AAC, autism, disability

AAC Phrases For Medical Advocacy

Content Notice: medical, mentions of blood, fasting, surgery

A screenshot of a medical advocacy board in the AAC program Proloquo2Go. The exact phrases are listed in the body of the post.
A screenshot of a medical advocacy board in the AAC program Proloquo2Go. The exact phrases are listed in the body of the post.

I made a medical advocacy board for my AAC device. It’s got 100 phrase/word buttons on one page, which fits nicely on my device (a 12.9″ iPad Pro). I’ve listed the phrases below and also am going to link to a) a Dropbox file for the actual board if you use P2G, b) a CoughDrop version of the board, and c) a Google document with the phrases listed. I’m also going to link to a video of me showing off the board and using it on my device.

A little bit of background on this board: The phrases are grouped into fours (mostly, there are two groups of three and two groups of two due to spacing/other buttons I needed to fit on there) based on related topics. The two leftmost columns are all questions (plus the words yes/no). The two rightmost columns are stronger language (not necessarily profanity, but not polite language) and a few modifier words (now, right now, please, stop). In the middle of the board are four folders that link to boards with symptoms, words to describe pain, psychiatric symptoms, and body parts. The middle six columns are kind of a hodgepodge of phrases, organized by broad topics, that are generally either about medical issues/care (I’m in pain, the medication isn’t working, I need a referral to a specialist) or asserting autonomy/boundaries (That’s not what I meant, I’m not a child, Don’t touch me, It’s too loud). I am probably going to rearrange some of the buttons in the middle to better categorize them (because I want to have all buttons related to medical stuff on one side and all buttons related to autonomy/boundaries on the other) but that’s a project for later.

Anyway, here are the phrases:

Dark pink:

  • Can you hear me?
  • Can you please write it down for me?
  • Can I please use pen and paper?
  • Can you please explain again?

Light blue:

  • I am not a child.
  • I’m an adult. Treat me like one.
  • Talk to me, not my assistant.
  • I need you to take me seriously.

Light orange-brown:

  • Let me decide.
  • Let me finish.
  • I don’t want that.
  • I don’t feel well.

Light-medium purple:

  • I have a problem.
  • Please say that a different way.
  • Please stop and listen.
  • I am autistic and need this device to help me communicate. Please respect my need to keep and use it.


  • I don’t like that.
  • Stop it!
  • You put me in danger.

[Clear message button in the upper right corner]


  • What are my other options?
  • What happens if I do nothing?
  • How long will it take to take effect?
  • How long will I need to do that?


  • That’s not what I meant.
  • You are going too fast. Please slow down.
  • Don’t want to talk about that.
  • That hurts my brain.

Dark gray:

  • Don’t touch me.
  • Don’t patronize me.
  • Don’t touch my device.
  • Don’t read my screen.

Bright green:

  • I want a second opinion.
  • I’d like to speak with an SLP.
  • I’d like to talk to my family.
  • I’m not ready to make a decision.

Light pink:

  • I’m not going to consent to that.
  • I don’t have a guardian and I don’t need one.
  • I’m not willing to do that.
  • I can make my own decisions.

Dark blue-gray:

  • Why do you say that?
  • What should I do next?
  • How would that affect my care?
  • How do I make an appointment with them?

Medium brown:

  • I’d like to try a different medication.
  • The medication is making things worse.
  • I’m having side effects.
  • It’s not getting any better.

Purple folders with yellow outlines:

  • I’m having these symptoms. [Folder: Symptoms]
  • I’m in pain. [Folder: Pain]
  • I’m having psychiatric symptoms. [Folder: Psych Symptoms]
  • I’m having an issue with my [Folder: Body]

Light brown:

  • I need a referral to a specialist.
  • I’ve been on this medication before.
  • I saw a different doctor about this before.
  • That isn’t what I’ve heard from other providers.

Dark red:

  • I disagree. Here’s what I think.
  • I don’t understand what you’re describing.
  • Let’s discuss other options.
  • I don’t think I need that.

Dark aqua:

  • Will it hurt?
  • Will it require fasting?
  • Will it require blood tests?
  • Will it require surgery?

Light purple:

  • I’m concerned about the side effects.
  • I would rather not do that.
  • I’m worried about that.
  • I’d need to prepare for that.

Bright orange:

  • I need you to explain with precise language.
  • Tell me exactly what I need to do.
  • I’m still paying attention even if I don’t look at you.
  • Please ask me yes/no questions whenever possible.

Light green:

  • I need a break.
  • It’s too bright.
  • It’s too loud.
  • Please give me space.

Dark blue:

  • That isn’t accessible for me.
  • I don’t find that helpful.
  • Let me explain what would work for me.
  • Please take my access needs seriously.

Medium orange-brown:

  • Could you tell me who you are again?
  • Could you please help me with that?

[Green “yes” and red “no” buttons]

[Blue “hold floor” button with purple outline – immediately speaks “please wait for me to finish typing” when pressed]

Light yellow:

  • It takes me longer to type than to speak.
  • I can give you my text relay number.
  • I can’t use the phone; can you contact me a different way?

Dark brown:

  • I need someone to walk me there.
  • I need your questions to be as specific as possible.
  • I’m not sure how to do that.
  • I need more detailed instructions on that.


  • Thank you.
  • That is helpful.
  • That would work for me.
  • I will do that.

White with blue outlines:

  • Now
  • Please
  • Right now
  • Stop

And here are the links:

Proloquo2Go board file on DropBox: https://www.dropbox.com/s/ptwu9ktybsoarpj/Medical%20Advocacy.p2g?dl=0

CoughDrop Board: https://app.mycoughdrop.com/gosuperdonnie/medical-advocacy_1 or search “Medical Advocacy” within CoughDrop

Complete list of phrases from the board: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1O5LTcoWfAgOJaSVoey87FUMl8pCBLnOD/view?usp=sharing

PS: since I get questions about “what voice is that?” it’s the Acapela Rod voice, voice personalization “high” and speech rate “slow.”