Nurturing Gifted Twins
By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D
I have identical twin boys that are 2 years 9 months.
Does it follow that if one is gifted, the other will also
be? I do spend time with them on learning (seems to be when
they are best behaved), but my observations include:
They were extreme sensitivity to sound when they were
babies. Someone sneezing, coughing or a phone ringing would
Counting to 20 by age 2, and reciting the alphabet. They
can now count to 100.
If I write down words randomly they have seen before in a
book or on a video, they recognize them.
Can spell their names, also other words.
Can recite many books. In general an extraordinary memory.
Knew colors just after their second birthday, and shapes,
including semicircle, diamond, pentagon, hexagon.
Generally demanding and intense.
Perfectionists. If constructing a toy and it is not
perfect, they have a tantrum.
Very good vocabulary. Easily pronounce multi syllable
word, for months have been able say words like excellent,
exercise, mystery, xylophone, saxophone, and long people
Can construct 5 word sentences with ease, sometimes even
10 word sentences.
Know the days of the week, seasons, and solar system.
Recently have become very imaginative. Have conversations
with their toys I am not sure how best to nurture them.
A: It is highly likely that if
one of the identical twins is gifted, they would be as well
since they share a 100% of their genetic material.
Basically, the description shows that they have most of the
traits of gifted children, so you have lots to do!
You are on the right track just by observing and being aware
of their gifts. Go on spending learning with them but also
always allow them to have their space to explore. It is
indeed great that they have each other and are probably very
motivated. It is also easier to teach the same things to
twins, as one may need to work harder to cater for different
age groups. Having said that, you need to be quite careful
in observing their likes and dislikes. It can be surprising
to find that they may actually enjoy different things.
Expose a variety of materials to them and allow them to
explore what they enjoy best. For now, work on what
interests them. They appear to be in books, so provide them
with many different books of a level that is challenging to
stimulate their interests further.
Have a variety of outdoor activities to stimulate their
senses. If they enjoy science, see if you could take them to
a science or discovery museum. Talk to them a lot. Gifted
children are like sponges, they absorb very quickly and need
to be stimulated all the time, which can be quite tiring for
their care givers. At any given opportunity, try to get
other significant family members involved in caring for
them. Being rather highly sensitive, they are quick to sense
frustrations of adults.
It would appear as if they may not need friends since they
can be quite occupied with one another but this needs to be
carefully observed. At times, they may need be exposed to
other children and encourage them to include others in their
play. There are many websites on activities for gifted
children; you may want to do some reading to help you with
ideas on how to nurture them in order to develop their
potential to the maximum. Best of luck!