An idiosyncrasy of Junior’s speech is that she doesn’t use gender identifying pronouns correctly. He/she her/his all come out interchangeably. It never really bothered me that much, because it was easy enough to understand what she meant. However, I’ve now decided to make a project of it. I’m hoping it will be relatively easy to fix, and make her speech sound more natural to people who don’t know her so well.
My allies in this are Topsy and Tim – the boy-girl twin starts of the CBeebies show with the same name. There is nothing in the show itself about pronouns, but we acquired the tie in magazine, and we’ve been playing with the toys and activities. A simple thing that’s worked really well is for me to say something about Tim (He has brown eyes) and then ask Junior to tell me the same thing about Topsy (She has brown eyes). And on and on on any theme or storyline you like, keeping the echo going to constantly compare and contrast the male and female pronouns.
What helps a lot is that Junior is starting to read. We cut out the biggest pictures of Topsy and Tim from the magazine and wrote ‘She’ and ‘Her’ on Topsy’s tummy and ‘He’ and ‘His’ on Tim’s tummy. This improved her accuracy a lot. And a nice side benefit that her teacher thinks we’ve been super diligent teaching her sight words. Take the praise where you can get it!