Thursday, March 28, 2013

Twins & Education

Recently this article from has been circulating through social media and most recently my preemie support group. The article is titled "Should Twins Be Placed In The Same Classroom" and the author presents some interesting statistics and perspective.

To be honest, this is something that the hubs and I have already talked about only a million zillion (ok maybe not that many) times. We live in one of the states that allow flexable classroom placement, which I think could be beneficial for some. I am not an expert nor could I personally make the choice for anyone other then Addison & Blake. But I did want to share our personal take on the topic...

Based on our situation - my real answer is that I feel it's important for Addison currently to be surrounded by peers in varying stages of development. Within the next year we will be faced with deciding which path to take as far as "preschool" because EI (Early Intervention) is convinced Addison will qualify (and greatly benefit from) the transitional program (that preps them for Pre-K from the EI program), and we do not want to take that same opportunity away from Blake - so one of our options and the one we are leaning towards is the transition program where Blake and similar peers would be the class "models" while Addison and her similar abled peers would be nurtured in an environment with Blake and the models. For their early development we feel like it's the best choice. Based on the interaction that Blake and Addison have among their peers, I know that this will only benefit them both for the better. They are little sponges and want to do whatever the other kids are doing which is great, especially for Addison. It's certainly a motivator to get her to work on skills that she is currently struggling with.

However Jake and I are both fully aware that as they enter grade school there is a real possibility that one of them could be in average or above average classes while the other may need more specialized services or similar to what our high school had, like a slightly below average class, where the learning style was different and the curriculum moved a little slower. Or even what is typically thought of as "special education." I won't set one up for failure should he/she need those services and cannot keep up with their "average" peers". In the same token I will not allow Blake (or Addison) to be in a situation where they aren't being challenged  just for the sack of keeping them together. Anything is possible though, which means that this may not even been the case at all. It may not be an issue of a difference in learning abilities, but I don't want to be blindsided with reality.

I feel as though, if we can take all the developmental delays and such out of the equation, then we would be more apt to say that Addison and Blake could have some choice in the matter. They may want their own space and identity. Or they may not. And as long as their education is not impacted by them being together (or separate) then we are ok with either.

The reality of this situation though, is that for many twin parents, preemie twins - at that, this isn't even an option. One twin may be faced with severe delays which means obviously one sibling will be in a class with differently abled peers, while the other is among the "general" population if you will. OR in some cases, both twins are facing disabilities and with limited resources may only have the option to be together in a class where their needs can be met.

Either way, it was interesting to read the article and the perspective. At the end of the day, is there really a sure fire science to it all? Hard to say.

What's your opinion on the topic?

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