top of page


Communication Difficulty


From time to time, we all find it difficult to communicate. We’ve all experienced the ‘tip of the tongue phenomenon(1) - “What is that actor’s name? You know, thingy, he was in that film with all those things happening...” or slurred speech from tiredness, illness, medication or inebriation, or quiet, breathy voice because of nervousness or anxiety.

There are some children and adults who experience a more pervasive communication difficulty. It is either developmental or acquired, it may be consistent or variable, it may be temporary or permanent.

These are children and adults who cannot process the English language effectively or consistently such that they cannot understand and/or or use pronouns (before any other demands are made on them to change pronoun usage), or neologisms (new, made-up words) like “cisgender” or confusing or unclear language such as gender-neutral language like “person with a cervix” or “menstruators”.



It is already a challenge for those without communication disabilities to remember and articulate neologisms/neopronouns such as:

  • Xe/xem/xyrs/xemself

  • Xy/xyr/xyrs/xyrself

  • Hi/hir/hirs/hirself

  • Ze/zir/zirs/zirself

  • Ey/em/eirs/emself

  • Ne/nem/nems/nemself

  • Fae/faer/faers/faerself

  • Ae/aer/aers/aerself

  • Thon/thon/thon/thonself

  • Per/per/pers/perself

  • Ve/ver/vers/verself

  • Zee/zed/zeta/zetas/zedself

A child in a classroom who is struggling.

Now imagine having a cognitive, learning, sensory, speech or language disability and being expected to understand or use these.

Every single one of the conditions we cover here means that children can make errors in understanding or using grammatically and pragmatically regular pronouns. To then ask them to process ‘preferred’ pronouns or neopronouns (neologisms) or other confusing terms is asking them to do something they are unable to do effectively, consistently or at all.

It is a demand on their system that they cannot reasonably meet. This will manifest differently dependent on the condition, the child and the communication circumstances.

And of course, there are children out there who no-one has spotted has a communication disability, has been unfortunately mis-diagnosed, or is not receiving the therapy and support they need.


A group of children holding a banner - e Don't Need No Preferred Pronouns

The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists provides the following list of difficulties in children, for whom speech and language therapists provide treatment:

  • September 2023
    16/09/2023 - Sex Matters at the People’s Museum Manchester, Foul Play at the T20, The Police are trying to take sex out of sexism - another erasure of female experience and needs, Policing and the law, Why the police cannot police themselves, Is this the: #MeToo movement for medicine?, Graham Linehan’s memoir is hitting the charts, Pronouns are Hypnosis, Fearless Female merch 09/09/2023 - CIPD Transgender and Non-Binary Inclusion at Work Guide, WRN Australia is name-checked in the Australian Parliament, Ex-Tavistock staff set up private gender clinic, ‘Time to think’ nominated for the Baillie Gifford Prize, And Still I Rise, Reem Alsalem responds to the letter issued by AWID, The walls have ears at Malmaison, Brand new merch just dropped! 02/09/2023 - WRN founder Heather Binning and Graham Linehan discuss the Alan/Sarah Jane Baker court hearing, Safeguarding Fails around the country, No more “girl” guides?, Women in Afghanistan, What is a woman, Julia Gillard?, We are the women who say no, Just not cricket
  • August 2023
    26/08/2023 - FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023, WRN Back to School Campaign, Informing parents of RHSE in Schools, Feminist student societies can be female only, Would YOU pay Stonewall to train your business?, Menstruation is “not just a women’s issue”, Language matters 19/08/2023 - WRN on X/Twitter Highlights, What’s going on at parkrun?, WRN Australia billboards, A response to Junior Rowing News by Dr Emma Hilton and Jane Sullivan, Censorship in our Libraries, Supporting Tristram Hunt’s call for factual information at Young V&A, WRN in the press 12/08/2023 - Wine with Women fundraiser, There has been some good news on prisons, Policing without fear or favour? An update, Remember Women in Afghanistan, There has been plenty going on in the world of Sport this week too, Don’t forget we have a parkrun day of action on Saturday 30th September, And finally, thank you Ian Wright and Vernon Kay 05/08/2023 - Rapes and Sexual Assaults in Hospitals: our shocking report, Breast Binding: the painful truth, A Medical Scandal: puberty blockers and the mutilation of young people, Safeguarding, Intimate Personal Care: and why It matters, We continue campaigning and asking questions…
  • July 2023
    29/07/2023 - Labour Change their Minds: and say “no” to self-ID, Scotland: violence against women, Good News: NHS reinstates the word “woman”, Women Speaking: please support your sisters, And finally… 22/07/2023 - Letter to the Metropolitan Police: start listening to women, Stonewall Exposed: in a forensic TV interview, Summer of Sport: focus on Football, Summer of Sport: we continue our focus on parkrun, School Guidance: we are still waiting, And finally… 15/07/2023 - WRN second birthday celebrations and Global Women's Day celebrations around the world, War on Women: incitement to violence will not be tolerated, Summer of Sport: focus on netball, and some good news, More Good News: Germany blocks self-ID, And finally: looking for “ordinary” women… 08/07/2023 - Global Women’s Day: what will YOU be doing?, Campaigns: Summer of Sport, Lawfare: LGB Alliance verdict, Bank Accounts: cancelled for ‘wrong think’, Round-up of News: other stories in brief, And finally... 01/07/2023 - Campaigns: Summer of Sport, Court Cases: Good news for Maya, Court Cases: Success for Denise, Court Cases: many in the pipeline, Court Cases: Defeated but not lost, And finally...
  • June 2023
    25/06/2023 - Correction relating to Vaishnavi Sundar’s film about Transwidows and CHildren of Transitioners. 24/06/2023 - Summer of Sport: Dinosaurs and banners in Henley, Summer of Sport: We look at cricket, Supporting Women: Help these women change history, Supporting Women: Helping make political history, Gender Ideology: “cat gender” and the gas-lighting of school children. 17/06/2023 - Debate in Westminster: to make the Equality Act clear, WRN F2F Event: our first face-to-face meeting , WRN Overseas: Afghanistan, Summer of Sport: round up of news , Health: highlights this week, And finally… 10/06/2023 - WRN Campaign: Summer of Sport, Sex Matters: Poll on men in women’s spaces, Cancel Culture: the winners and losers, Oxfam Demonising Women: the video they had to take down , BBC and Casualty: promoting double mastectomies for young women, Health News: the bad and the good, Breaking Good News! 04/06/2023 - Summer of Sport Campaign: Fair Sport Awards, Summer of Sport: and focus on Parkrun, Gender Wars: and Kathleen Stock is a warrior, Gender Wars: and Jo Phoenix is a warrior, Gender Wars: and Jo Phoenix is a warrior, Finally...
  • May 2023
    27/05/2023 - Campaign: our “Summer of Sport”, British Rowing: pulling away from fairness for girls, British Cycling: pedalling in the right direction, British Cycling: pedalling in the right direction, WRN Report: Sexual assaults in hospitals, Baroness Under Attack: for doing her job, And finally... 21/05/2023 - WRN Meetings: with EHRC Board, WRN Meetings: with Tess White MSP, Update from Wales: WRN guests of Liberal Voice, Campaign: our “Summer of Sport”, And finally... 13/05/2023 - Heather Binning: What is to be done?, Date for your diary, Respect My Sex - Northern Ireland Campaign, Focus on Sport: Will British Rowing listen?, Focus on Sport: Park Run organisers allow men to change their “gender”, Women Fighting Back: an international round-up, And finally. 06/05/2023 - WRN Campaigns: Respect My Sex campaign in local elections, Let Women Speak: supporting Kellie-Jay Keen in Hyde Park, Let Women Speak: the cancellation of Joanna Cherry, Men in Women’s Sports: another cheating male cyclist, Focus on Wales: women’s rights under threat, Sexual Assaults in UK Hospitals: press reports Northern Ireland and Scotland, Other News: and how you can help.
  • April 2023
    29/04/2023 - Our Report Shocks the World: sexual assaults in UK hospitals, Local Elections: Respect My Sex campaign ramps up, Focus on Wales: giving away our rights, Wales is the new Scotland, Denise Fahmy: needs our help with her crowd funder, Good News on the Equality Act Campaign: a debate in Westminster! Finally… 22/04/2023 - Hospitals are Unsafe: shocking statistics on rapes and sexual assaults, Local Elections: Respect My Sex campaign continues, Local Elections: Respect My Sex campaign continues, Wales has a Woman Problem: giving away our rights., Schools: New gender policy out soon. , Good News: Kellie-Jay Keen rocks in Belfast , Good News: Women’s Institute members are revolting, And finally… 15/04/2023 - Local Elections on May 5th: We keep asking the same question…, Office for National Statistics (ONS): Watch dog to examine implausible census data , Gender Recognition Reform (GRR) Bill in Scotland: the SNP ploughs ahead, Support Women: Crowd funders needing help, And Finally: “When men come to disrupt women’s meetings…” 08/04/2023 - Clarifying the Equality Act 2010: our petition has worked!, Clarifying the Equality Act: Not everyone is happy, Clarifying the Equality Act: A marginal issue for some, Other News: in brief, Happy Easter Everyone! 01/04/2023 - Anti-Women Activists: assault women in New Zealand, Welsh Women: a silent and peaceful protest., Scotland: a new First Minister and a renewed threat, Good News from World Athletics: no males in female sports!, NHS Bodies: ordered to review Stonewall ties, Asleep at the Wheel: another damning report on schools…, Woman’s History Month: looking backwards and forwards
  • March 2023
    18/03/2023 - Women’s History Month: celebrating women, Detrans Awareness Day: Sunday 12th March, Let Women Speak: another name for the list, Let the Debate Happen: in health care, Wales and Self-ID: no lessons learned?, And finally… 12/03/2023 - We Celebrate Women: on International Women’s Day , We Celebrate Success: protecting our children in schools, Another Success: exposing indoctrination in public services, Questions Need Asking: In the local elections, Language Matters: particularly in health care, Celebrating Success: with the Sex Matters petition. 04/03/2023 - Women’s History Month, Good News: about men in women’s prisons, Children Protest: uniform checks, toilet policing, and mixed-sex toilets, Safeguarding in Schools: questions and actions, Safeguarding in Schools: MPs ask questions , Correction: re GRR last week , New Postcards: You know you want one…
  • February 2023
    25/02/2023 - Cancellation: of the film Adult Human Female, Cancellation: of the film Affirmation Generation by Vimeo, Cancellation: of lesbians, Cancellation: by the use of inaccurate and confusing language, Cancellation: of women candidates in Scotland, Weekend Activities: films to watch and books read, ACTION This Weekend: three ways to help, Donate to WRN: voluntary contributions can now be made. 18/02/2023 - Purple Ribbon Day: Keep men out of women’s prisons, Nicola Sturgeon Resigns: rapists in women’s prisons was the final straw, Good News! Sandyford clinic closed to new patients, Drag Queen Story Hour: “carnage” outside Tate Britain, IPSO Consultation: WRN advice on responding to be produced soon, WRN Prisons Group: error correction. 11/02/2023 - London Conference 4th Feb: Education for Women's Liberation, Glasgow Rally 5th Feb: Let Women Speak, Get Involved in Politics: Plea by Liberal Voice for Women, Other News: In Brief, Action: WRN Prisons Group, how you can help, Finally… 05/02/2023 - Cunningham and Foran at the Women and Equalities Select Committee, Question Time Goes Gender Critical, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak Recognises Biological Sex, Women’s Sports This Week, Petitions!, Please DO Complain!
  • January 2023
    29/01/2023 - Trans Identifying Convicted Rapist to be Held in Men's Prison, WRN Podcasts on Prisons, World Athletics Trans Policy, Safeguarding Fail in Sex Education Materials Supplied to Children, PM on Drag Queen Story Hour, Sex Matters Petition makes 75k!, Write to Your MP, Know How to Complain! 21/01/2023 - MPs Debate Section 35, Jill Foster Writes on Trans Ideology in Schools, Helen Joyce Debates India Willoughby on GMB, Government to Crackdown on Trans Identifying Athletes, Women’s Trust in a Sexist Police Force, ACTION NEEDED - Stonewall, ACTION NEEDED - Sex Matters Petition at 72k!, Keep Drag Queen Story Hour OUT of The Tate and Away from Our Children! 14/01/2023 - WRN Campaign: halt the Scottish GRR bill, Success: We halted the funding for “trans” training for midwives, New Blog: on risks posed by males who identify as female, Fighting to Save our Children: resources and actions, Time to relax?, Finally: Don’t forget to sign the petitions. 07/01/2023 - WRN Campaign: halt the Scottish GRR bill, Support for same-sex care in the NHS, Parliamentary Pe titions to Sign, Declarations and Letters to Sign, Films to Watch
  • December 2022
    31/12/2022 - Elaine Miller's heroic protest and the WRN End of Year Review. 17/12/2022 - Join the Campaign: for single-sex spaces, For Women Scotland: lose their case in court, Cambridge Dictionary: doesn’t know what a woman is, Adult Human Female Film: cancelled!, Good News: JK Rowling opens a centre for women, Good News: case dropped against Christina Ellingsen, Share the Petition: and help us force a debate in Westminster, Finally. 10/12/2022 - All I want for Christmas…, BBC 100 Women List: includes two men, Support the Feminist Campaigner: Christina Ellingsen, Election Fireworks: Kellie-Jay Keen will run against Keir Starmer , Detransitioners: deserve our respect and support, Scotland: Happy Birthday!, Reminder: Share the petition. 04/12/2022 - Our Campaign: “All I want for Christmas…”, Scotland: Women are still fighting and heckling, Good News: Mermaids is falling apart, Call to ACTION: Two days left to support NHS England’s proposals, Show Your Support: with your Xmas shopping, Don’t Forget: three important tasks for this weekend, FLASH SALE!
  • November 2022
    26/11/2022 - Why We Fight: counting dead women, Unsafe Shopping: Primark and others, New WRN Disability Group: raising awareness, protecting rights, Scotland and Self-ID: the Scottish government refuses to listen, Good News: the Baroness speaks out, Good News: Julie Bindel receives compensation., Good News: Twitter declares amnesty for suspended accounts, "Good News": Kellie-Jay Keen threatened with arrest, Good News: Professor Kathleen Stock won the debate, Reading Suggestions: for adults and children, CALL TO ACTION: sign and share the petition, FLASH SALE! 20/11/2022 - Correction 20/11/2022 - Wales: New RSE curriculum - a safeguarding risk., Wales: Parents fighting back – by Judicial Review, Wales: Win or lose – sunlight shone on the RSE policy, Wales: Challenging false information on an NHS poster, Wales: misogyny rife among Gwent police, Scotland: update on the GRA reform bill, Good News: restricting powers of police, Reminder: 19th November was World Toilet Day 13/11/2022 - Action Needed - Sign the Petition: Make the Equality Act clear!, Action Needed – Respond to the Health Consultation: protect our children, Update - Support Scottish Women: fighting for their rights, Update- Support Scottish Women: fighting for their rights, Look Ahead – World Toilet Day: coming up soon, Before you go – don’t forget to sign the petition! 08/11/2022 - Women at Risk: as self-ID bill makes its way through the Scottish Parliament, Worries over Sandyford: concerns raised and ignored., Gillian Keegan: please review gender ideology in schools, Good news for Teresa, The end of Black History Month, The Equality Act: needs an overhaul – sign the petition.
  • October 2022
    21/10/2022 - Princess Grace: a total disgrace, Battle of Ideas: WRN was present with a stall, How to Support Women: in the fight to protect our rights, Weekend Reading. 16/10/2022 - Revelations About Mermaids: calls for investigation, Repercussions for Mermaids: distancing begins, Call to Action: write a letter to oppose GRA “reform” in Scotland, Gender Ideology in Schools: the battle continues, Detrans United: we support you, Women of Iran: we support you, Last Call: for FiLiA. 08/10/2022 - The Women’s Rally: a brilliant day in Scotland, Mermaids Under Fire, Again: #safeguardingfail , The Queer New Mascot: queering children, Good News Stories: Rowing Back?, Good News Stories: American track stars fight for their rights, Good News Story: the Norfolk backlash, Supporting Women Around the World: the struggle continues. 02/10/2022 - Mermaids under scrutiny by The Charity Commission, Primark U-turns: on mixed-sex changing rooms, Sussex Police U-Turns: after Suella Braverman intervenes, Metro Newspaper U-Turns: it’s worthwhile complaining!, Hair Cutting: a gesture in support of our sisters in Iran, Showing Your Support: in Edinburgh, Showing your Support: in Cardiff, Consultations: need your response.
  • September 2022
    23/09/2022 - Final Farewell, Lesbian Strength: a successful lesbian rally in Leeds, “Let Women Speak”: Rally in Brighton was largest yet, Court cases are continuing: as women fight for our rights, Showing Your Support: events for your calendar, Say Her Name: Mahsa Amini. 16/09/2022 - Mermaids “on Trial”: as they take the LGB Alliance to court, Minister sacked for gender-critical beliefs, Women’s Voices: the stories of women with AGP fathers, New Twitter for Councillors: a place to network., Apology: for giving the wrong medal to Stephanie!, Weekend Reading: please read our most recent blog. 09/09/2022 - The Death of The Queen, Brakes on Scotland’s Plans for Self-ID, Hiring and Firing: more changes, Rugby News, Misogyny on Display: just a reminder of what we are up against, Celebrating Women 02/09/2022 - Let Women Swim: more on our blog, Challenging the BBC: our complaints get results, Welsh Parents Challenge Gender Ideology in School, A Challenge: still time to comment on these guidelines, A Challenge to Women’s Snooker Tournaments, See you in Scotland!, See you in Brighton!, Aja’s poem at the Stone of Free Speech, Gearing Up for FiLiA.
  • August 2022
    28/08/2022 - Marks and Spencer are Losing Women, Pride Comes Before a Fall, But worse was to come in Cardiff, And still in Wales…, Hampstead Ponds Gathering, Also Speaking Out: Judy Murray, Keep On Speaking Out: Sex Matters, A New Song to Dance to: because we all deserve to smile., 19/08/2022 - Form an orderly queue, ladies: this man will help you, Meanwhile, Joan of Arc is wearing a binder, More women shunned and banned for speaking the truth, Support the women of Scotland: Join the rally on the 15th September, #TwitterHatesWomen, Police strip-search guidance, Now for some good news from boxing…, 13/08/2022 - Men in women’s prisons: only with ministerial approval, Suella Braverman, the Attorney General makes a landmark speech, The fall of the Tavistock gender clinic: families to sue, Girlguiding has lost its way, Drag Queens: a safeguarding issue, WRN is expanding: into the west! 06/08/2022 - Happy Birthday: Women’s Rights Network is one year old!, Congratulations to the Lionesses!, Sporting Battles, First the good news from Rugby, But mixed news from World Triathlon, Speaking up for women’s sports, Keep up the Pressure on your MP, No to Drag Queen Story Hour, Let’s Celebrate.
  • July 2022
    29/07/22 - Success: Allison Bailey wins her case against her employers, Good News: The Tavistock Gender Identity Service is to close, Respect My Sex campaign continues, Dragging on with Drag Queen Story Hour, The slow downfall of Stonewall, Ending with another “Thank you”. 23/07/22 - A Great Success: #RespectMySex and the new Prime Minister, If you had any doubts..., The Power of Postcards, Men in women’s spaces, Our campaign against Drag Queen Story Hour continues., Congratulations to Joanna Cherry…, And congratulations to Kathleen Stock…, Finally, a big congratulations to all of us… 15/07/22 - New Prime Minister campaign: #RespectMySex, Should boys be allowed into secure units for girls?, Durham Miners Gala, Cancelled but fighting back, Prime Minister Candidates: do they respect women’s rights?, The WRN view: Anyone but Penny, Final Reminder: Anyone but Penny. 08/07/22 - Drag Queen Story Hour, Sending Sex Matters guidance to schools, The Legal cases: worth fighting and winning, Maya Forstater has won her employment tribunal, And other cases are in the pipeline, Shining a light on Stonewall , Farts, More good news: Sports, Sport: the really excellent news, Cass Review - looking at the treatment of gender-confused young people, Petitions to Sign: for flags and against gender identity lessons., Say “no” to mixed-sex toilets, Coming out as TERFS, And finally, a poem. 01/07/22 - Good news about swimming, Julie Bindel is banned from speaking – by a library!, The DfE has left Stonewall, Not Our Crimes – and maybe that will be clearer now, Sajid Javid is on our side, Secure Children’s Homes, You have to smile: a gathering of non-binary wildlife, The voice of the future.
  • June 2022
    24/06/22 - Bristol Speaker’s Corner, Sport is shaking off the madness., Another Somebody needs to tell Jeremy Vine, The BBC Lacks Impartiality … and so does OfCom, Now some good news about… The Guardian!, 18/06/22 - Bristol Speaker’s Corner, James Esses’ and Jo Phoenix have their cases heard. Finally, Another Janice Turner must read, Are we getting our words back?, What else is being kept under wraps? We don’t want men in women’s sports – official, Tulip’s Story, Nolan Investigates: The BBC and Global Butterflies, Women Abandoned by Unison. 12/06/22 - Twitter Still Hates Women, Forstater vs GCD – One Year On, Women Connecting With People, Take Action Today, Lisa Townsend Needs Support, Off The Scale Hypocrisy, Men Colonising Women’s Sport, Then they came after “female”, And finally …. 04/06/22 - The Problem with Mixed Sex Prisons..., Why Gender Critical Feminism Should Appeal to Young Women, Postcards, Indian Frankenstein Doctor, Women’s Sports are on Life Support.
  • May 2022
    28/05/22 - Jubilee Postcards, Calderdale Women Make a Difference, Conversion Therapy, S, cottish Gender Recognition Reform Consultation, We Have A New Prisons Page, Good news: Webberley is Struck Off, Activists Have Hijacked the Curriculum, Recognition for Mary Anning, It’s A Social Contagion 22/05/22 - 15th May Speakers Corner, Have A Listen, NO! To Self-ID, Postcards! We have Postcards!, Thank You, Nadhim Zahawi, Webberley is found guilty, Ovaries of Steel. 15/05/22 - The Ranting Essay, Self-ID in the UK, Allison Bailey Tribunal, Norn Iron Terfery!, And Finally …. 07/05/22 - Goddess on a mountain top, ladies who lunch, women uniting on TV, Respect My Sex - the final week, this ideology is hurting women, a woman's place is with women, the NI billboards and the Allison Bailey tribunal.
  • April 2022
    29/04/22 - Respect My Sex Campaign – week 4!, Webberley Tribunal Findings, Allison Bailey Tribunal, WRN Northern Ireland has put up billboards, meanwhile in Wales …, Heather appears on Talk TV, The women’s CiCLE race is secure, and finally… a poem. ​ 25/04/22 - The FCA complies with the law - correction. 22/04/22 - We need single sex spaces!, The WRN took to the streets again, And it’s now international, Anti-Scientific Hilarity, The Women's CiCLE Classic, The Good News..., And the bad news ….., The FCA complies with the law, The Shame of Bristol. 16/04/22 - The week Britain finally came to its senses on trans extremists and cried... ENOUGH!, Respect My Sex Updates, WRN Podcast with Coach Blade, Jenni Swayne Court Case. 08/04/22 - Respect My Sex Capaign Updates, EHRC Guidlines Update, British Cycling, Emily Bridges, We're Growing. 01/04/22 - The Respect My Sex Launch, WPUK Meeting, Laura Kenny Blog Post.

Some children have more than one of these communication disabilities  at the same time. It is not unusual for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) who may also have support from a Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) to be eligible for an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan. 


As outlined by the Government:

Special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)

All publicly funded pre-schools, nurseries, state schools and local authorities must try to identify and help assess children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

If a child has an education, health and care (EHC) plan or a statement of special educational needs, these must be reviewed annually. From Year 9 the child will get a full review to understand what support they will need to prepare them for adulthood.

Higher education

All universities and higher education colleges should have a person in charge of disability issues that you can talk to about the support they offer.

You can also ask local social services for an assessment to help with your day-to-day living needs.

Let’s look at some examples where children find it difficult to communicate in relation to pronouns and in a wider language context.

Template Letters

The templates, below, can be downloaded and edited for anyone wanting to complain or make requests in relation to children with communication disabilities.

Children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (England) - suggested template for letter to relevant organisation/s.

MS Word Version | PDF Version



(1) Kim J, Kim M, Yoon JH. 2020. The tip-of-the-tongue phenomenon in older adults with subjective memory complaints. PLoS One. Sep 18;15(9):e0239327.

bottom of page