Cindy, you can use the space bar to expand, but why would you want to do so? Using the space bar limits you. I expand words and phrases with punctuation which are easy to reach. The first thing I did was choose what punctuation to use. If my first choice seemed hard to reach, I tried something else until it was second nature to me.
The second thing I did was to import my AutoCorrects into Instant Text, creating an Instant Text glossary of the shortcuts I was accustomed to using.
I took my time to read the FAQs on the site, then the manual, then posts here on the forums.