Legislation moving through Illinois' General Assembly could give parents of twins and higher order multiples more of a say in whether or not their children are placed in the same school classroom.
In many cases, school districts have their own policy on whether twins are separated or kept together in school. Some will consider the parents' wishes. Those that do choose to separate the children, typically do so because it is believed this will improve social development.
Dr. Lisabeth DiLalla, who conducted a behavioral study on twins separated and kept together in Great Britain classrooms in 2007 said that's not necessarily the case, especially if they are shy.
“Keeping them together will allow them a safe space so they can in fact explore more and make more friends," said DiLalla.
DiLalla’s study found, if twins had any behavioral problems before school and were separated in the classroom, the problems persisted. If they were kept together, behavioral problems became less of an issue. She said there are no studies examining academic achievement in these cases.
“It’s a bad idea for schools to say we will always keep twins together, or we will always separate them," said DiLalla. "Because with some children it’s really valuable to be kept together."
The legislation passed through the House this spring. It would still have to be approved in the Senate and signed by the governor before it can become law.