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Core First Books for AAC Users

Updated: Oct 2, 2023

Hi friends!

Today I have a great resource for supporting your AAC users that I'd like to share with you!


Tobii Dynavox has an awesome Core First Learning Hub that contains their Core First books!

More details:

  • Multiple free books per target core word

  • High exposure in each book to target core words

  • A lesson plan is available for each core word

  • Core words that can be used for a variety of communicative functions (e.g. requesting, commenting, asking questions, protesting)


Not sure where to start with reading core books? Check out some ideas below ⬇️

Read the story as you would typically read any story, except when you get to a core word, you'll point to an icon on AAC device at the same time that you read the word. This is called modeling or aided language stimulation.

For example, when reading the words "Go fish," you would point to the icon for "go" on your device at the same time that you verbally say it.

You can model with a:

  • Core board (like this one, or check this blog post full of free core boards)

  • Low tech, robust system (like this one from Tobii, PODD Communication Book)

  • High tech, robust system (e.g. Snap + Core, LAMP Words For Life, TouchChat with WordPower, Proloquo 2 Go, etc.)

In addition to modeling core words from the text, you can model core words to:

  • Talk about the pictures (e.g. I SEE a dog!)

  • Make comments on the story events (e.g. THAT LOOKS fun! I LIKE ice cream too!)

  • Ask questions and model answers to the questions (e.g. Did SHE EAT ice cream? YES!)

  • Summarize the story

  • Talk about new vocabulary words

  • Make text-to-self connections (e.g. If the character eats ice cream, you can ask AAC users if they like ice cream too, what kind of ice cream they like, what toppings they like, etc.)

To learn more about aided language stimulation, check out these videos on YouTube.


  • There should not be an expectation that the child imitate you

  • If a child does imitate you, respond with positive reinforcement

  • Avoid drilling - that is not communication!

  • Avoid using hand over hand - the device is the child's voice and you can not force someone to talk (plus the child can get used to over prompting with this method, which we also want to avoid)

  • Model, model, model! 🙂


Click here to watch examples of reading with AAC on Speech Without Limit's YouTube channel! These videos are also great for sharing with parents and teachers!

I hope this has been helpful and that you have some new tools in your AAC tool belt!

Have a great week!

📌 PIN this post for future reference.

P.S. Let's Connect! Follow along for more therapy ideas, freebies, giveaways, and more!


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