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Autism & PDD Basic Questions App
Ages: 3-7   Grades: PreK-2

Help children with autism spectrum disorders and developmental disabilities understand basic wh- question forms while developing early language and communication skills. 


  • Understand and answer wh- questions
  • Develop joint attention and social reciprocity
  • Build language and literacy
  • Engage in spontaneous communication


Autism & PDD Basic Questions for iPad
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Autism & PDD Basic Questions LITE for iPad
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Autism & PDD Basic Questions for Android
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Autism & PDD Basic Questions LITE for Android
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Autism & PDD Basic Questions for Android
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Autism & PDD Basic Questions LITE for Android
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This app follows the successful learning format of the popular Buddy Bear software and storybooks:

  • simple, predictable language
  • uncluttered illustrations
  • reassuring audio narration
  • open-ended responses
  • engaging animation and sound effects
  • flexible, story-based learning

Each story targets a wh- question form.  The stories match the content of the Autism & PDD Basic Questions Interactive Software and 5-Book Set.  The stories are:

  • Why, Buddy Bear
  • Where, Buddy Bear
  • What, Buddy Bear
  • Who, Buddy Bear
  • When, Buddy Bear

The free Autism & PDD Basic Questions LITE version lets your student interact with one screen from each story.  The full version has 45 interactive screens packed with teaching opportunities so youngsters can:

  • understand and answer wh- questions
  • build language and literacy
  • increase spontaneous communication exchanges
  • develop joint attention and social reciprocity

Once you start the app, tap on one of five stories.  Tap on the back, forward, and repeat arrows for easy screen navigation.  In four of the stories, children touch one of three picture choices to answer the questions.  In the Where, Buddy Bear story, they touch and drag to respond to questions.  Correct responses are reinforced with a friendly "Good job!" and an audio narrative using the correct question form.  A randomization feature can be turned on/off.   

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  • Therapy aimed at fostering the development of age-appropriate communication skills and age/ability-appropriate language comprehension and language use will improve the child's level of functioning (Taylor-Goh, 2005).
  • Many children with autism spectrum disorders learn more readily through the visual modality (Taylor-Goh, 2005).
  • Computer-assisted instruction (CAI) has a positive effect on the learning process of young children who learn better with pictures and sounds (Vernadakis, Avgerinos, Tsitskari, & Zachopoulou, 2005).
  • Computers are successful teaching instruments for children with autism.  Multisensory interactions; controlled and structured environments; multilevel interactive functions; and independent, individualized use assist learning and generalization to other settings (Hetzroni & Tannous, 2004).

Autism & PDD Basic Questions App incorporates these principles and is also based on expert professional practice.


Hetzroni, O.E., & Tannous, J. (2004). Effects of a computer-based intervention program on the communicative functions of children with autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 34(2), 95-113.

Taylor-Goh, S. (2005). Royal college of speech & language therapists: Clinical guidelines. United Kingdom: Speechmark.

Vernadakis, N., Avgerinos, A., Tsitskari, E., & Zachopoulou, E. (2005, October). The use of computer assisted instruction in preschool education: Making teaching meaningful. Early Childhood Education Journal, 33(2), 99-104.


Beth W. Respess


Beth W. Respess is a retired school-based speech-language pathologist.  After four years as a classroom teacher, she graduated with a master's degree in speech communication from Auburn University.  She worked with students of all ages with various speech disorders, but she especially enjoyed the challenge of working with younger children who had PDD and autism. 


This app is based on the Autism & PDD Basic Questions Interactive SoftwareAutism & PDD Basic Questions App allows students with limited language skills to work independently on answering simple wh- questions.  The animation and sound effects hold their interest while the simple, stimulus-response structure encourages self-monitoring.  The spoken word along with the text helps develop reading skills.  Choosing the correct response among those given reinforces the skill of responding to multiple-choice questions.  You can introduce the app individually or in small groups.  Autism & PDD Basic Questions App is appropriate for students who are able to use the computer, up to about age seven, depending on the interest level and ability of the child.

Minimum System Requirements

Apple iTunes Store

  • iPad only
  • English only
  • not compatible with iPod or iPhone

Android/Google Play

  • minimum 7" screen required
  • English only