Blogger, Author and Millennial Mom of Autistic Twins, Chana Bennett-Rumley, Advocates for Females with Autism
Confident. Smart. Beautiful. These should more than suffice, right? These are attributes most of us crave, but the veritable reality is that most of these traits weren’t generously meted out amongst us. But Chana Bennett-Rumley indubitably won the lottery. She has worked diligently to grow as a person across her lifetime, she has shed blood, sweat and tears to earn a sociology degree from the University of Colorado and her beauty elicits a double-take. What more could she desire or need? The answer to that question is simple: lucidity, an extra hour to focus and the patience of Job.
Chana is on the spectrum—the autism spectrum, that is. She received the gift of diagnosis in 2018 at the age of 37 after a lifetime of inner turmoil, major misdiagnoses and abuse to her body, mind and spirit from those who should’ve cherished her. Due to the proclivity of autism in boys, girls have historically been overlooked by the medical community, and at one time, a female with autism was believed to be an impossibility. The general resistance to diagnose a female persists today, but Chana’s persistence in improving her health and overall life resulted in an answer she can live with.
Some may have perceived a diagnostical interpretation of Asperger’s syndrome as a negative thing. Not Chana. That hard-won, official conclusion served as confirmation of her own suspicions—prompted by her exhaustive research into something that affected more than just herself, but also the fraternal twin boys she had lovingly knitted in her womb four years prior to her diagnosis.
Incredible Rocco and Rory were both born with autism, discovered two-and-a-half years into the separate lives that they live side-by-side. Not only is the phenomenon of naturally occurring twins a rarity, but the incidence of them both being autistic is notably unusual. Compound that amalgam with a spectrum mom, and it results in a rarity that’s unthinkably untenable for most and easily managed by none. Chana will be the first to admit her life is hectic at times—even a lot. The static cacophony and overstimulation involved in having Asperger’s is enough to make her want to run for the hills at times, and daily life with two young children affected by stronger levels of autism than she has is enough to make her want to hide out there for a while.
But she stays put. Her years of experience with both the atrocious and amazing facets of her existence, along with her saturated education on the subject of autism, have provided her with the coping tools that eluded her for most of her lifetime. Due to early intervention, her boys have had the necessary luxury of in-home care and are understood and nurtured in a way that Chana wasn’t as a child. She’s doubly blessed with a pillar of strength and fountain of compassion in her partner, Nathan, who has stood behind her since she was 21.
It’s easy for the general public to overlook the deficits in someone with high functioning Asperger’s because they often appear to be just fine. The projection of confidence and intelligence work in tandem to belie what isn’t visible. No one sees it because Aspies who function at a high level are usually quite adept at hiding their aberrations and often represent themselves in a manner at odds with the storm that’s circulating in their temple. No one holds higher awareness of this than Chana, who has now taken on the important role of advocate for females with autism.
Chana recently released her first book, The Millennial Twin Mom: I’m an Autism Mom, taken from her popular blog about life with her autistic sons. Inspiring many in her situation and even others who aren’t, her message that an autism diagnosis isn’t the end of the world is a strong one that is catching on. Check out TheMillennialTwinMom.Blogspot.com. More than 67,000 Instagram followers can’t be wrong.