Should our 8 yr old be better with pronouns?

Eileene - posted on 01/03/2013 ( 3 moms have responded )

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Our 8 year old frequently uses the wrong pronoun. She reads very well, and seems to have good language skills, but she will frequently call our pets by the wrong gender, call Grandma "Mama", etc. She also has a problem drawing conclusions. If we use a word she knows in a new context or a new word in a familiar situation she asks for an explanation rather than deduce it herself. I have raised 4 children and try to not compare her, but I'm starting to get alarmed. Has anyone else encountered this or have any advice?

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Evelyn - posted on 01/08/2013

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It sounds like there is something there. I am not sure what they could have for a name of it. Go to the teacher at school or a doctor and ask about a place that can test her for learning disabilities. There has to be something or someone out there that knows.

Eileene - posted on 01/08/2013

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Thank you, Evelyn. We had her tested early on because she was very slow to talk, but she tested well. She reads extremely well, and it seems that her teachers have been so thrilled with her reading that they label her as "bright" and move on to children with bigger challenges. Her skills just seem dramatically unbalanced. The teachers have mentioned a mild problem with comprehension, but they blame it on her trying to read so fast (for timed tests) that she didn't get into the habit of understanding what she was reading. We've been slowing her down and asking her questions about her reading.
I guess when I say it out loud the pronoun confusion doesn't sound like much. I don't make a big deal about it - I just call it to her attention when she confuses gender (and no one else is around), and move on. It's getting to the point that the other kids are starting to giggle about it. I guess all I can do is stay the course and wait til someoone else agrees that this is a problem, but as a Mom, my gut says something isn't right.
As far as using words in context, I turn it around on her - "what do you think it means?" or "think about that sentence.. can you guess what it means?" I use a large vocabulary, but my Husband and Mother In Law do not. It doesn't seem to matter. My son had a good vocabulary, but my oldest step-daughter did not, so I'm used to the typical age specific questions.
If I lump all the issues together, it's like she has problems with the kind of instant decision making that we take for granted. The kind that allows us to use the right words, understand what we read or hear, and long term allows us to perform more sensitive tasks like driving.
Thank you for your advice, and if you happen to know of any type of Learning Disability that would produce these symptoms, I'd love to hear. Thanks!

Evelyn - posted on 01/03/2013

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My youngest had problems with comprehension and with school and at home we just worked with him but he was a bit older.

Have you had her tested for any learning delays or disabilities? Dyslexia is where kids or adults don't see the lettering in the write way and mix things up. It makes reading that much worse for them.

As for use of pronouns in a correct manner, she is still learning how to use them correctly. She is only 8. Even I as an adult sometimes use the wrong pronoun at times. As for calling her grandmother "Mama" maybe that is a pet name for grandmother? I used to call one grandmother of mine, "Mom-mom".

For the use of words in new context or even a brand new one, try to get her to think by asking her pointed questions about the word. What does it seem to mean in this sentence? Repeat the sentence so she can hear it again, or write it down and have her read it. Get her a dictionary and have her look it up and write out its meaning. Are you choosing words that are above her level of understanding or are they what she is getting from class?

Talk to her teacher about how she is in class with this problem. The teacher should be able to pin-point the problem or be able to suggest things for you to do with your child.

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