of themselves. Each person should be validated based on their environment.”

The book signing is open to the public. Copies of “The Speakers in My Head” are available at the Loras College Book Store and can be found on Amazon.com.

As part of Autism Acceptance Month, Loras is also hosting “Autism Resources Connect,” an event to help bring awareness and resources to those families affected by ASD. “Autism Resources Connect” will be hosted on Saturday, April 6 in the Marie Graber Ballroom inside the Alumni Campus Center from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. The event will open with a keynote address by Lynn Gallagher, Ed.D., Director of Disability Services at Loras College, titled, “Autism, Ability over Disability.” Gallagher oversees the Autism Resources for Career and Higher Education.