I have always enjoyed making materials that helped my students work on their communication goals. It wasn’t until last Fall that I had the idea to create a physical product. I had been working on language in a systematic manner with my students who have autism and other complex communication disorders. I was frustrated because I could not find the cards that I wanted from my usual distributors.

I wanted to teach my students how to expressively identify an action – but I wanted to show them multiple pictures of that action. So for example, in most flashcard sets there may be one picture of eating. My students would learn that picture but if I showed them another picture or showed them a picture in a book they had trouble generalizing that labeling skill. I wanted to provide my students with multiple examples of functional actions. This not only helps them generalize labeling this action but it helps students create expressive phrases ( eating pizza, eating apple, etc…).

I was sick of spending so much time making my own flashcards with google images, so I decided to create a product. To say the process was overwhelming is an understatement! After many rough drafts, lists of examples to include and a sad first attempt at kickstarter- the action builder cards were born. The first sample started out on index cards as shown below.


I did not have any social media or website during development so I just showed all of my SLP and BCBA friends the product. After some feedback, the product changed a bit.


I remember getting that first sample from the printer – wow exciting!!!! I launched the product the only way that I knew how at the time – through Facebook Live. It was so amazing to be able to share this vision with others. To have other professionals and parents using the cards all over the world – has been so wonderful. My vision is to help you provide systematic language instruction with ease and this is the first step in the process.

The cards are available on my website and I am also now taking purchase orders – exciting stuff!! To say thanks for being a reader of the blog, I have a companion writing activity attached here at the bottom. You don’t need the action builder cards to use it- it just works from the same framework- enjoy!


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