2 ■ Introduction however, do not include content about them. For this reason, I supplemented lecture topics with whatever information I could find. Handouts produced by Twin Services were the most helpful; they established a foundation for my course content. Twin Services was founded in 1978 by an educator and mother of twins, Patricia Malmstrom, to address the lack of resources for families. Inquiries from students and conference attendees continue. Now the questions also address triplets and sometimes quadruplets and quintu- plets, called supertwins or multiples. Multiples is an inclusive term refer- ring to children who are twins, triplets, quadruplets, quintuplets, and the other higher-order numbers. Multiples will be used interchangeably with twins and supertwins throughout the book. The continuing questions from students, conference attendees, and teachers ask for practical information. Many wonder, “What is going on?” Teachers and program administrations are not just seeing double and triple. They are, in fact, seeing more children whose last names are the same, whose parents are the same, whose birth dates fall on the same day, and who may physically look quite similar. This is because approximately one child in every thirty is now a multiple (Hay and Preedy 2006; Martin et al. 2009). Teachers’ comments validate the escalating population and present inquiries: “I have two sets of twins and one set of triplets.” “We have eight sets of twins in our school. We’re trying to figure out what to do.” “Parents have demands. We’re a co-op. None of us really knows any- thing about twins.” “I have a group of twelve preschoolers; eight are twins.” The extraordinary increase in the multiple population is occurring along with efforts to increase preschool programs for all children. As an early childhood educator, you know that the preschool experience influ- ences young children. It is their first point of entry into the educational system. Inquiries about twins and supertwins from teachers suggest that the preschool experience may affect twins and supertwins differ- ently than it does singleborn children. The baby boom of multiples poses social, economical, and educational challenges. Conscientious teachers want to know how the challenges affect multiples and what the implica- tions are for teaching them during their early childhood years. Twins_4th pages.indd 2 4/24/10 2:29:43 PM