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Pronoun Acquisition

My child says “me” instead of “I”…how long is this considered age-appropriate?

Pronoun aquisition occurs in a predictable order:

•Between 12-26 months of age, children will use the pronouns I (to refer the themselves) and it.

•Between 27-30 months, children will acquire the pronouns my, me, mine, and you.

•Between 31-34 months, children will use your, she, he, your, and we.

•Between 35-40 months, the pronouns they, us, hers, his, them and her are acquired.

•Between 41-46 months, children will use its, our, him, myself, yourself, ours, their, and theirs.

•At 47+ months, the pronouns herself, himself, itself, ourselves, yourselves, and themselves are acquired.

A pronoun is considered mastered when a child uses it correctly 80% of the time during spontaneous unstructured speech. We recommend modeling accurate pronoun use when speaking to your child. So many of us (I’m guilty as well) will use third person when talking to our babies and toddlers (i.e.  referring to ourselves as mom or dad instead of “I”). If we make an effort to accurately use pronoun, it will assist our children with their acquisition. 

Considerations for Teaching Pronoun Acquisition

Keep in mind that pronouns should be taught with respect to an individuals identifying gender. Avoiding gender stereotypes when our children are young will model respect for all people. As children get older, conversations about pronouns involve more than just grammar. 

In order to assist your child with pronoun acquisition, try one of the following strategies when they make pronoun errors. Keep your tone light and fun.

 •Repeat the error back as a question indicating that you’re questioning if they meant to say it that way (e.g. “Me do it?”)

  •Ask your child to pair gender with the appropriate he/she/they pronoun (e.g. “Is that a boy or a girl? Should we say ‘he is running’ or ‘she is running’?”) 

  •Correct the error for your child (e.g. “Oh, you mean ‘He is eating’.”)

  •Model the correct pronoun and have your child repeat what you say (e.g. “You try… ‘do it’.”).

Adapted from Hass & Owens (1985); Huxley (1970); Morehead & Ingram (1973); Waterman & Schatz (1982); and Wells (1985).

If you have concerns about your child’s pronoun acquisition and development we would be happy to give you specific recommendations. Schedule a free phone consultation or click the link below to complete a short questionnaire about your child. 

COVID-19 Protocol

We hope you and your family are continuing to stay safe and healthy! We have outlined our protocols for in-person sessions during COVID-19. As you know, the health and safety of our clients and therapists remain our highest priority. As always, please reach out with any questions or concerns. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding as we work together through these unprecedented times.

Hand Washing:
Upon arrival at your home, your therapist will wash their hands with soap and water and/or use hand sanitizer. We ask that you and your child also wash your hands and/or use hand sanitizer upon your therapist’s arrival.
We are asking our therapists to wear masks upon entering your home and throughout your child’s session. That said, we understand that some children have adverse reactions to seeing adults in masks and will leave it up to you and your therapist to decide your comfort level while still taking safety precautions.
We ask that parents and caregivers also follow the guidelines and wear masks when sitting in on sessions. We will not enforce that policy, but we do kindly ask for compliance.
As for your child, we realize that masks may not be appropriate for every child so we will not enforce the rule that children over the age of 2 should wear a mask.  However, if your therapist insists that your child wear a mask, then that will be a requirement directly between the two of you. We respect our therapists’ individual comfort levels with safety precautions and ask that you respect them as well.


Protocol Acknowledgment and Health Certification:

Before your child’s first in-person session, we are asking clients to submit an acknowledgment of these protocols and a health certification, which you can find here. Thank you again for your cooperation and for helping all of us stay healthy!