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Posted on May 31, 2018

Getting started with symbol communication is so much easier when you have the right vocabulary to develop your skills and build confidence.

Super Core and the Super Core Learning Grids are designed to do just that – enabling AAC learners to experience success with symbol communication by supporting language, learning and literacy development.

What is Super Core?

Super Core Learning grids

The Super Core Learning grids are designed for users who are at the early stages of exploring language and communication, and may still be learning and practicing their access method. They have a much lower cell count than the full Super Core grid set, and come in two sizes (12 and 20 location).

The Learning grids include activity-specific language from Super Core, alongside a simplified core vocabulary. This provides regular opportunities for talking about daily activities and play, using AAC throughout the day – which is essential for anyone learning to use AAC.

Both Super Core and the Super Core Learning grids were developed by Smartbox Speech and Language Therapist Daisy Clay (MSc Cert MRCSLT).

You can download low tech versions of the Learning grids here

Super Core Learning Grids on iPads

What is core vocabulary?

Core vocabulary refers to the words we us all the time, in different situations, with different people, to talk about different topics – words like “want”, “more”, “you”, and “not”. Core vocabulary is really important for AAC learners as it enables them to start communicating for lots of different reasons, in lots of different situations.


Choose the best cell counts for your learner

The Super Core Learning grids feature some of the most common daily and play activities. They come in both 12 and 20 locations for each activity, so AAC learners can grow in confidence as they develop their skills in a grid size appropriate for their needs.

The different cell counts are also designed to help users to develop their access methods alongside learning AAC.

12 Cell Learning grids

The vocabulary in the 12 cell grids enable AAC learners to experiment with single words and start combining words. For example:

“more”, “roll”, “help”, “open”, “want cutter”

20 Cell Learning grids

The 20 cell grids provide language for the same daily and play activities – enabling AAC learners to combine more words, using additional core and activity vocabulary on each grid. Users can now begin to build phrases into simple sentences. For example:

“push playdough”, “you open”, “not big cutter”, “I like play dough”

Developing language

The 12 cell Learning grids begin by introducing just three important core words:

  • “want”
  • “stop”
  • “more”

Just these three words enable an early AAC learner to begin communicating for different reasons: to say what they want, get something to stop, and get more of something – all really powerful reasons to communicate.

The 20 cell Learning grids build in this by adding five more core words, to expand on the ways AAC learners can explore communication:

  • “I”
  • “you”
  • “good”
  • “like”
  • “not”

The Learning grids also offer highly functional, activity-specific words that can be used in combination with the core vocabulary – supporting the learner to discover the meaning of those words.

Consistent locations

Language is repeated throughout the Learning grids, in consistent locations, meaning AAC learners can find both core and activity-specific vocabulary in the same place – no matter which grid they are on.

This means your AAC learner can:

  • Find vocabulary more quickly between activities
  • Communicate their message faster
  • Progress from 12 to 20 cells more smoothly


For learners wanting to move from the Learning grids to the full Super Core vocabulary, the vocabulary is arranged consistently to minimise the amount of new learning needed.  The same daily and play activities are also available in both.

Some AAC learners may also be ready to start with the full Super Core vocabulary straight away. You can download and try both grid sets for free.

Try Super Core Learning grids for free

Download a free trial of our Grid software and give Super Core a go – available on iPad and Windows.

Super Core Learning Grids on 3 iPads


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