Is it normal for my son at 3 years old to talk in third person?

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Katherine - posted on 06/24/2011

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Oh that's normal. I've worked with kids and heard them do this especially when they're little. Do you ever say is "Jadon hungry?" or speak that way? Or do you say, "are you hungry?" It could be he picked that up. OR if you say, "mommy has to go somewhere." He could pick up on that too. Because you are talking in the third person.

Belinda - posted on 08/08/2011

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Don't worry about correcting your son at this point. Just work on how you talk to him and see what a difference that makes.

Dana - posted on 06/24/2011

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I teach early childhood education in the public school system in Texas. State and federal programs are offered for children with speech and language delays in most areas, but it depends from state to state. In Texas children whose parents or pediatricians have concerns in those areas can request screening, and perhaps speech services, before 3 through a program called ECI and after 3 through a program called PPCD. Try Google or call your local school district's main office. At kindergarten age they enter school. Always know that when you have concerns about your child you can request evaluation at your child's public school--I don't know how much discretion they have in giving it to you, but your request may help the system act faster and more attentively than it would otherwise. A measure of what Jadon does is normal, but it would bear looking into. As for correcting him, try conversationally rephrasing his speech so that he hears what it should sound like but doesn't feel like he's being corrected. "Oh! You just told me, "My finger hurts." or whatever. Good luck and hang in there. If Jadon also has social issues, withdrawing more than most children from others, or has an unusual number of fixations, get it checked into.

Minnie - posted on 06/23/2011

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Yeah, I wouldn't push it if it really upsets him. He's probably frustrated- his mind has an idea but it's not coming out the way other people like it- our daughter got frustrated too. It just was a matter of maturity.

Minnie - posted on 06/23/2011

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My eldest did until about 4 1/2 or so. We were concerned, but she just grew out of it. She uses pronouns correctly now.

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Ashley - posted on 08/08/2011

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Funny, I never thought of that! We talk about ourselves to our 2 1/2 yr old son in third person too..and he refers to himself as "baby" or "camden". He'll say "baby likes..." or whatever, or he'll say camden instead of baby. And we do sometimes say "camden do it" or "that's camden's" when he's trying to share his food with us or something. We'll have to start correcting ourselves too. He has gotten frustrated when we've tried correcting him. He was okay the first few times, then he'd just get frustrated. So I guess if we correct OURSELVES, he'll pick up on that..just like he picked up on US referring to ourselves in third person :) Glad to know he's not the only one at his age speaking like this..and some of you even have a little bit older kids :) Thanks!

Elizabeth - posted on 06/27/2011

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Thanks to everyone for helping me .. and yes Katherine i do talk to him in the third person ... i will work on correcting myself and jadon.

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My son is 3 and a half and he speaks in the third person most of the time. For example, if he's trying to tell me about how he bumped his head at school, he'll say, "Mommy, he bumped his head." or "Jacob bumped his head". He does have some speech delays, but his delays are mostly things like not being able to pronounce his "s" (like instead of smile, he says "mile"). He's in speech therapy in school and has gotten MUCH better. But when I asked the speech therapist about the third person thing, she said it's normal. I imagine that it's pretty confusing learning the proper way to use personal pronouns. He, she, it, we, you, they, I.....I've noticed that since he started school and has been around other children every day, he's getting better. Sometimes he will say something like, "Mommy, I'm hungry". He's growing out of it, I think.



If you're worried about it, talk with your pediatrician. It may be something they will want to keep an eye on. Also, I'm not sure how it is in your area, but in mine, it was free (through the public school system) to have him tested for learning disabilities. That may be another option for you. If he has any delays, you can address them. If not, you can have your fears put to rest.



Edited to add: I also think Katherine has a point about how I refer to him or to myself. I never looked at it that way! I have always said stuff like, "Does Jacob wanna come with Mommy to the store?" LOL NO WONDER my kid's confused!

Elizabeth - posted on 06/23/2011

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I have been working on corrrecting him but he gets upset when i do and starts screaming jadon don't want to... and then he says jadon don't like you

Elizabeth - posted on 06/23/2011

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i called today and she is going to talk with some other doctors and see if its something to be concerned about. i have tlaked to some family members and they said its not normal and they said that it may be because of his twin that died at birth.. but i find that very hard to believe..

Jenn - posted on 06/23/2011

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I can understand during pretend play but if he speaks in third person and never in first, I might speak to his pediatrician about it.

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