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Twin Stuff!, Issue #009 -- Twin Language Development - Understanding Autism
June 02, 2009
This month's newsletter has a focus on twin language development and the "special" language that some twins seem to share. Many parents will find themselves dealing with twins who are behind in their speech, so having some basic information can be very helpful in understanding just what you may be in for, or if you already have twins, what you can do to help. We will also cover some interesting information on autism, recognizing it's symptoms, and how it may relate to language development. Don't forget to check out the May "Two Cute" contest winner and our "Featured Mom", Stephanie Manner Wagner.
We're offering a fun new contest too!
June 2009 ~ Issue #009
Twin language or twin speech is often referred to as autonomous language, cryptophasia, or idioglossia. They are all types of communication systems, most commonly occurring in twins. With the exception of Cryptophasia, they may also transpire between singletons and between other siblings of multiple births. Basically, this phenomenon of twin language describes the way two or more close siblings use words and/or gestures that are largely unrecognizable or even completely unintelligible to others. This is not necessarily a rare occurrence, but more of a misunderstood one that has fascinated parents of twins and the general public for years. However, new studies may shed some light on this intriguing subject.
HOW AND WHY TWIN LANGUAGE DEVELOPS
It should also be noted that circumstance plays a role in twin speech development. Some studies imply that premature twins or twins with low birth weight may have a higher incidence of delayed speech and/or idioglossia. And most health care professionals agree that boys (twins or not) tend to speak a bit later than girls. Then, of course, you have to factor in the language of the parents or guardian having the most interaction with young twins. If this "model language" is absent or lacking, twins tend to use each other as a model which leads to the inaccurate use of grammar as mentioned earlier. One mother of twins was told most accurately by the pediatrician, "Your twins already have three strikes against them in terms of speech development. They were preemie, they are boys, and they are identical"!
WHAT CAN BE DONE TO HELP
By Khanh-Van Le-Bucklin, MD, FAAP, MOM
Autism is a neurobiological disorder which affects a child's ability to communicate and effectively engage in social interaction. This year, more children were diagnosed with autism than with diabetes, cancer, and AIDS combined.
While there is no cure for autism, children with autism have great potential for improvement with early intervention. Therefore, it's important that parents are aware of some of the early signs that may signify an autistic spectrum disorder.
According to the literature distributed by Autism Speaks, parents should notify their pediatrician if they notice one of the following signs in their child:
• No big smiles or other warm, joyful expressions by 6 months of age.
• No back-and-forth sharing of sounds, smiles, or other facial expressions by 9 months.
• No response when the child's name is called by 10 months.
• No babbling by 12 months.
• No back-and-forth gestures such as pointing, showing, reaching, or waving by 12 months.
• No words by 16 months.
• No two word meaningful phrases (without imitation or repeating) by 24 months.
• Any loss of speech, babbling, or social skills at any age.
If your child exhibits any of the above behaviors, it doesn't necessarily mean that he/she has autism. However, you'll want to bring your concerns to the attention of your pediatrician or a developmental specialist for further evaluation.
For more information and the full post of this article, visit Dr. Le-Bucklin's site: www.TwinsDoctor.com
The following question was put forth by a parent of multiples in a recent interview with Dr. Le-Bucklin...
"With the recent media attention, many parents are nervous about the possibility of autism. Are multiples more likely to be on the spectrum than singletons"?
Now taking entries for June
This is our brand new contest that will be featuring unique photos of twin pregnancy from our visitors! Be sure to head on over and submit your own entry at The Best Twin Belly Photo Contest
Entering is totally free and the winner will receive a brand new copy of In The Womb - Multiples DVD as seen on National Geographic Channel!
This month's featured mom runs one of the most helpful product review blogs on the web with a focus on products for twins...
2) HOW DID YOU DECIDE ON THIS BLOG/SUBJECT?
3) WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT THIS SUBJECT?
4) DO YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT ANY SPECIAL PROMOS, PRODUCTS, DEALS OR OTHER TOPICS?
5) TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOU, YOUR FAMILY, YOUR TWINS
AND HOW YOU MANAGE IT ALL.
My next oldest is my son, Hayden, who is 10. He was the middle child for a very long time around our family and had some adjusting to do when we added the twins to our family. Here's a link to his reaction to the news we were having twins.
My 3rd child is our only daughter, Cordelia who is 8. She was the baby for 7 years and will always be the princess of our household. She is a fabulous "sissy-mom" to the twins and does a great job of keeping her older brother's in line as well. 4 & 5 are our fraternal boy twins, Cormac & Declan (or Mac & Dec for short). They are amazingly little guys who keep the whole house busy and entertained. It is hard to even remember what life was like before these 2 entered our world. Each of them has wide different personalities and talents, yet they are equally adored. My husband and I feel the twins arriving last has been a real blessing. While the plan was to have just one more, and we probably would not have knowingly signed up for twins with 3 kids already, it has worked out so well to have all the extra help.
6) ANY ADVICE OR INSPIRING WORDS FOR OTHER MOMS?
7) HOW DO OTHERS CONTACT YOU FOR MORE INFORMATION?
Until next month....
All the best, Kellie Asaro (site founder)
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