What is Cryptophasia?
Cryptophasia is the secret language shared by the twins. It is the language developed by the two children which only they can understand.
Twins share the womb and also have a deep emotional connection. The identical twins share most of the DNA. Along with all this, they also develop a private language in early childhood that only they connect with.
The word is taken from the word crypto meaning secret and phasia meaning speech.
It is yet not known whether it’s a real language or just some gibberish.
What is Idioglossia?
Languages that are invented or spoken by a few people are referred to as idioglossia or autonomous languages. Young people of any generation sometimes develop secret or coded languages to communicate secretly, but the twins being together since birth and being in sync with each other are more likely to develop a secret language. This language excludes everyone else including the family and the peers.
Cryptophasia is believed to occur in 50% of the twins, both fraternal and identical.
It is also believed by many that this special bond between the twins imparts a type of superhuman communication power, which is referred to as cryptophasia.(1)
What Do Researchers Say?
Though it is believed, cryptophasia is a language that the twins communicate in, many researchers do not think so.
Some research studies indicate twin language to be a delay in phonology.(2)
Phonology is the categorical organization of speech sounds in language. It is how speech sounds are organized in the minds of children and are used to convey meaning. Children with phonological delay have a speech sound system that is not well developed, which is described as twin language.
It is also believed that speech-sound errors are prolonged in twins as each twin has a partner who seems to understand him and also uses the same language.
Some studies have also linked twin language with language delay later in school-age years.(3)
Although the research states twin language can lead to language delay in later years, it has not been found that all the twins with their own language have language delays. Cryptophasia can just be a risk factor, not an absolute indicator for the twins to suffer from speech and language delays. In most of the cases, they would catch up with their singleton peers by the time they start school.
A speech-language therapist is the best person to analyze what is actually going wrong. Early intervention and speech therapy can help address special needs.
Tips for the Parent of Twins
Cryptophasia can be cute and interesting, but it’s the parents of twins, who need to correct the speech of their children.
Following are the tips that the parents can consider:
- Lay stress on speaking with your children as much as you can. Give each child one-on-one time.
- Expose them to other children, especially to older children, instead of the twins just playing with each other.
- Read to them, as there are many benefits of reading to children.
- Motivate them to express themselves with language.
- Encourage each child to speak for themselves. The twins should not be each other’s spokesperson. Let each speak for self.
- Ask them questions in any conversation.
- Do not interrupt to correct them while they are speaking. Let them finish, and then correct the words they have spoken wrong.