Steps to language

Steps to Language is a vocabulary package designed to support children to develop the skills needed for symbol-based communication. It has been specifically designed for children using AAC, right from the very beginning of their journey, moving towards developing complex language skills.

Steps to Language was developed by Sarah Alderman, a Speech and Language Therapist who has worked in the field of AAC over the past 10 years. It was designed to consider some of the stumbling blocks that children who use AAC frequently face, with a particular emphasis on the idea of linking words to make phrases. Research tells us that toddlers start to combine words when they have a foundation of 35-50 single words. Yet, children who use AAC may have a strong knowledge of many symbols but still find it difficult to move past using single words to form phrases. Steps to Language allows the opportunity to practice putting words together with visual prompts to encourage sentence formation.

You can find more info in the Steps to Language manual and watch our tutorials.

Steps to Language pageset in Mind Express 5.

Different levels

3 stages to grow in line with the child.


Development of literacy skills.

Social language

Quick access to phrases for social language.


Phonic based keyboards with predictive text.

Steps to Language has 3 stages so that the child can gradually build their language skills in a similar way to how young children learn to talk. The 3 stages reflect a child’s growing vocabulary, changing interests and development of literacy skills.

Some of the unique features that support this development include:

  • A simple, colour-coded navigation system.
  • Access to an increasing selection of core words.
  • A guided selection system – when a core word is selected, a pathway is highlighted to suggest folders that the child might look in next to continue building a phrase.
  • A range of topic-based folders.
  • Access to quick phrases for social language.
  • Phonic based keyboards with predictive text to support developing literacy skills.

Steps to Language is available in a range of symbol sets, including PCS, SymbolStix and Widgit.

Import Steps to Language in Mind Express 5

Steps to Language is available in Mind Express 5. You can download all of the three stages, as well as the different symbol sets for free as a ready-made pageset.

You don’t have Mind Express 5 yet? Try out the demo version and import Steps to Language!

Download Mind Express 5 demo