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Dr. Caroline Ramsey Musselwhite

Monday, November 12, 2018

AAC in the Desert 2019!

WHEN:  February 27, 28, & March 1, 8:30 - 3:30 each day
Wednesday, 4 - 6   Vendor hall
Thursday, 4 - 7  Hands on session and pizza party

WHERE:  Ability 360 Center, Phoenix AZ

SPEAKERS:  Caroline Musselwhite, Gretchen Hanser, and Erin Sheldon

WHO SHOULD ATTEND:  Teachers, parents, therapists, administrators working with students who use AAC and / or are emergent readers and writers.

FLYER:  AAC D 2019 Flyer

Friday, October 19, 2018

Michigan POHI/SXI Conference: November 8 & 9, 2018

WHAT:  Michigan POHI/SXI Conference

WHEN:  November 8 & 9, 2018

WHERE:  Wayne State University
Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences
259 Mack Avenue, Detroit, MI 48201

WHO:  Multiple Speakers

Keynote, November 8:  Dr. Caroline Ramsey Musselwhite

MORE INFO:  https://www.michiganpohisxiconference.org/ 



Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Text Simplification - Simple Rules for a Complex Process

Text Simplification - Simple Rules for a Complex Process

What:  Presentation Handout

 Handout Link Here

Students who struggle with literacy, including students who use AAC, may struggle to comprehend texts (e.g., stories, chapters, articles, plays, and poems) because they don’t understand features including complex vocabulary words, complex sentences, and figurative language.  Text simplification is a useful strategy to support these students.  This session will provide an overview of strategies for text simplification (simplifying passages based on course requirements and student language needs), as well as, text summaries (providing a summary of the content of a passage).  Resources will be reviewed for text summarization, and specific rules will be described for text simplification.  Participants will be given a sample passage to simplify using rules provided.  Throughout the session, text resources will also be shared.

Who:  Dr. Gretchen Hanser and Dr. Caroline Ramsey Musselwhite

Where:  Closing the Gap Conference, Minneapolis, MN  2018

Nifty Thrifty Fifty Goes Viral! Supporting Reading, Writing, and AAC – Apps Included!

Nifty Thrifty Fifty Goes Viral!  Supporting Reading, Writing, and AAC – Apps Included!
What:  Presentation Handout -

 Handout Link Here
Comprehensive literacy instruction should include word instruction that teaches students to decode unfamiliar words (NRP, 2000).  The Nifty Thrifty Fifty (NTF) is a powerful approach to word instruction from Pat Cunningham (1998), typically used in the upper elementary grades.  NFT introduces 50 key words that teach patterns for decoding, spelling, and building meaning for polysyllabic words through understanding root words, prefixes, and suffixes.  Students learn to identify the 50 key words, develop a ‘visual checking sense’ when spelling, and cross check meaning with knowledge of word patterns.  Once they have learned the meaning of the prefixes and suffixes, they learn to transfer that knowledge to figure out unfamiliar words that contain those prefixes and suffixes.  As with Cunningham’s other work, this approach to phonics instruction doesn’t require speech, which makes it ideal for students who don’t speak, including those who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC).  

Who:  Dr. Caroline Ramsey Musselwhite and Dr. Gretchen Hanser

Where:  Closing the Gap Conference, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Monday, July 16, 2018

Digital Storytelling and Adapted Books: Creating Materials By, With, and For Students

Join us for one of our our Closing the Gap Pre-Conference Sessions.


Caroline Musselwhite
This workshop will begin with an overview of tools for digital storytelling and text-adaptation for emergent to conventional learners.  We will explicitly connect to UDL guidelines for engagement, representation, and expression.  Writing BY students – demonstrates creating materials ranging from personal memoirs to simple play scripts, then publishing them via graphic novel or play apps and tools.  Writing WITH students – covers emergent activities (e.g., predictable chart writing and poetry turned into text formats).  Sample tools will include greenscreen and picture insertion apps.  Writing FOR students – presents numerous adaptations to text to present materials in engaging, comprehensible formats and to provide full access for students with physical impairments, cortical visual impairment, attention deficits, and other challenges.  Text simplification will be included.  Expect hands-on practice using a range of tools (e.g., PowerPoint, GoogleSlides, ExplainEverything on multiple platforms – WIN, Mac, Chromebooks) and cutting edge apps and web-based tools (e.g., Clips, YouTubeEnhancements).  

Date and Time:

  • September 24, 2018
  • 8:00 am – 4:30 pm




Presenter Information:

Caroline Musselwhite, M.Ed., CCC-SLP, is an AT Consultant, AAC Intervention, Litchfield Park, AZ;Deanna Wagner, M.S., CCC-SLP is an SLP and AT Specialist, TherapyOne, Phoenix, AZ; Gretchen Hanser, Ph.D., is the Director of Assistive Technology, The iHope Academy, New York, NY; Laurel Richardson Buell, M.S., is an OTR, AT Specialist, Assistive Technology Services, Mesa, AZ; Jeanmarie Jacoby, M.Ed., is a Special Education Teacher, Washington Elementary School District, Glendale, AZ.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Teaching Students with Significant Disabilities to Use Switches: Ready-Set-Click!

Join us for our Closing the Gap Pre-Conference Session

Students with significant disabilities struggle with using switches to access the critical keys to life: communication, education and self mobility. This workshop will describe and demonstrate frameworks, tools, a wide range of motivating activities and strategies for how to create a comprehensive plan to teach students to successfully use switches. Case examples of a variety of students with complex needs will be highlighted throughout the day to direct discussion of issues such as Cortical Vision Impairment, uncontrolled or limited range of movements, eye gaze and/or scanning, tangling of switch cords, Bluetooth pairing challenges, light tech and high tech scanning (including partner-assisted/supported techniques), and data collection.  There will be hands-on activity stations that target: switch and mount hardware exploration, setting up switch access on the iPad (using Switch Control with and without Recipes), making simple and complex toy adaptations, using PowerPoint to create switch activities, and commercially available switch software exploration.

Date and Time:

  • September 25, 2018
  • 8:00 am – 4:30 pm




Presenter Information:

Gretchen Hanser, Ph.D., is the Director of Assistive Technology, The iHope Academy, New York, NY; Deanna Wagner, M.S., CCC-SLP is an SLP and AT Specialist, TherapyOne, Phoenix, AZ; Laurel Richardson Buell, M.S., is an OTR, AT Specialist, Assistive Technology Services, Mesa, AZ; Leon Kirschner, M.S., OTR/L, is the Director of Occupational Therapy, The iHope Academy, New York, NY;Stephanie Hui, M.S., ATP is a Senior Occupational Therapist, The iHope Academy, New York, NY.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Self-Selected Reading for iPad Switch Users (CTG 2017)

Buell, Hanser, Musselwhite, Wagner – CTG 2017

 Google Slides link: https://tinyurl.com/CTG17iPadSwitch

Creating adapted books for the iPad involves manipulating multiple story elements (e.g., text, pictures, content). The focus of this session, however, will be on physical access. What does Independent Self-Selected Reading for Switch Users look like on the iPad? Participants will learn how to connect switches to the iPad and how multiple switches can be configured to extend the book-reading experience beyond just “turn to the next page.” Selecting from a collection of personally-meaningful books is critical to learning independent reading skills. This session will also cover how to configure bookshelves for switch-users. Apps included: GoTalkNOW, BookCreator, Pictello, and iBooks.

Part 1: How do switches work for reading books on the iPad?
 • Options for a few switch interfaces and with multiple switches

  • Bluetooth interfaces: Inclusive TLC or Ablenet are major vendors Comparison chart http://www.inclusive.co.uk/switch4apps-p5978 
  • Avoid Bluetooth: Hook from Ablenet or Tapio from Origin Instruments 
 • Set up recipes using Accessibility – Switch Control Settings

  • Set up switches first (give an assignment, like advance or select item) 
  • Select recipe to launch – e.g., tap middle of screen or turn pages 
  • Create custom gestures and assign to switches for a new recipe if needed 
  • Indicate “Launch recipe” before turning on Switch Control 
  • Add Switch Control to the Home button (triple click to turn on/off) 
 • Quick examples using “turn pages” recipe

  • Swipe forward/backward to read; during conferencing ask student to move forward or backward to find his/her favorite page 
  • Take pictures using the camera and have student silently read from the photo album 
  • Read a book from www.tarheelreader.org 

Part 2:
Choosing a book from the bookshelf – how can a student use switches for this?
 • Use a computer switch interface with SPACE-ENTER to scan Favorites in Tarheel Reader.

  • Unfortunately, this does not work on an iPad because it uses the browser, not an app.  The switches can be used to Swipe Right to Left and Tap Middle of the Screen.

 • Use SPACE ENTER switch interface (switch control OFF) to use switches in Pictello (read or turn page forward).  Once again, the bookshelf doesn’t scan, unless you scan the entire iPad.

 • Use same  SPACE ENTER switch interface (switch control OFF) to scan in GoTalk NOW

  • Create bookshelf/menu pages in and step scan with auditory cues and visual zoom. Your scan can include left/right navigation buttons as well as Home (start over) for multiple pages
  • You can make multiple books in GoTalk NOW. Jump can go to a specific page in another book. Buttons can also play videos from the iPad library. 
  • A button action can launch a specific URL. Use for www.tarheelreader.org or other websites your school uses for libraries of books 
  • Books can be exported as PDF and opened in iBooks.

 • iBooks bookshelves are problematic – you will need to turn ON switch control. To scan the bookshelf, Recipes = none; to read a book, Recipes = Turn pages.

Part 3: Using custom recipes with a multiple switch interface (e.g., Hook or APPlicator)

 • Pictello Converter can open a TarheelReader book in Pictello

  • Use "turn pages” to go forward and back, and “tap middle of screen” to read text 
  • Activate 3 switches and create a custom recipe in switch control settings 

 • You can also use all 4 switches in GoTalk NOW

  • Single Button pages – program custom gestures for tap middle of screen, arrows, and home button 
  • Visual Scene pages – create a page with 3 hot spots, (for arrows and tap middle of screen). If you make hot spots instead of using navigational arrows, you can add voice feedback for page turning as well as making another page with 3 images in these locations for selecting a book
 • Using all 4 switches in iBooks

  • One switch = swipe right to left, 2nd switch = swipe left to right, 3rd and 4th switches can activate hot spots programmed to speak messages using the Book Creator app 
Part 4: Creating and sharing your books – Don’t forget that students need access to easy books, including books with alphabet or other patterns to support learning literacy skills.

 • All books shared as PDF can be opened in iBooks and read silently with the standard recipe for turning pages
 • Books created with Pictello Wizard result in consistent layout, switch access, and sharing features (for others who have Pictello)
 • Books created using Book Creator can be shared as eBooks (iBooks). Be sure to copy pages rather than create each page from scratch to keep hot spot locations consistent. Tip: use a large invisible hot spot for reading the text
 • To Share GoTalk NOW books, keep the number of pages small, locate the file in iTunes (app documents) and always share in .zip format Tip: No WIFI? No computer with iTunes? Broadcast to another iPad with GoTalk NOW


Erickson, K., and Koppenhaver, D. (2007). Children with Disabilities: Reading and Wri0ng the Four Blocks® Way. Greensboro, NC: Carson-Dellosa. 64–65.

Musselwhite, C. AAC intervention - Tips of the Month http://aacintervention.com/


Angelman Syndrome Foundation Communication Training Series Webinars
#14. Reading as Communication: Selecting Books with Caroline Musselwhite and Erin Sheldon
#27. Independent Reading: Text Types, Paper Books, and Digital with Caroline Musselwhite

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Emergent to Early Conventional Literacy for Students with Autism & Related Disabilities: Reading & Writing - Apps Included!

WHAT:  Two-day workshop.  Day 1 will focus on reading and Day 2 will focus on writing.

For students with autism and related disorders, reading instruction must include both word study and a strong focus on reading comprehension.   Day 1 will cover:  assessment ideas and specific strategies to support for all components of balanced literacy including:
• Shared Reading, helping students build language and enjoy reading;
• Guided Reading, using the Anchor / Read / Apply approach;
• Self-Selected Reading, helping students find and access age-respectful, engaging materials;
• Word Study, from phonological awareness to interactive phonics;

The day will include tips for getting EVERYONE onboard and excited about pushing for quality, research-based literacy instruction. For each area, you will see several apps and how to use those apps interactively.

 WHERE:  Nova Southeastern University
NSU Health Professions Division
Morris Auditorium
3200 S. University Drive
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33314

WHO SHOULD ATTEND:  SLPs, OTs, PTs, Educators, and Family Members


HOW TO REGISTER:  Download the flyer (link below) and follow the directions!


Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Building Multi-Lingual AAC Skills: Perspectives of an Evaluator/Interventionist

I composed these ideas when asked to contribute an article for the ASHA Special Interest Groups Perspectives.  After reading the fine print about copyright, I learned that I can’t publish a blog that matches the article I submit.  So instead of re-writing my submission, I am re-writing this blog.  I hope you find the information, ideas and resources in this blog helpful. And that you will look for the upcoming edition of the AAC Special Interest Perspectives with Gloria Soto as the editor.  I am excited to be invited to contribute to this important and timely topic. I’ll let you know when it gets published. 

Wagner, D. (2018). Building augmentative communication skills in homes where English and Spanish are spoken: Perspectives of an evaluator/interventionist. Manuscript submitted for publication.


This article uses the personal experiences of Deanna Wagner as a second language learner and AAC Specialist to explain how she uses experiences with language as the basis for AAC learning.  In homes where English and Spanish are spoken, children are having experiences with fluent speakers that will eventually shape their communicative competence.  As skills are emerging, it is a matter of personal choice to engage with another partner enough to learn the language.  Without fluent partners who speak that language with the person, a second language is unlikely to develop.  When starting to do this with AAC, therefore, it is helpful to give children and parents the options of choosing English or Spanish every time a word is shared.  Speaking with AAC and using words that occur frequently will increase the amount of engagement.  This article shares resources for finding robust bilingual AAC systems, strategies for learning core words each month, and ways to incorporate both paper-based and electronic-based AAC tools.

1. After considering my examples, readers will be able to describe at least 3 personal experiences that have shaped their perspectives with regards to language development. 

2. Readers will be able to point to at least 3 research-based supports for using a developmental approach to AAC in conjunction with aided language by fluent speakers

3. Readers will be able to describe at least 3 practical activities for teaching high frequency words in whatever language the learner and his/her family chooses to use

My name is Deanna Wagner and I am an AAC practitioner living in Phoenix, Arizona. I am a collector of languages. I am fluent in some and a contextual communicator in others. I was born in Wisconsin and my only fluent models of Spanish were my instructors (and Maria on Sesame Street) until I went to Mexico for one week and had my first immersion experience. I was 17 years old. The sister and her mother spoke with me and helped me learn about the difference between listening to the language (of people in the city, younger sibling chatter, etc) and being spoken with.  Since then I have been collecting immersion experiences, some with more success than others, mostly dependent on who my communication partners were and whether they took time to phrase what they wanted to tell me in ways I could understand. I am now a fluent communicator in English and Spanish; I can speak, read and write in both languages. I meet with families and talk with them in English and Spanish about how AAC can help their child’s communication skills grow. I write text messages, notes, summaries, and action plans in Spanish or English, depending on the preferences of my communication partners. Some of the parents, like me, are learning English as a second language. All of them are learning AAC as a second (or third, or fourth) language. So when people ask me how I learned Spanish or how I learned to be so fluent with AAC, the answer is the same: I studied the rules, I practiced, and I had real life experiences with people who are fluent.  That includes hanging out with adult AAC users at conferences and really talking with them. With my adult friends who use AAC, they let me practice with them, passing the device back and forth between us. Thank you so much, Krista, for helping me learn what a valuable experience that can be. She and her friend bring one device between the two of them when they meet me at the mall. In addition to the device, I listen to their speech and body language and am getting better at understanding that, too.  Through real life experiences speaking with people who have or need AAC, my ability to express myself using that language system has grown. The people mentioned in this article have given me permission to use their names.

My love of languages is what guided me to study speech language pathology and eventually specialize in AAC. I learned how to follow a child’s lead, to speak with him (or her) at his level, and to help build language and literacy skills (in English, Spanish, or AAC). I now provide speech/languages services for an average of 10 new device evaluations per month and support an active caseload of about 100 people who use AAC. Around 75% of the people I work with come from families where English and Spanish are spoken in the home.

Readers can study more about my perspective about language learning by reading articles and books by various authors who describe principles related to bilingualism, whether simultaneous or sequential (ASHA 1997-2015; Gerber, 2012; Goldstein, 2012; Gutiérrez-Clellen, 2009; McCord, 2004), Perozzi, 1992; Robinson, 2009; Sheng, 2014; Soto, 2014 and 2009).  From works by Kroll and others (2010), referring to the Revised Hierarchical Model, I found validation in my approaches with families to speak with their children at their level using whatever language is natural for them. Conceptual knowledge of a child’s world can be mediated through Spanish, English, and AAC.  I encourage parents to learn the AAC system: keyboard, then some words, then how to add some words to make phrases. We practice asking simple questions using the device. And I don’t tell them whether to use English or Spanish when they speak with me or when they speak with their child. I let them decide. And I only recommend robust AAC systems that allow the child to choose on his own whether to speak English or Spanish, using AAC device or body language. 

I have conversations with families and their support team about the difference between body language and sign language. I draw my perspective from personal experience here, too. I was interested and took a class to learn fingerspelling and some signed words. But I never really learned the language because I didn’t have a fluent partner (other than my instructor) until I met Julie. She is the sister of my college roommate and now has been my sister-in-law for more than 20 years.  She is profoundly deaf and uses ASL for communication with her friends, her mom, her sister, her husband and her children. When she speaks with me, she slows down and supplements with a lot of fingerspelling because my vocabulary is limited. Imagine having a conversation letter by letter!  Based on our experiences together, I have learned to sign more words, but without having studied ASL, I am unable to follow the conversation she has with other fluent speakers of ASL. I am a competent communicator because I can fingerspell, but I am a contextual communicator in ASL because my vocabulary is limited to certain words and topics based on my experiences.  The reader can learn more about AAC competencies by using and studying the AAC Profile available from Linguisystems by Tracy Kovach (2009).   

Some families of the families I work with were told by their pediatricians or other professionals that using a second language will be confusing and they should try to speak only English at home in order to make it easier on the child when he/she goes to school.  I believe that many of these families receive misguided advice twice: once by being told they should only use one language, and again when they are told that it is best to wait to introduce AAC until a child has demonstrated certain pre-requisite skills (such as knowing/using a few signs or matching pictures to objects). More information about dispelling AAC myths can be found in an article for the Infants and Young Children Journal (Romski & Sevcik, 2005). The greatest hope we can impart to parents is the belief that their children can learn language.  In order to do so, we must recommend a robust communication system and work on strategies to teach the child about the symbols and rules that make up that system.

The families I work with also vary in their competencies with English and AAC, based on the context. Many have learned both the English word and the signs for “more” and “all done.” So when we start using an AAC device, I show them how they can use these words on the device with their child, without the need to force a choice about how to say it, just offering more options and experiences in real life situations, remembering to speak with the child, not at or for him/her. For more insights into this theory, the interested reader can look at articles on aided language input.  There are many, with a summary by Sennott, Light & McNaughton (2016) available in Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities. The interested reader can find more information about using aided language displays with young learners with autism spectrum disorder from guest blogger, Laura Tarver, on the website www.praacticalaac.org (dated August 28, 2014).

For those families who are able to join us, we offer additional experiences to use AAC during our Out And About activities in the community.  A guide for starting this type of group can be found for free at www.teacherspayteachers.com.   Some of the most important communicative functions that we practice are social greetings/manners, commenting (including giving opinions) and requesting.  We also try to design activities where we can practice with core words used to describe or tell about the event or items we are using.  When I go on these outings, I bring my iPad and at least one low tech flip book. I come prepared with many options and when speaking with people will decide which way to say a word depending on the situation and the language level of the person I am speaking with. I may open Proloquo2Go and switch between English and Spanish to say a word in both languages. I am not as fluent, but I am also learning to do this in Snap + Core First.  When I model using the bilingual Words For Life, I tend to use phrases because it is faster and flexible, but I do need to remember to clear the message window when switching languages.  I also have families who are learning to use WordPower 60 Basic. To switch to Spanish independently requires the NovaChat, so I can only model fluently choosing which language to use when I borrow somebody’s device. On my iPad With TouchChat I save profiles for each language and need to enter programming menus to switch. But it can be done. More often, however, I turn to the printed displays and speak Spanish while pointing to the symbols on my English language low-tech WordPower 60 SS book with flips (available from https://saltillo.com/downloads/chat/low-tech-communication-board-options/FLIP%20BOOK%20WP%2060%20SS.pdf). My current version does not have Spanish on it, but when making these boards for families I often add the single page with Spanish on the back (available from https://saltillo.com/downloads/chat/low-tech-communication-board-options/96%20location%20manual%20communication%20board%20based%20on%20WordPower60%20Español%20Básico.pdf). 

When instructing a class of AAC users that includes two bilingual adults at ValleyLife Adult Day Program, I use the Smart Board loaded with NuVoice PASS software (available from https://www.prentrom.com/support/accent/download-nuvoice-pass-software). I programmed buttons to switch users so that I can display Unity 45, Unity 60, Unity 84 and Unidad Spanish. Depending on the lesson, I may use one or all of these as I speak with the members on a variety of topics of interest to them (shopping, eating, watching videos, listening to music, reading books, etc.). Having the option to switch to a 45-location display shows larger icons when we are studying the word associations and patterns. Is is also the best match for Maggie, who needs a keyguard.  Maria also uses a keyguard, but her language levels are different. I have loaded her device with Unity 84-sequenced, Unidad 84, and Words For Life English/Spanish. She also switches between areas depending on the situation and the word she needs to express herself to a specific communication partner. We added a “save text to button” tool so she can quickly retrieve a message she had been working on but was interrupted by the need to say something else. 

Another question I have been asked by parents and other practitioners has to do with what words are the best place to start. I struggled with this for some time, knowing that I wanted to follow a developmental framework as recommended by Gail Vantatenhove (2016) and Gayle Porter (webinar available at  http://www.dynavoxtech.com/training/online/recorded-web-classes/details/?id=4269), but was struggling to figure out how to share that theory with parents. It is even more challenging when parents also need to decide when to use English or Spanish with their children and are looking for a specific plan of action. I was so thrilled when I found the Year of Core words on the blog by Carole Zangari and then discovered that the vendors are using these lists to create month by month smart charts to help us find the words in the language system on some devices.  Here is a link to the smart charts for the WordPower Basic 60 SS (SymbolStix) version: https://saltillo.com/chatcorner/content/31.   The smart charts for icon sequences (Unidad, Words For Life) can be found at www.aaclanguagelab.com.  Finally, explicit month to month guidance for appropriate aided language input! 

Actually, these words are only in English, so there is still discussion about second language learning and what words should come first. However, I have distributed these smart charts in English and practiced with families until they are fluent with the words in both languages. We practice single words and simple phrases, starting with WHAT WANT, and not worrying about grammar. Beginning communicators should be encouraged to use telegraphic speech (reference AAC Do’s and Don’ts, Farrall & Niemeijer)!  I just tell the parents that repeating verbally with fluently models using good grammar is also part of the learning process and will assist in getting the intended meaning across while making selections on the device.  The interested reader may also find resources related to using telegraphic speech with aided language input by watching webinars and following Jill Senner’s group on Facebook.  I have also written suggestions in my blog for 40 Spanish words to choose to go along with the first 4 months. 

The most important message we can give our children is that we believe they have something to say. How they choose to say it should be up to them. To get to that point, they will need lots of experiences with partners who can use the methods fluently. These partners need to know how to adjust their language to the level of the learner so they are talking with and not to or for somebody who needs AAC. 

Table 1 provides a list of the most functional top 40 words in English, chosen with the intent of combining these words when modeling language.  Note that many of these words are used when teaching young children to read English.  Therefore, picture books and books for young children will offer multiple opportunities to practice these words.  


Focusing on just five core words during an activity, especially at first, gives more opportunities to practice.  

Working from these lists, I have begun to encourage families to target 40 Spanish words over 4 months, to be as consistent as possible across languages as we are introducing new words to an AAC user.  Due to the differences in how the words are used in both languages, I do not encourage them to translate the following words from English when first introducing a device with bilingual support:  do, get, turn, put, in, on, out, busy, away.  I also add earlier introduction of a few words that were not in the original first four month list:  di (tell), da (give) and look (mirar).  This will be written up as a Tip of the Month for 2018 at Caroline Musselwhite’s website www.aacintervention.com 

Table 2. Year of Core Words – 40 Spanish words in 4 months

Month 1
Month 2
Month 3
Month 4
Again – otra vez
Eat – comer
Big – grande
All done – (no más)
Bad - mal
Different - diferente
Go – vamos
Come – ven
Help – ayuda
Happy – feliz
Good – bueno
Drink – beber
Mine – mío
Here – aquí
It - lo
Feel - sentir
More – más
I/me – me
Make – hacer
He – Él
Not/don’t – no
Like - gusta
Now – ahora
Stop – parar
Make - hacer
That - eso
Play - jugar
Read – leer
Want – quieroquieres
There – allá
Some – poco
What – qué
This - esto
Thing – cosa
Tell – di
You – 
(Give) – da
Where – dónde
(Where)  adónde
Who – quién
(help) - ayuda
 (Tell) - di
(Look) - mira

           Table 3. Symbol-Based Robust Bilingual English/Spanish AAC Apps
Bilingual Design
Similar apps are available for both languages
Crescendo on Proloquo2go
Message window is bilingual and code switches with all languages
Basic Fitzgerald home page layout; Alphabetical for adjectives, verbs & fringe (in both languages); some core pronouns and verbs repeat on category pages;
Grid 3
iOS, Win10
Page sets are available for both languages, not bilingual by design
(bilingual ENG/SP)
iOS, Accent (Win10)
Clear the message window when switching languages
Starts from home page with icon sequencing – Similar motor plan for all words; Spanish is translated from English. Category pages are alphabetized in English and maintain position on Spanish pages
Snap + Core First
iOS & Win10
Message window is bilingual, maintains accurate pronunciation when switching
Fitzgerald core page; Topics and Lists (Categories) are in alphabetical order in English and don’t change position when switched to Spanish
Accent (Win10)
Yes, but message window is not bilingual
Designed for bilingual semantic support with a similar motor plan across languages
WordPower 60 Basic/o
iOS and
NOVA chat
Only NOVA chat has user access to switch languages.
Message window must be cleared before switching languages.
Basic Fitzgerald layout; Alphabetical order for adjectives, verbs & fringe; some core pronoun phrases repeat on category pages; some Home page verbs link to category pages


Adams, M. J. (1990). Beginning to read: Thinking and learning about print. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press.

Angulo-Jiménez, H. (2018). Bilingualism and Autism: Addressing Parents' Frequently Asked Questions. Perspectives ASHA SIGs, 3 (SIG 1), 98–105. doi: 10.1044/persp3.SIG1.98

ASHA collection of resources from the Office of Multicultural Affairs offers policy documents, guides and tips for addressing the needs of CLD students in schools, titled “Working with Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CLD) Students in Schools.” © 1997-2015 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. http://www.asha.org/slp/CLDinSchools/

ASHA Practice Portal on “Cultural Competence.” © 1997-2015 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. http://www.asha.org/PRPSpecificTopic.aspx?folderid=8589935230&section=Key_Issues#Developing_Cultural_Competence

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