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

This Buddy Bear app is based on the Buddy Bear storybooks and software that have a huge following among speech-language pathologists and educators.


  • Match items to their category
  • Develop language comprehension and literacy
  • Increase spontaneous communication
  • Develop joint attention and reciprocity
Autism & PDD Categories for iPad
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Autism & PDD Categories LITE for iPad
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Autism & PDD Categories for Android
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Autism & PDD Categories LITE for Android
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Autism & PDD Categories for Android
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The app helps children understand categories and subcategories as well as develop joint attention, reciprocity, and early language and literacy skills. 

The five themed stories match the content of the Autism & PDD Categories Interactive Software and 5-Book Set.  The stories and some of the categories they teach are:

  • Buddy Bear in the House—food, money, clothes, chores, school supplies, and more
  • Buddy Bear in the Yard—plants, insects, tools, playground, flowers, and more
  • Buddy Bear in the Kitchen—dishes, fruit, breakfast, snacks, drinks, and more
  • Buddy Bear on Vacation—luggage, beach, woods, farm, ocean, and more
  • Buddy Bear Plays—toys, pets, games, sports equipment, musical instruments, and more

Research-based teaching techniques meet the unique learning needs of children with autism spectrum disorders and developmental delays, including:

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

The free Autism & PDD Categories App LITE version lets your student interact with one screen from each story.  The full version has 45 interactive screens packed with teaching opportunities for skill mastery. 

Once you start the app, tap on one of the five stories.  Touch the back, forward, and repeat arrows for easy screen navigation.  Children choose the correct answer with an easy one-touch response.  Correct responses are reinforced with animation, sound effects, and a friendly "Good job!"   A randomization feature can be turned on/off.

Copyright © 2005



  • Therapy aimed at fostering the development of age/ability-appropriate language comprehension and language use will improve the child's level of functioning (Taylor-Goh, 2005).
  • Children require strategic instruction to access the curriculum to the best of their abilities. Instruction in key language areas helps children become better students (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).
  • Computer technology is an effective means of teaching vocabulary as compared to traditional methods or when computers are used as an ancillary aid (NRP, 2000).

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


National Reading Panel (NRP). (2000). Teaching children to read: An evidence-based assessment of the scientific research literature on reading and its implications for reading instruction - reports of the subgroups. Retrieved December 7, 2007, from

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 Categories Interactive SoftwareAutism & PDD Categories App allows students with limited language skills to work independently on categorization.  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 software individually or in small groups.  Autism & PDD Categories App is appropriate for students who are able to use a tablet, 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