Autism can build a wall of poor communication between those struggling with the condition and their families. While a personal computer can help bridge the divide, the distraction and complexity of a keyboard can be an insurmountable obstacle. Now, using a unique keyboard with only two "keys" and a novel curriculum, teachers with an initiative called Project Blue Skies are giving autistic children the ability to communicate and also explore the online world.

At the heart of the project is a device called the OrbiTouch. Human-factors engineer Pete McAlindon of BlueOrb in Maitland, Fl., dreamed up the concept behind the OrbiTouch...

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