Conjoined twins Tatiana and Krista Hogan start kindergarten

Nadine Bells
Good NewsOctober 11, 2011

Twins Tatiana and Krista Hogan have been famous since birth, having been born with linked brains. The conjoined twins who remain fascinating to the scientific community — Tatiana can see though Krista's eyes and Krista can see through one of Tatiana's — are now almost 5 years old. And now they're going to school.

"They love school," their grandmother, Louise McKay, told Maclean's. Staff at Okanagan Landing Elementary went above and beyond to make the twins comfortable. A quiet room is available for the girls when their peers overwhelm them, and a special toilet has been retrofitted to accommodated their unique needs.

"They have a really nice team behind them, they're helping us out trying to figure out ways of accommodating Tati and Krista so they're comfortable at school."

The Vernon, B.C. girls are quickly making friends, even with the children who could only stare with curiosity on the first day of kindergarten. One girl followed Tatiana and Krista around on the first morning — they're now all good friends.

"Every morning she waits for Tati and Krista to get there, and takes them over to play finger puppets," says McKay. "They're laughing and giggling."

As for their unique ability to literally see life though each other's eyes, Dr. Juliette Hukin, a pediatric neurologist, says they can only speculate as to how the girls cope with sensory overload:

"On one hand, it's a gift to be able to see more than other people, but on the other hand, it may be distracting," she said. "I worry about their visual processing in the future, but maybe they'll be able to figure it out. The young brain is very adaptable, and they've done remarkably well so far in working through the challenges of being conjoined."

Future tests will attempt to discern whether or not the remarkable twins can read each other's thoughts as their family believes.

Anderson Cooper recently featured the twins on his daytime talk show. Watch clips of that show here.