How to Choose Starting Buttons

When choosing starting buttons, we recommend starting with 2-3 concepts that are:

  • Motivating & meaningful to your learner
  • Easy & convenient to model
  • Tangible, concrete, or actionable (not abstract)
  • Recognized by your learner
  • Able to be modeled consistently
  • Able to be responded to positively most of the time (Say yes! to their requests)
  • Healthy/safe to model frequently

Does your word or concept meet the above criteria? If not, refer to the learner's motivation tower and review the section on modeling. 

Remember, try your best to always respond affirmatively, quickly, and consistently to your learner's button presses.

Did you know?


Did you know? When a behavior disappears because it was ignored and no longer reinforced (or rewarded) it’s called extinction. Extinction is one reason why it is so important to respond affirmatively, quickly, and consistently to your learner’s early button presses — we want to avoid accidentally extinguishing their pressing behavior before they really learn how to use the soundboard.



Know your learner

High-drive learners and learners who struggle with self-regulation will need ALL DONE added sooner compared to more reserved or timid button users who will likely benefit from waiting until they’ve interacted with the soundboard enough to introduce that concept. 


If you have questions or feedback regarding this content, please email us at


Jump To Next Lesson

Button Teaching Guide

Intro to Button Teaching

Preparing Your Learner for Buttons

Learning to Read Your Learner

Motivating Your Learner


Choosing the Right Starting Buttons

Soundboard Setup Guide

Setting Up Your First Button

Planning Your Soundboard

Adding New Buttons

Let’s Get Them Pressing

Early Signs of Progress